- Sleeping Giants launched boycott campaigns against Breitbart and other right-wing voices.
- The group’s founder took steps to protect his anonymity.
- The Daily Caller News Foundation has revealed his identity.
The founder of Sleeping Giants, a left-wing activist group that has targeted right-wing voices with boycott campaigns, has managed to keep his identity a secret, even as his own group has become a major political player among liberals. Until now.
Sleeping Giants was founded by Matt Rivitz, an award-winning ad copywriter based in San Francisco, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation has found.
Following this article’s publication, Rivitz confirmed that he founded Sleeping Giants.
The group’s original stated goal was to cripple Breitbart, the pro-Trump website whose former chairman, Steve Bannon, worked in the White House as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist.
To accomplish that goal, Sleeping Giants has waged an intense campaign to pressure Breitbart’s advertisers into pulling their ads from the website. It’s worked pretty much as designed.
Breitbart lost 90 percent of its advertisers over the span of two months in 2017. Sleeping Giants has both maintained its pressure on Breitbart’s remaining advertisers and expanded its focus.
Sleeping Giants began pressuring investors in October 2017 in Renaissance Technologies — a successful hedge fund — to pull their investments because the company’s CEO, conservative billionaire Robert Mercer, had a financial stake in Breitbart. Less than two weeks later, Mercer sold his stake in Breitbart and stepped down from the hedge fund.
Sleeping Giants also boosted Parkland student David Hogg and Media Matters’ boycott of Fox News host Laura Ingraham in March over a tweet she sent about Hogg. Rivitz’ group posted the name, position and email address of a Hulu vice president and encouraged its tens of thousands of followers to email her and demand that the streaming website boycott Ingraham’s show.
But even as Sleeping Giants became a major political player — described by The Washington Post as “the mysterious group that’s picking Breitbart apart, one tweet at a time” — the person who launched the group managed to remain anonymous.