Apparently the Internet just can’t go for more than a month with someone getting harassed via social media making the news. The victim this time is comedian, SNL cast member, and star of the new Ghostbusters film Leslie Jones.
It seems that there a bunch of fuckwads who’ve been tweeting a lot of racist and sexist bullshit at Ms Jones over the past couple of days. I’m not going embed the Tweets here, because they’re honestly really fucking disgusting, but there are a number of other articles that link to the images of the abuse she’s been getting if you really want to see them (or you can also just visit her Twitter feed).
What has Twitter done to stem the tide of harassment? Apparently, fuck all. The people who have been harassing her have not been banned, and it doesn’t look like they’ve even been punished or censured in any way whatsoever. I honestly wish I could say that this surprises me, but it really doesn’t. Twitter and Facebook don’t care about what happens to marginalized people on their platforms. They care about ad revenue.
Now, I haven’t seen the Ghostbuster’s reboot yet, and am not particularly familiar with Leslie Jones’s work (as I also don’t watch much TV in general and haven’t seen SNL in years). However, people I do know have seen it and said they enjoyed it, and it’s been getting fair to good reviews. Even if the movie was shit, though, that still doesn’t justify this level of harassment (nothing justifies any level of harassment, by the way). And this happens way to often to women online, especially women of color.
Now, I hear what some of you may be saying. “But Katie,” you exclaim, “it’s just the Internet! It’s not real life. She should just ignore them.” To which I respond:
1) The Internet is part of real life, you boob.
2) The people that you feel comfortable lobbing abuse and insults at from the anonymity of your computer screen are, in fact, real people with, you know, feelings and shit.
3) This kind of abuse and bullying is extremely hard to ignore when it happens to you fucking constantly.
People have been posting support under the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ. Which is a good thing, though the necessity for it makes me sad. As for the harassers, I can only imagine how sad and pathetic their daily lives must be that they feel the need to harass people on Twitter.
UPDATE (7/20/16) So I’ve been hearing that Milo Yiannopoulos (aka the sexist, racist human dumpster fire who instigated all this) has been permabanned from Twitter. I am not sure if that’s true, but if it is, that’s good, but too little too late. Especially considering that he has a history of this kind of bullshit behavior.
UPDATE PART 2: Apparently the above is, in fact, true. Which, you know, good on them, but what about all the other sweaty foreskins who were involved in the harassment? Is Twitter going to ban them too? Probably not.