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This past March, Twitter officially became a teenager, turning 13 years old. Though the site has become an integral part of how people communicate today, to say that the tech giant is having mood swings is a massive understatement.
There has been a worrying behavioural trend that Twitter—or rather, its users—continue to exhibit. No one is prone to it, and it could happen to anyone at any time. From out of the black and into the blue, the Twitter mob, suddenly, comes after you.
Those who champion progressive ideas have found a new way to deplatform. Aimlessly, and without regard, these users have started to unearth old tweets of celebrities and public figures, using their own words against them.
The problem is that these tweets are often taken out of context, are frequently used to mischaracterize, and are usually a product of their time, when political correctness had not fully manifested across society. None of that matters to the virtuous warriors on Twitter.
The more it happens, the worse things get. And unfortunately for everyone, it’s happening more and more frequently. There are several examples, but let’s narrow in three key cases.
Earlier this year, Kevin Hart was penned to host the biggest night in cinema, the 91st annual Oscar awards. Kevin Hart—who started his career as a comedian and after years of grinding became a cinema darling of family-flicks and rated-R comedies alike—would have become the fifth ever African-American to host the Oscars.
Alas, that gig never came to fruition for our friend Kevin. You see, Kevin Hart made the mistake of making a joke in 2011 about how he’d stop his son from playing with dolls, because it’s “gay.”
This tweet, along with others of a similar tone in which Hart characterizes “unmanly” behaviour as “gay” or “faggy,” got Hart is major, major trouble. To the point where he had to step down from hosting the Oscars.
The mob was vicious, and the media unrelenting. According to NoHomophobes.com, a website dedicated to tracking the overall use of words such as “faggot” on Twitter, “fag” and words of the like were a part of common parlance until around 2016, when a major shift in the culture decided that such homophobic language was dated. Hart was a victim of being a comedian thriving in the early 2000’s. There’s no other way to put it.
The second case study will delve into the curious case of James Gunn. Gunn, who directed the Guardians of the Galaxy film series, was eventually deplatformed and eventually fired after Mike Cernovich unearthed some very crude jokes involving sexual assault.
This goes to show that it’s not just the social justice left that’s capable of going after others. Sometimes, it’s the right-wing brigade, the anti-snowflakes who do the damage.
Gunn’s tweets, which focused mostly on either raping or being raped, got Gunn into a world of hurt. Gun eventually went on to apologize, in which he characterizes himself as a provocateur.
In an odd twist, Gunn was eventually re-hired for his part as director in the third installment of the Guardians of the Galaxy series. It could have been partly thanks to the the fact that liberals take care of this own better than conservatives, but Gunn was eventually welcomed back by Disney with open arms.
Thirdly, and most recently, is the tragedy surrounding Kyle Kashuv. Kashuv, a survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School massacre in 2018, gained widespread media coverage after becoming the anti-David Hogg, voicing his pro-gun views. The term “hot take” may be an understatement Kashuv’s case, as the backlash received from media outlets was enough to make the kid’s head spin.
Things seemed on the up-and-up for Kashuv, who had just been accepted into one of the world’s most prestigious universities. Sadly for Kashuv, his Harvard dreams were short-lived, as racist tweets of his were unearthed by Twitter activists, eventually causing Harvard to rescind their admission.
The tweets weren’t pretty. For the most part, it was a lot of N-bombs, and pointless teenage rebellion manifested in harsh, unacceptable language. This highlights a problem that exists in our culture.
When mainstream culture is hyper-focused on politeness, anti-racism, and acceptance, the only way real way for the angst that exists within teenagers is for them to be online hyper-offensive meanies who go out of their way to say racist and offensive things.
Above our head is the sword of Damocles. But in this case, rather than a dagger dangling above our head by a single hair, are our own words. Words that you may have said, but may not have even meant. Words that can be plucked out of context, and used against you.
How do we avoid this? Are we to speak in a way that is impossible to be taken out of context? Are we to tweet in a way that cannot age poorly? Are we to rebel in a way that is neutered and politically correct?
The rebellious spirit in young people is as old as man himself. Writings have existed since ancient times in which great thinkers point to the younger generation as a sign of what bad is to come.
Teens rebel. Even when all is well. If we are going to crucify someone for being “edgy,” we lose part of what makes us human, and we lose an integral part of growing up.