Tweets trolling Amber Heard and her supporters during and after the highly publicized defamation trial against Johnny Depp led to “one of the worst cases of cyberbullying and online stalking by a host of Twitter accounts,” according to a report Monday from Bot Sentinel, a company that studies Online disinformation and harassment campaigns on social media.
The nonpartisan group Bot Sentinel studied more than 14,000 tweets using the hashtags #AmberHeardIsAnAbuser, #AmberHeardLsAnAbuser, #AmberHeardIsALiar, and #AmberHeardLsALiar — and noted that “a deliberate misspelling demonstrates a calculated effort to manipulate trends”.
There were 627 accounts dedicated to tweeting “exclusively” about Heard and her supporters.
More than 24% of accounts that tweet and use negative hashtags about Heard have been created in the past seven months; The Bot Sentinel reports that “the average for other subjects is 8.6%.”
I heard and the women who tweeted their support for it were “relentlessly attacked”, often in “vulgar and menacing” language; The Bot Sentinel has detailed a case in which someone created a fake account using photos of a deceased child of Heard supporters to attack them, and also harassed that person’s family members.
Boot Sentinel said Trolls who attacked Heard and her supporters recently turned their negative attention to Evan Rachel Wood, who has accused Marilyn Manson of sexual assault, and Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide to Mark Meadows who recently testified during a January 6 public hearing.
The Bot Sentinel included a disclaimer in its report that the Heard team contacted the group in 2020 to study their social media activity, which was separate from their study of the Heard Depp case, which began in June.
“What we observed was one of the worst cases of cyber-bullying and online stalking by a range of Twitter accounts we’ve ever seen,” Bot Sentinel wrote in its report. “It is our view that Twitter has not done enough to mitigate platform manipulation nor has it done enough to stop targeted abuse and harassment.” The Bot Sentinel said it gave Twitter a copy of its report before it was published.
Deep Heard was charged with defamation in 2018 Washington Post An editorial described herself as a “public victim of domestic violence”. The jury found that Heard had slandered Depp, and received $10.4 million. The jury also decided that Depp slandered Heard, and she received $2 million. The nearly six-week television trial drew attention on social media. In addition to Twitter, TikTok became a hotbed for discussion of the issue, which seemed largely in favor of Depp. Vice reported in May that conservative media outlet The Daily Wire spent between $35,000 and $47,000 promoting articles about the experiment, which had a “clear bias against Heard” on Instagram and Facebook, where it is one of the most popular publishers. In June, shortly after the trial ended, the hashtag #JusticeForJohnnyDepp on TikTok had 20.4 billion views, compared to 88.6 million from #JusticeForAmberHeard. Heard said on the site today appear after judgment. Depp’s lawyers denied that social media had an influence on the ruling, and said allegations of a coordinated campaign set up on Depp’s behalf were “categorically false.”
Report concluded an online campaign of “widespread targeted harassment” against Amber Heard supporters (CBS News)
Amber Heard says she doesn’t “blame” jurors for siding with Johnny Depp – but says the trial was not “fair” (Forbes)
Johnny Depp’s lawyers do not believe the ruling will affect the #MeToo movement (Forbes)