A Bernie Sanders delegate wearing tape that said “Silenced” was exposed by a fellow delegate for taking advantage of divisions on the convention floor to increase her presence on social media.
Boos from Sanders delegates quickly became a widely reported story as the Democratic convention was opened on Monday. And images of delegates wearing tape over their mouths were widely circulated in reports and on social media.
PEOPLE WHO TAPE THEIR MOUTHS SHUT WITH “SILENCED” WRITTEN ON IT ARE MASOCHISTS pic.twitter.com/AwuO9GH7hU
— JOSH IS A MESS (@JoshLeCash) July 25, 2016
One Wisconsin delegate, Angie Aker, refused to explain the protest to Politico’s Julie Ioffe and instead promoted a Facebook post reading: “The DNC is threatening that they might pull my credentials if I don’t take this off… They want to truly silence me. They don’t even want me to have this much free speech.”
But a fellow Sanders supporter and the leader of the Wisconsin delegation, Peter Rickman, rolled his eyes when he was asked about Aker.
“She runs Upworthy,” Rickman explained, questioning Aker’s motives. “Soon someone is going to put two and two together that she’s just doing this to get personal attention.”
According to Aker’s About.Me page, she is the Sponsored Sections Manager at Upworthy, a site specializing in viral content.
“If you’re content reaching the same audience over and over, I’m not the person you should talk to,” she explains in her bio. “If you’re brave enough to do what works to reach the general public and move them on your issue, then I’m your gal.”
In a statement to Raw Story, Aker said that her job title had changed at Upworthy, but she defended using divisions at the convention to increase her social media presence.
“My work is very separate from my political life,” she told Raw Story. “Do I want attention? Hell yes I want our message to get attention — we aren’t on board. The attempt to strong arm us into unity isn’t working.”