Personally attacking kids online you disagree with

I just read this post on social media:

A question of principle: Is it wrong to personally attack a 16-year-old because you disagree with their politics?

I think it is.

I actually think it’s wrong to personally attack anyone because of their political beliefs, or really for any reason, but it’s especially gross when adults are attacking kids – on Twitter, in the media, wherever.

But if it’s a “principle” you agree with, it should apply consistently.

Here’s two recent examples of two 16-year-olds who were personally attacked because of their political beliefs.

Are you applying your principles consistently?

I’ve seen this trope being shared by Conservatives on several platforms, so I’m drafting my reply here for those who don’t find it obvious:

What I think you’re missing, that supersedes age, is being an oppressor, aggressor, or a member of the predator class.


If they’re on the vulnerable side, or “punching up”, then you should not make personal attacks on a 16 year old even if you disagree with their politics.


There is no rational fight against children speaking their political viewpoints. There is a growing fight against the predator class.

What is also important, if you think anyone is on the oppressor side, is to verify with the opposing side of your echo chamber first, in the age of biased corporate media. We’re easy to jump to conclusions these days, but I find that the aggressors are usually eager to out themselves if queried.

If you can not discern the difference between who the bully is and who is being bullied in a given context, and need to make it about age instead, that’s probably worth some internal reflection time.