Is it time for all of us to take a second look at social media and how we all use it? Maybe. I’ve been on Twitter since 2011 and although I left for a while (because I became an addict) I still find these platforms as useful. I see a lot of diverse opinions about everything political and social and to be honest, even though I may not agree with a particular persons take on something, it makes me stop and think.
Why am I writing about this? It really comes down to the latest outrage mobbing of James Gunn, the writer/director of the Guardians of the Galaxy series of movies. It’s true that a decade ago he wrote some tweets that at the time were ignored but in todays environment means that his career must be destroyed.
Some of the tweets I read about were absolutely reprehensible. Incredibly awful and should have been shamed at the time. But then, he was a mostly unknown independent film director. Today, Gunn has been seen as one of the new, upcoming directors in Hollywood. They could use a few more money makers like him.
Rightly or wrongly, Disney fired him for tweets he made a long time ago. Was this something Disney should’ve done? Well, back in May, when Roseanne was fired from ABC ( owned by Disney) for her inarticulate, and seemingly racist tweet towards a former Obama official, Valerie Jarrett , Gunn tweeted in support of ABC’s decision.
Be careful what you ask for, it may come back and bite you. Which is exactly what happened to Gunn. I saw a few tweets a bit earlier indicating thst there are several (many?) Hollywood elites deleting tweets and even leaving Twitter (sorry, no links were provided in the tweets, so none here).
We all say things on social media that we might later regret or that people misunderstand. It’s difficult sometimes to make a statement on Twitter, even though now it’s 240 characters, that some may take the wrong way. I’ve done it. I’d be surprised to hear from anyone that hasn’t had that experience. Never drunk tweet.
Consider for a moment, no matter where you work, independent of your position, that company has viewed or is viewing social media interactions. It really doesn’t matter how many followers on Twitter anyone has, or the number of friends on Facebook. Tweet or post something someone doesn’t like, it may become viral to the extent that you may become, in someone’s eyes, an awful person. Simply because of some twwet or Facebook post, whether or not you agree with it, could cost you your job.
I’m against mobbing people based on old tweets, whether they were actually something they believed at the time or not, as well as those that have been inarticulate. It’s time to stop the mob no matter which side you’re on.
Instead of becoming a part of the mob, we should be looking at what those people, whoever they are, have contributed to the social/political context. Move on, people.