Hafsa Quraishi | KERA News

Hafsa Quraishi

Malak Silmi was taking her first real journalism class last January when her professor said something that changed her life: Watch what you post on social media because it might just come back to bite you.

Silmi's Twitter account at the time was one she'd had since she was 14. It was a public profile with her content ranging from memes and status updates to opinions on foreign policy. But she decided something had to change if she wanted to be taken seriously as a journalist. So, she deactivated it.

The hashtag #AbledsAreWeird started with a childhood memory that occurred to writer and disability rights activist Imani Barbarin: She was in her community swimming pool when a man threw her crutch into the pool to "help her swim." Naturally, the crutch sank, and she had to fetch it from under water.