this is "nightline." >> tonight, the giant troll. he's the world's most infamous internet agitator, spewing sexism at celebrities like amy schumer and leslie jones, inspiring hate online. so why is this bully casting himself as the hero? >> america needs more trolling because trolls are getting people to tell the truth these days. >> what finally got him banned from twitter. and -- ♪ give it to me i'm worth it >> even in the face of online abuse, being a celebrity is still worth it. a fifth harmony singer and olympic gymnast gabby douglas triumphed over their internet insults. and one writer comes face to face with his troll. plus, a little taste of a massive new youtube trend.
good evening. thanks for joining us. tonight we confront the dark underbelly of social media. beyond the cat videos and all those birthday shoutouts an alarming number of users are exploiting their platforms to spread hate. one self-pro claimed internet troll mino yianopolous tells us he's proud. even after being banned for his taunting of "ghostbusters" star leslie jones. he talked to terry more nn london. >> reporter: what began as a standard hollywood production. >> now there are sightings all over the city. >> reporter: a remake of the beloved 1984 movie "ghostbusters." >> get out of my friend, ghost! >> reporter: this time with an all-female cast. >> let's go. >> oh, did you -- >> i'll let you. >> reporter: one of the stars, leslie jones. but within a few days of the movie's release leslie jones was subjected to incredibly vicious attacks on twitter.
many of the attacks known as trolling came from anonymous users, but not all of them. >> are you a troll? >> of course. >> what is trolling? how do you look at it? >> i like to think of myself as a virtuous troll. i'm doing god's work. >> reporter: milo ionnopolous also known as nero joined in the tormenting of jones calling her a man on twitter to his 350,000-plus followers. >> in the twitter storm you called her a dude. if leslie jones were right here would you say you look like a dude? >> yeah, probably. >> you would say that to her. >> i probably would. >> then you're an idiot really. >> reporter: milo, as everyone calls him, is one of the famous or infamous trolls on the internet. he's an editor at breitbart, the ultra conservative news website. he accused jones of playing the victim and later called her barely literate. >> i didn't say anything i don't believe but of course i do say things in a way that is going to elicit a response from people. >> reporter: jones detailed the
abusive words and yijds she was receiving and the racist and misogynistic slurs against her that even compared her to an a a. >> oh, my god. >> you or me, a human being with feelings -- >> of course she is. but this idea that celebrities are these fragile wallflowers, give me a break. you and i both know people in hollywood -- >> because she acted in a movie you rallied people -- >> sitting at home crying into their iphones. >> why didn't you stand up as people called her ape, gorilla, and worse and say guys, this is good to do but not racism -- >> why should i have to police other people -- >> why not stand up -- >> i'm responsible for what i say. i'm perfectly happy to tell you i think that stuff is gis gusting. >> sow had no obligation to your 350,000 followers who are descending on this movie -- >> i'm sorry for being popular but i am not responsible for what 350,000 people on the internet say. i'm responsible for what i say. do you go after selena gomez when her fans send death threats to justin bieber? no. do you go after beyonce when her
fans go after taylor swift? no. >> the 48-year-old actress is a regular on "saturday night live." >> nobody writes love letters anymore. >> they don't write love letters? >> well, maybe you do, you sexy creamsicle. just want to chomp all the orange off and get to the cream. [ laughter ] >> reporter: "ghostbusters" is her first starring role in a major film. >> the power compels you! >> ow. >> reporter: leslie jones is just one target of the self-proclaimed troll. milo makes a career sparking outrage, spraying vitriol at many and helping to legitimize a movement of negativity growing on the internet. one of his hot topics? >> when they wanted to have me removed from pershing square, a public space in the center of los angeles. >> reporter: is the female physique. >> you're going to go after somebody's body? >> yeah. >> to denigrate their ideas? what grade are you in? seriously. >> no, no, no. >> are you a 13-year-old? >> no, no, no. absolutely i will.
and i'll tell you why. >> because somebody doesn't have a weight that you think is proper? that's revolting. >> no, it's not revolting. >> yes, it is. >> i'll tell you what's revolting is the body positivity movement. this idea that you can tell women they'll be healthy at any size. why? because it tells women that you can be fat and you can be unattractive and you'll be happy anyway. that's a lie. >> feminists are another target. >> i would rather a healthier equitable arrangement existed between the sexes rather than the sort of vindictive feminism that seems to exist now. and by the way, most people agree with me. fewer than 1 in 5 women in america describe themselves as a feminist because they see what i see. >> there seemed to be no limits, no holds barred for the dropout from cambridge university in england, sometime poet, tech journalist. donald trump supporter, gay catholic and entrepreneur. >> these pathological sociopathic feminist liars in popular culture are all -- it is insisted upon us that we all pay
o'basance to the cult of lena dunham and amy schumer. we're all expected to pretend we like them. well, we don't. >> he's talking about a best-selling author and a-list movie star who also happens to have her own hit tv series. "inside amy schumer." >> amy? >> yeah. you're at the right house. 63 supermodel lane. get in here, you life saver. >> i like amy schumer. she's funny. >> nobody likes her. >> she makes me laugh. a lot. >> you must have very low standards for comedy. not very much make makes me laugh from amy schumer. these are terrible talentless people that we are instructed we must like. the sort of subtext is if you don't like them you're some kind of bigot somehow. >> milo declares himself a provocateur. >> i don't entirely believe in lesbians. >> a prankster. and that no one should be upset by his so-called antics. >> if i'm occasionally mean, it's normally because they deserve it. >> with my name calling and with my provocation and with my bad manners i think actually america's had enough of nice manners. if my rudeness creates
conversation, my rudeness provokes people into fall seiko what a monster blah, blah, blah and then 20% people start talking about what i was actually saying, i will consider my career to have been a terrific success. >> reporter: perhaps the targeting of leslie jones just contributes to his idea of worldwide success. >> in the twitter storm that happened you called her a dude. >> i said there's a hot black dude in the movie. she looks like a man. i am entitled to say that i think a celebrity looks weird. >> you think that's fair comment and a decent -- >> of course fair comment. that's the definition of fair comment. if you don't like it don't follow me on twitter. >> reporter: milo yiannopoulos represents the tip of the iceberg in a rising tide of hate and abuse on social media, one he clearly sees as a noble purpose. >> trolling is very important. america needs more trolling. because trolls are the only people who at the time truth these days. >> reporter: many join him on this crusade. up next, a fifth harmony
star and olympian gabby douglas also targeted with online insults. and one woman fighting back against her internet troll. i'm claudine and i quit smoking with chantix. by the time i was 30, i said "that's it, i'm a smoker for life." i wanted to be a non-smoker and i did it thanks to chantix. along with support, chantix (varenicline) is proven to help people quit smoking. chantix reduced my urge to smoke some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. some had seizures while taking chantix. if you have any of these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of mental health problems, which could get worse or of seizures. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. if you have these, stop chantix and call your doctor right away as some can be life-threatening. tell your doctor if you have heart or blood vessel problems, or develop new or worse symptoms. get medical help right away if you have symptoms of a heart attack or stroke. decrease alcohol use while taking chantix. use caution when driving or operating machinery.
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you know, milo yiannopoulos may be the most infamous internet troll but he is far from the only one. the disturbing trend of online harassment is escalating. but the victims, including celebrities and ordinary people, are beginning to fight back. once again abc's terry moran. ♪ i know you're always on the night shift ♪ >> reporter: even the star behind the summer hit "work from
home" has fallen victim to internet trolls. melani corde of the group fifth harmony. she became a victim of trolling after she appeared to stall in an interview before describing her bandmate as quirky. which should thought was a snub. >> quirky? >> yeah, very quirky. cute. >> reporter: the attacks were enough to drive her to shut down her twitter account. "i've been racially cyberbullied with tweets and pictures so horrific and racially charged that i can't subject myself any longer to the hate." that's what actress leslie jones did too, temporarily abandoning her twitter account after the vicious online attacks in july. "it's just too much. it shouldn't be like this. so hurt right now." harassment online is more often directed at women than men. a 2014 study showed that more than 1 in 4 women online had experienced stalking on the
internet. olympic gymnast gabby douglas faced brutal twitter attacks after she didn't put her hand over her heart at the medal ceremony when the u.s. team won gold. douglas said the trolling was "really hurtful." >> i think what we consider making fun in a comments section or a facebook page is moving very quickly and very far to something that is pretty mean. >> reporter: helping to bring the issue to the fore is this month's "time" magazine cover, "why we're losing the internet to the culture of hate." written by joel stein, who has close to a million twitter followers himself and like so many online and on social media, he's gotten his share of mean tweets. >> i've written columns before that really angered large sections of the american population. they really went after me and posted my address and told people to come to my house. >> reporter: stein became concerned when a user with the handle born feral, aka mega
megan kester, repeatedly threatened to kick his ass. >> he writes this column for the los angeles magazine called intolerable foodie that is the most out of touch thing i could imagine that rankles my chain. that's why i started -- i found it really humorous to just continuously threaten him with violence. >> reporter: stein decided to track her down and invited her to lunch. >> i saw her standing outside in her very cool spy t-shirt and saw that she was even less threatening than i thought she'd be. >> yeah. >> but the e-mails were so nice that i knew by then this was going to be good. >> i always assumed we would get along in some regard. >> you did? >> yeah. >> reporter: the trolling against stein was relatively minor. >> i think as a white dude i'm in a different situation than if i were a woman or person of color who felt bodily threatened in my life. >> this is not a consequence-free hobby. >> reporter: lindy west, a performer and author, has often been a target for trolls for
voicing her feminist views. >> thanks to a glut of cultural messaging, i knew very clearly what i was not. small, thin, pretty, girlish. but there was precious little media telling me what i was, what i could be. >> please welcome jezebel staff writer lindy west, everybody. lindy west. >> reporter: in 2013 she took part in a debate on fx about the role of rape jokes in stand-up comedy. >> everybody knows the difference -- reasonable people can sense when you're trying to be funny. >> everything has repercussions. what i'm talking about is the kind of repercussion where you choose to say something that like traumatizes a person who's already been victimized. >> reporter: after the show was posted on youtube, attacks against her reached a fever pitch. >> so this buzzing in my phone just grew and grew and grew, and it was tweet after tweet after tweet, why does lindy west think she knows anything about rape, no one would ever want to rape her, she's too fat to rape. it was difficult emotionally as
a human being, that level of violent rage all funneled at you at once is frightening. >> reporter: but lindy west turned those hateful tweets on their heads. >> i printed out pages and pages and pages of the worst tweets and facebook comments that i'd gotten, and i just set up a camera in my living room, and i just read out loud. >> jabba has nothing to worry about. not even a prison escapee would rape her. it's funny that an unattractive girl won't get raped that makes her sad. so she eats. that's funny. >> this is not me being overemotional. this is a group of human beings writing these things down. the most vile, misogynist, violent, threatening things they can think of. >> reporter: she published the video online. this time to overwhelming support. >> the community feels very, very different to me. >> reporter: now leslie jones is back on twitter. there's been a wave of support for her including the hashtag
love for leslie. and when she reported milo yiannopoulos twitter suspended his account for violating their rules. saying in a statement today, "no one deserves to be subjected to targeted abuse online. we will continue to take action against accounts that are reported to us and which clearly violate our rules." >> you've been banned from twitter. you object to this. you want to get back on twitter, yes? >> yeah, i would like my account back. i think they should give it to me. >> well, they have a policy against abuse, harassment -- >> which they -- >> -- incitement -- >> which they deploy selectively and always in the direction of -- >> have you ever heard of a feminist being banned from twitter? >> do you think you have a right to a twitter feed? >> they're a private company. they can do what they want. >> random house. if you want a book of nazi tripe to random house and demanded they publish it they can turn it down. >> absolutely. >> twitter can turn down what
you -- >> but they should be honest with users. and say they have liberal politics. if you're too conservative or too funny you'll lose your account. >> twitter denies such censorship but the wave milo yiannopoulos is riding to fame is having a real impact turning life online into a living hell for some and ruining much of the fun for the rest of us. for "nightline" i'm terry moran in london. next, this new cooking trend is perfect for you if you're feeling a little hungry. a very little.
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portions small enough to fit on a fingertip. mini mac and cheese, petite pancakes, even itsy-bitsy bananas foster. >> here's our pots and pans. every tiny little cooking thing you can imagine. >> reporter: jay holzer, the series head of production, says the idea for the dainty dishes came from colleagues in japan, where the concept of kawaii, roughly translated to cute tiny thing, has turned similar segments into smash hits. >> they had shown us these videos of people making tiny food, tiny little clay things that look like food, and we were fascinated by it, and one day one of those guys sent us a package that contained a tiny pot, tiny pan, tiny knives, tiny forks, and then at the end of a shoot we just decided to break it out. somebody made a tiny hamburger. and now the series has been viewed a couple of hundred million times. >> fittingly, the show shoots on a dollhouse-size set. >> we have three cameras that kind of all huddle around this little stage filming our food
stylist. >> the stove heated by a tealight. >> little mini cheese grater works. all the cups, all the pots and pans, everything is a real working piece of propping. >> reporter: keeping that authenticity is one of the biggest challenges that come with cooking tiny. >> sourcing the ingredients. if we're using a pepper it has to look like an actual tiny pepper. we'll peel layers back until the onion looks the right size to fit in the scale of the world. >> reporter: but jay says the mesmerizing product is worth all the tediousness. >> there's a fascination with seeing a recipe made in such a ridiculous fashion. >> reporter: the next step for the series, thinking outside the kitchen. one of their latest episodes features a meal cooked on a miniature grill. >> a mini smoker. oddly, i'm ridiculously hungry. thanks for watching abc news. join us for "good morning america" tomorrow. and as always, we are online at abcnews.com and on our "nightline" facebook page. good night, america. mm.