A secret group of primarily male French journalists have been accused of coordinating a sprawling, yearslong marketing campaign of harassment abusing ladies writers, feminist activists, folks of coloration, and LGBT folks.
The group, Ligue du LOL, or LOL League, has been working for a few decade. Thus far, three journalists have been suspended, one has resigned, and one has been fired because the accusations have been made public on-line. Individuals working at 4 of France’s largest information shops have been implicated.
The LOL League began as a Fb group in 2009 by journalist Vincent Glad, who now works at certainly one of France’s largest newspapers, Libération. The group operated as a shitposting area for folks in French journalism and promoting who have been common on Twitter.
The present controversy began when Slate France journalist Thomas Messias tweeted cryptically final week a few “mannequin reporter” who “used to have enjoyable in a pack of feminist stalkers.”
The existence of the LOL League has been a rumor inside French media since its begin, and plenty of younger journalists in France instantly understood Messias’s tweet was in regards to the group.
Messias’s tweet was quoted by Libération journalist and LOL League member Alexandre Hervaud, who sarcastically known as it a “courageous subtweet” and mentioned he wasn’t certain whom Messias was speaking about. Then one other Twitter consumer, @IrisKV, requested Hervaud immediately about harassing her. Her tweets have been the primary latest point out of LOL League. All the pieces appears to have kicked off from right here.
Libération then printed a chunk on its fact-checking vertical investigating the scale and affect of the group. The piece was titled “Has the LOL League actually existed and harassed feminists on social networks?” and it has been broadly criticized since going dwell final week. Glamour France known as the piece “an aberration.” Some believed the piece was downplaying the affect of the group.
“CheckNews feels that the critics towards its textual content are unfair, since we have been the primary outlet in France to truly write about this group,” Jacques Pezet, a journalist for CheckNews informed BuzzFeed Information. “After all, this appeared within the CheckNews web page, which does loads of fact-checking, however by no means, did we determine to see this investigation as a ‘debunking’ of a hoax or a faux information.”
By Friday, the #ligueduLOL hashtag was trending all through France.
A whole bunch of testimonies from victims who say they have been focused by the group flooded Twitter all weekend. Slate France contributor Lucile Bellan accused them of years of systemic harassment that undermined her confidence as a journalist. A French advertising supervisor named Benjamin LeReilly wrote a Medium piece accusing them of anti-gay and anti-feminist harassment that began eight years in the past and has gone on for years.
Journalist Melanie Wanga tweeted that she was chased off Twitter by the LOL League in 2013. She described an internal circle of LOL League members surrounded by “cool ladies” in French media who protected them and helped them fake to be liberal and progressive in public.
A blogger named Capucine Piot tweeted that usually when the LOL League focused somebody for harassment and intimidation, it will kick off a wave of abuse from Twitter customers who weren’t immediately related to the group.
One of many extra critical accusations towards the group was leveled by a videographer named Florence Porcel, who claims one of many LOL League members known as her pretending to be the editor-in-chief of a “distinguished” information program in France. The LOL League member interviewed her for a faux place after which posted the audio on Soundcloud.
David Doucet, the editor of Les Inrocks, a well-liked French cultural journal, admitted that he had been the one behind the faux interview, writing in a press release that he had left the group six years in the past and did not perceive on the time the extent of the trauma he had prompted her.
Presently, the principle shops implicated are all liberal and left-leaning: Libération, Les Inrocks, Slate France, and Télérama. Glad, the founding father of the LOL League, wrote in a press release on Twitter that the group was “a monster that he had misplaced management of” and apologized for his involvement. He was suspended this week from the journal he is at present writing for. Doucet was additionally suspended from Les Inrocks as a precautionary measure.
Because the scandal has grown over the weekend, personal sexist teams just like the LOL League have been outed. Comparable teams have been revealed to have been working at Vice France and HuffPost France.
Bellan, the Slate France contributor who has since come ahead about her years of abuse by the LOL League, printed a chunk this week about her expertise watching LOL League member Christophe Carron grow to be the editor of Slate France in 2017.
Bellan in her piece writes that Carron turning into editor made her worry for the column she was engaged on on the time.
“Through the years, the LOL League has grow to be a terrifying type of hydra,” she wrote. “If we determined to by no means collaborate with individuals who had been related to all of this, it will have been simpler to simply change jobs.”