Aneeka Hussain 24th January 2018
If it has become your everyday ritual to scroll through your Twitter timeline for hours on end, you’re not alone. It seems many celebrities are just the same. While most of us use Twitter to keep up with celebrities and news, it has also turned into a platform where celebrities have become the news.
Before we get started, it would be the ultimate faux pas to discuss Twitter idiocies without mentioning Donald Trump’s tweeting history. We’ve all tried to ignore him but he still manages to pop up on our timelines, from outcries and breakdowns, to retweeting anti-Muslim rhetoric. Despite complaints, Twitter refused to suspend Trump’s account after he retweeted videos from fake news site Britain First. Twitter’s justification was wanting to show all perspectives but this only served to spread fear and hatred.
So it came as a surprise after Rose McGowan’s account was suspended when she spoke out about the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations. The line between which voices are deemed important (or as Twitter likes to justify it,”newsworthy”) and which are trolls is becoming seriously blurred. The tweeting game is completely changing to one that you can only win if your voice generates the most buzz.
Entering Twitter territory requires extra caution because we live in a world where nothing ever disappears completely. It has become easier than ever to search for incriminating tweets. Those words that are specifically dug up from the past return at crucial times to haunt and forever define an individual.
We take a look at some of the worst.
Does anyone even talk about Azealia Banks’ music career anymore? Her Twitter beef is what most people end up remembering. One of the most talked about debacles is when she accused our boy Zayn Malik of copying her ideas in his music video for Like I Would.
She continued with a series of racist tweets which led to her performance at Rinse FM’s Born & Bred Festival being cancelled. Even though she currently does not have an account, she is not letting that stop her. Her Instagram has turned into her very own burnbook where the rants are never-ending.
It seems that Richard Dawkins (or the ultimate “Twitdiot”) has a reel of controversial tweets ready to unleash whenever he feels. We all need his guidance especially when it comes to rating how blameworthy the different types of rape are. The wise, old white man tells us that we absolutely must distinguish between “date rape” and “stranger rape at knifepoint”. Rape is not just bad in itself, according to his highly informed opinion.
It does not just stop here! The wise, old white man, who has done no research about Islam, must advise everyone on how to save Muslim women. It’s not like he just spews the same stereotypical nonsense.
We remember fondly the days when he was just a professor who wrote books about evolution.
Former baseball player Jose Canseco did not just tell all in his books, he continues to do the same on Twitter. In 2013, he was accused of rape and live-tweeted the police visit. He went to the extent of revealing all private information about the woman on Twitter.
Canseco certainly has a lot to say about sexual assault. Earlier this month, he tweeted a lengthy rant stating that women who complain are “just racist against ugly men”. NBC Sports California released a statement expressing its disagreement with his comments. His contract with them has ended and once again he is left trying to clear up his mess.
To put it simply, Lena Dunham is someone we all love to hate. You must be enthusiastically nodding in agreement and remembering the oh so many times she has messed up big time.
As the self-proclaimed spokesperson for women everywhere, she obviously had to give her two cents about whether Aurora Perrineau’s sexual assault claims about her friend Murray Miller were true. Understandably this raised alarm bells amongst many people. After receiving backlash, she deleted her tweets and immediately released a statement to apologise. This raises the question of how genuine this apology was when Dunham has a long list of robotic, easily churned out apologies at her disposal.
For someone who claims to represent “normal” women, these constant mishaps emphasise how out of touch with reality she is. She appears to wholeheartedly advocate for #girlpower and unity among women. Yet, when the time to support women actually comes, she completely backtracks. Particularly when it comes to supporting women of colour, her feminism is brushed under the carpet. It is high time she stopped doing the bare minimum because at the moment her only contribution has been to turn the feminist movement into a farce.
This list would be incomplete without the childhood hero who would send us all into fits of laughter: Amanda Bynes, the star of The Amanda Show. Her account became a barrage of selfies, pleas and tweets about the media’s tendency to post only the “ugly” photos of her. Her “I want Drake to murder my vagina” tweet sent the whole of Twitter into fits of uncomfortable laughter. At first everyone thought it was a joke, it was just her naturally funny personality.
Gradually, it escalated to categorising the “ugly” celebrities, attacking her estranged parents and even blaming Rihanna’s appearance as the reason behind Chris Brown’s physical abuse. We were all confused about Bynes’ outbursts and the same thought kept circling: what the hell is she doing?!
Bynes was put under involuntary psychiatric hold, as decided by her parents and also spent time in rehab. Everyone rushed to map her breakdown through her tweets. Her social media presence now overshadows her days as a talented and entertaining actress who completed our childhood.
JK Rowling is another figure without who childhood would be incomplete. We grew up and realised we could follow our fave on Twitter and it would be as if the Harry Potter universe had never ended. Eventually though, we realised our Hogwarts acceptance letter would never come and JK Rowling’s tweets were just a load of crap.
Every opportunity was another claim that “this would not be the case in Harry Potter”. We realised that the plot revelations were just a sad and desperate way to stay relevant. It all became too much. An overload that we did not think was possible.
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse… it did. Our fave outspoken role model released a statement justifying Johnny Depp’s role in Fantastic Beasts. This was a massive blow because she was openly supporting an abuser. If we cannot trust people in positions of power to speak up then how can we expect victims to feel comfortable with speaking up?! Twitter users had the ruling authority so JK Rowling is now cancelled.
The 24/7 access that social media provides has clearly been a curse for the celebrities who end up going overboard. Those few characters that they tweet in the spur of the moment can have massive long-term repercussions. We want to remember when the world was a happier place before their social media escapades.
Good luck trying to separate the art from the artist.
Aneeka Hussain 24th January 2018