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The term digital lynch mob refers to the situation where somebody says something on social media that others find offensive or questionable. People who often have no prior connection to the original poster bash and sometimes attack the original poster for whatever was said. Often participants in this digital lynch mob post from anonymous social media accounts – often on Twitter – and continue fueling the fire of written attacks on the poster.

Sometimes people target of digital lynch mobs end up deleting their accounts completely. That doesn’t usually make the digital lynch mob go away. Somebody has probably taken a screen shot of the original post anyway, too. At the very least, it helps the original poster tune out the ongoing posts from members of the digital lynch mob.

In some instances a lot of people are participating in digital lynch mobs, which can then lead to media outlets refer to a widespread discussion on social media – or some other term of the sorts.

In general, digital lynch mobs aren’t great for our communities. Even if somebody said something questionable, it’s possible to have – or at least  try to have – a civil discussion. In that case, it wouldn’t be a digital lynch mob, though.

Fingers crossed we see fewer and fewer of these and people can be civil, see each other’s differences and sometimes give people the benefit of the doubt.