Sleeping Giants Founder Is Celebrated San Fran Ad Man

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A conservative news organization reported this week that it had determined the identity of a man behind the social media push to drive advertisers away from Breitbart.

According to the Daily Caller News Foundation investigation, the Sleeping Giants founder is an advertising copywriter based in California.

Matt Rivitz has maintained a respected career in his field and branched out to serve as the anonymous driving force behind the powerful online movement that began to grow last year.

As part of his campaign, Sleeping Giants has been credited with driving many of the roughly 9 in 10 advertisers who fled the controversial online media platform over a matter of weeks beginning in October.

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Though the Sleeping Giants effort initially focused specifically on Breitbart, it soon grew to include other right-leaning outlets including the Fox News Channel.

Earlier this year, the group spoke out in favor of a boycott targeting “The Ingraham Angle” host Laura Ingraham after she posted a tweet about David Hogg, a Parkland High School shooting survivor who has since become an outspoken gun-control advocate.

While there has been significant speculation regarding the identity of the activist group’s founder, the Daily Caller noted that several signs pointing to Rivitz were available all along.

A group spokesperson narrowed down the possibilities to someone who was employed in the marketing industry. In an interview with Mother Jones, Rivitz himself offered another hint.

Do you think Sleeping Giants will continue its effort to influence advertisers?

Explaining that his motivation came from something he learned about the comparatively fast response of businesses on social media, the story meshed with an account he posted to his own Twitter account several months earlier.

Though the interviewer kept Rivitz’s identity under wraps, he recalled the experience he had at an Ikea store using similar language as in his October 2016 tweet.

“Companies have boned up their customer service on Twitter,” he said. “I personally was at Ikea once — and this is kind of where the whole think came from — I was waiting for, like, two hours for some shelves.”

In person and on the phone, he said customers are used to waiting, but when sent a tweet, “within two minutes they wrote back, ‘Hey, how can we help you?'”

He previously called Ikea “the worst” in his tweet, complaining that he had “(b)een here for two hours to pick up one thing.”

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A short time later, archives from his now-deleted account reveal an Ikea representative appeared to have reached out to address his concern.

One of his wife’s friends confirmed that the Sleeping Giants founder was married to a graduate of St. Paul Academy and Summit School.

Though not confirmed by the school, that information could match his wife, Blythe Lang, follows the school online and lists St. Paul, Minnesota, as her hometown. Lang also liked a social media post from another San Francisco-area marketing professional’s post about the group.

In DeeAnn Budney’s tweet, she even included a postscript that read, “Nice idea, Matt!”

Rivitz did not confirm his identity as the founder of Sleeping Giants for the initial Daily Caller article, but an update indicates he has since acknowledged the accuracy of the report.

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Birthplace
Virginia
Nationality
American
Honors/Awards
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Education
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Location
Arizona
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment




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