If you think that teenagers are only good for playing videos games, passing notes in class and copping an attitude with their parents, than you are so wrong. A 16-year-old Canadian girl known as “Julia” single-handedly took down Milo Yiannopoulos. How did she do it? By doing what millennials and post-millennials do best...tweeting.
Milo Yiannopoulos is a British public speaker, media personality, and now former senior editor for Breitbart News. He has been the center of controversy due to his ultra-conservative views and his influence on the alt-right movement. Many have tried to take him down and have failed. But this 16-year-old was successful.
Julia’s identity has not been revealed for her safety. She describes herself as “very socially liberal." She is Canadian, but she follows American politics closely. She is not a Trump supporter, and is particularly alarmed by the rise of people like Yiannopoulos.
When Julia heard that Yiannopoulos was asked to speak at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), she was appalled. She couldn’t believe that the conservative movement would support a bigot like Yiannopoulos. Her mom wrote to Vox and explained that their family is “dismayed by reactionaries taking over the conservative movement and especially the alt-right, a movement that Yiannopoulos had become a leader for through his provocative, extreme work at Breitbart.”
So we know that he is openly anti-anything that is different from him, but his controversy goes so much deeper than that. Julia remembered hearing Yiannopoulos speak on a podcast last year called Drunken Peasants. In the interview, Yiannopoulos speaks about pedophilia and justifies certain instances where an older man having sex with a 13-year-old may be okay.
So when is pedophilia okay? There is only one answer to this question and it’s: NEVER. In the interview he responds to a video by YouTube pundit Kevin Logan, where Logan calls him a hypocrite and a pedofile protector.
In the Drunken Peasants interview, Yiannopoulos defends the idea of “13-year-olds” having sex with “older men.” He argues that that child molestation provided a “sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship” for teenagers. She remembered hearing the interview and it stuck with her.
She found the July 2016 clip and decided to tweet it out to her small Twitter Following. She knew that she needed to go big or go home, so she contacted a conservative outlet to help circulate the story in hopes to reach a wider audience. She went conservative, knowing that a liberal outlet would not be taken seriously by CPAC followers.
She contacted the conservative blog, The Reagan Battalion, and they also tweeted out the video. “I thought it would only get, like, 200 retweets,” Julia told Vox. “I had no idea that it would blow up to the extent that it did.” In the end, the video was retweeted thousands of times.
News of the interview resulted in the CPAC canceling Yiannopoulos’s speech. He also lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster and he resigned from Breitbart. When the ultra-conservative website Breitbart doesn’t want you, you know it’s bad.
“I see Milo as this embodiment of the awfulness you see over the past few years with the general tilt of millennial conservatism,” said Julia. “It’s diverged from this traditional conservatism so much. You’ve seen it essentially become full of awfulness and all about attacking the left and not about actual principles. It has nothing to do with conservative ideology so much as it has with opposing the leftists, SJWs (Social Justice Warriors), and so on and so forth.”
So it looks like one person really can make a difference. No matter how big or how small. No matter how young or how old. Whether you live in the United States or Canada, you can create change and sometimes you can do it with one simple tweet.