Just Because Someone is a Celebrity Doesn't Give You a Right to Harass

WARNING: There is some strong language in here.

So I'm minding my own business, reading Jacqueline Laurita's tweets when I noticed she was getting some very ugly comments from two accounts. Honestly, it all smacked of trolling, and I immediately assumed her former friend, Teresa, or Teresa's husband, Juicy [ew!] Joe were hiding behind fake names. So I went to explore all of these accounts' tweets. Of course, both accounts were less than a week old, with very few followers and only following the accounts they were harassing. One of these accounts in particular had engaged in a series of harassment of public figures, complete with curse words and threats—first to some celebrity who is presumably having an affair with Magic Johnson (ew! For real?), then Nikki Minaj [hey! I'm Team Mimi, but there's no need to threaten Nikki!], then Melissa Gorga and Jacqueline Laurita from the Real Housewives of New Jersey.

Look, I get that Twitter is fun because you get to interact with celebrities. And I get that people have lots of complaints about things famous people say or do [Hey, I've got a blog full of complaints. I get it!]; but there's a big difference between airing out your grievances about a celebrity in a public place and harassing said celebrity on Twitter or via e-mail.

Most people commenting on the Bravo celebrity blogs have gotten this concept. When they comment on someone's blog, it is usually either words of encouragement or, if critical, something in the way of constructive criticism or a question about a contradiction. You never see name-calling or threats. Maybe Bravo.com does a better job of weeding out comments from trolls? Or maybe the people who comment on Bravo.com have just been raised with better manners? I dunno.

Pop Culture Dad has a very simple rule when it comes to online interactions: would you say it to this person's face or would you talk to/about someone like that in front of your family, friends, coworkers, etc.? If you start to type something online that you know is inappropriate in any other context, then you should know better than saying it in an online setting. The luxury of anonymity shouldn't give you license to be an asshole. For many, however, that is apparently exactly what the anonymity of the internet means.

I understand that being a celebrity brings heightened responsibilities. I remember in law school when we talked about defamation suits having a higher standard when they involve public figures. I know there are things that Joe and Jane Public can say or do that someone in the public eye could not without intense scrutiny (even something so simple as going out to buy a home pregnancy test), just as I understand celebrities get away with doing some things that would get Joe and Jane Public jail time. However, heightened public status doesn't mean that people don't have feelings. And someone's heightened public status doesn't make you any less of a douchebag when you say to them things like "you know you ain't to [sic] cute to be popped in the mouth...." or "fuck you bitch. [other celebrity] is a lying whore and it is obvious...". Yes, both of these tweets came from the same awful person to different celebrities. No, I will not glorify this person by providing his/her Twitter address.

You don't like Nikki Minaj's behavior toward the Divine Ms. MC? Write on your Facebook page about it, phone a friend, write a blog, tweet about it; but don't tweet to her about it. Celebrities have feelings, too, ya know; and most humans—famous people included—don't like being bullied or threatened. If Miss Minaj wants to go Google herself and finds many horrible things said about her, then that's the risk she ran by searching for "Nikki Minaj Mariah Carey American Idol fight." Even The Superficial, my favorite snarky, biting celebrity new blogger, doesn't tag celebrities in the tweets or Facebook posts of his blog posts about them. Even a tiger with the sharpest claws has his limits, dammit!

If you can't get the distinction between what you say about a celebrity and what you say to a celebrity, let's think in middle school terms, shall we [And my apologies in advance, but I was in middle school in the 80s.]? When the Heathers wrote about you in their Slam Book, you didn't give a shit, because you never saw that Slam Book, right? It was only an issue when Heather #3 came up to you to say to your face all the awful things they said behind your back (that bitch!). You were in blissful ignorance until that moment. How about if you broke into the Queen Bee's locker to steal her Slam Book to see if they wrote about you? Well, then you were the one who got in trouble, right? And isn't it kind of your own fault for just having to know things that other people avoided telling you? [No, I'm not saying saying mean things is a-okay. Just saying that some shit, you really don't need to know].

The bottom line is: Think. Is it really absolutely necessary that Lindsay Lohan know what you personally think about her alleged stealing? Does Anderson Cooper give a rat's ass that you think gay marriage is gross? No. So keep your mean thoughts contained to your family, friends, fans, and followers. If these celebs are following you, then they'll know your deepest, darkest, most hateful thoughts about their new hair color soon enough (and promptly unfollow you, I am guessing). If they aren't, then you have succeeded in getting a rant off your chest without unnecessarily hurting the feelings of another human being.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
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