Twitter Activism and why it is harmful and is not useful.

The last few days of on Twitter have been some of the worst I’ve ever seen and that’s saying a lot given how bad the app can really be. So what started this? Well let’s go back to Sunday March 27th. If you have been on the internet the last couple days chances are you have heard about the situation about Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars. I’m not going to do a in depth analysis on the whole situation as that’s not what this piece is going to focus on but I’ll give a quick rundown. Chris Rock is about to present best documentary, he makes a joke about Jada Smith and calls her G.I. Jane when Jada has Alopecia (it’s unclear if he knew in advance or not). Will Smith gets up, slaps him in the face and says “leave my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth”. A little after the Oscars end the Academy announces that they are going to have an “investigation” on if Will Smith will lose his Oscar or not. People were mad about this because to quote some people “this is the same academy that’s awarded rapists, racists and pedophiles and now they want to take action over a slap?” It’s also worth noting that Chris Rock declined to press charges against Will Smith.

So what does any of this have to do with Twitter activism well ever since the academy made their announcement some celebrities started taking sides either calling out Will Smith or Chris Rock, then people would proceed to show either racist, misogynistic, ableist and so on behavior said celebrity did. At first it was perfectly fair Alec Baldwin, OJ Simpson (yes you read that right) and Jim Carey who have done very garbage things that are well documented were among a few that got called out. Which is perfectly fine, as long as you have sources to back up your claims it’s all fair game…unfortunately what started out as something that meant well got completely hijacked by people who wanted to take advantage of the situation.

For starters people accused Euphoira Star Maude Apatow of racism because of a tweet she wrote back in 2011 when she was just 12/13 years old, where she says “I’m at that age where everything you say is either incredibly racist or extremely inappropriate” she later clarified what she meant “I meant that everyone at my age was terrible!!!” And pretty much most people let the situation go, but why was she brought into this? Because Judd Apatow said something incredibly ridiculous about how Will Smith could have “killed” Chris Rock with a slap, so I guess some idiots thought Maude must be guilty as well.

I wish this is where the story ends but so many other celebrities who didn’t say a thing against Will Smith got brought into it such as Andrew Garfield who was called out for the massive crime of working on a film with Mel Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge), Sydney Sweeney and Alex Demie were accused of being pedophiles because Sweeney was in Everything Sucks and Demie being in Mid90s and Robert Pattinson being accused of saying the n slur (while he did say it there was a whole lot of context missing oh yeah and it was from 2010).

So with that out of the way let’s talk why Twitter Activism is so harmful, well for starters it minimizes actual cases of pedophilia for example. Let me take Sydney Sweeney for example, with the way idiots on Twitter were discussing about her it would give you the impression that she actually did something terrible….but no it was acting for a show that nobody ever talks about, it’s the same case with Alexa Demie although Mid90s is much more well known than Everything Sucks. Heck Mid90s isn’t even that old it’s a film from 2018 directed by Jonah Hill. And the film didn’t try to hide the fact that it wasn’t controversial it wanted to be the next Larry Clarke‘s 1995 controversial film “Kids”. Heck this is almost the exact same thing when people complained about Licorice Pizza only that Alana Haim was not called a pedophile (at least from what I’ve seen). This might be a hot take for some but acting does not mean your doing it in real life, Alexa Demie and Sydney Sweeney are not pedophiles and it’s disgusting that people are trying to minimize the effect of it. Pedophilia isn’t something to joke around about it, it’s a serious and dangerous effect that damages kids well into adulthood. And the fact you have some numbskulls on Twitter calling actresses pedophiles for acting sickens me and is a slap in the face to victims.

And it’s not just pedophilia people are reducing to for brownie points, Robert Pattinson was apparently this violent racist all because of one clear as day misleading screenshot that people took at face value. Quickly after however it was proven that while Pattinson did say it there was a ton of context missing and the interview was done in…..2010. Something people conveniently forgot to mention, we have actual bigots running around twitter who run their mouth daily but I guess this was somehow more important. It also doesn’t help that this was brought up entirely with bad faith, all because this person was salty that Ben Affleck (which is hilarious because Affleck has sexual misconduct accusations) isn’t Batman anymore. So no Pattinson is not a violent racist, should he address it? Probably? But people took this way out of proportion and as usual did very little research before commenting.

Regarding Andrew Garfield’s case this is going to be another hot take for some but I think guilt by association sets a very bad precedent, think about it say you were friends with someone who turned out to be a complete and total asshole and even though you didn’t do anything and you are the nicest person in the world. People want to have nothing to do with you, do you think that’s fair? If you answered no why would you want to set a dangerous example? For some quick internet clout that you will lose in a day because people will realize how idiotic this is?

I want to be clear that I am all for combating hate, I like to think I do a pretty decent job of calling it out when I see it. I think we as a society have work to do when it comes racism, ableism, transphobia, homophobia, antisemitism and so on. But this is definitely not how we are going to accomplish it, we can’t just throw around these terms like candy it minimizes actual situations I know I bring this situation up a lot but it fits my point here. The whole Sia situation with her ableist film Music is a prime example of everyone being on the same page and actually combating hate, so that tells me people are capable of combating hate. There’s just a lot of people on Twitter who don’t care about accountability and will call the most minor stuff that either is completely out of context, lies or just misinformation. I’ll end this here by saying PLEASE do research before you make a claim, check and see if posts you see are accurate and aren’t random screenshots from some obscure website that aren’t reliable. And if you truly want to help victims of hate please stop minimizing words and expecting brownie points for doing less than the bare minimum.

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