BLACK VOICES

DeRay Mckesson Has Blocked 19,000 Haters 'One At A Time'

Twitter trolls have bombarded Mckesson with death threats and racist messages

There's only one way for Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson to stop the unending stream of death threats, racial slurs and other vitriol trolls bombard him with on social media. Block them -- which he did to 19,000 people on Twitter. How? "One at a time," Mckesson said Wednesday at tech blog Recode's annual conference. 

Mckesson was speaking with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Recode's Peter Kafka as he described receiving the insulting and threatening messages. 

"That's not fun to experience," said Mckesson, who gained prominence during 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri and launched an unsuccessful campaign for mayor of Baltimore this year. 

Twitter is "a reflection of the world," Dorsey said, and at times it "isn't positive."

Still, Mckesson maintains a prolific output on Twitter, where has 367,000 followers. It's a powerful tool for "telling the truth in public," he said. 

"If it were not for platforms like Twitter, Missouri would have convinced you that we didn't exist," Mckesson said about the Black Lives Matter movement and protests, which largely played out on social media.

During the Ferguson protests, Mckesson met Dorsey and the two became friends. Mckesson described joining Dorsey's family on Christmas that year. 

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