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24 August 2012 @ 09:01 am
Retweets and quotes  

I've developed a twitter-based pet peeve, that's causing me to unfollow some people, celebs in particular and those with large followings:

If you retweet someone who disagrees with you about something, I get immediately irritated.

I've always understood the impulse of popular bloggers and celebs to bring hecklers out into the light, particularly in cases of egregious abuse:  if most of your readers aren't aware of the fact that one of your controversial essays actually resulted in horrifying harassment and death threats, then those things need to be brought out, and even quoted.  Feminist blogs in particular get hate-comments that run to extreme.  I can understand quoting someone in public who threatened to kill or rape you for expressing your opinion.  Many decent people get cloistered away from the general tone of the internet, and a reminder now and then of just how risky it is to speak out on something is warranted.  It may even be legally helpful, later.

But when you make a statement online that irritates people, and scads of them tell you so, and you go retweeting or blog-quoting them for... what reason, exactly?  To humiliate them for being mean to you?  To show all your "good" fans how hard you have it?  To bring the smackdown from those who agree with you?  ... I do not like, I do not want, and you need to go away now.

It's somehow worse when it's done without any context.  Just, "Here, this is what people are saying to me.  See?  See?!"  SEE WHAT?  What am I supposed to do about it?

I feel like some internet celebrities are making me privy to their daily annoyances, and while I sympathize, I also didn't sign up to live their annoyances along with them.  Nor do I want to listen to them argue with people.  If I wanted that, I'd read comment sections:  a thing I deliberately do not do.

This kind of thing seems to be getting more prevalent on twitter.
Random Human Femalewithered_shadow on August 24th, 2012 03:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I've unfollowed a few people for that same reason. It's one thing to say "I think X, and this is why." It's another to say "Hey everyone! @ThisPersonIDontKnow disagrees with me. They are horrible and we should gang up on then!" It really rubs me the wrong way.
jess: arms crossedxantha on August 24th, 2012 10:11 pm (UTC)
fwiw this annoys me too
A. Askewanivad on August 25th, 2012 04:12 am (UTC)
I can't speak for anyone other than myself, but I've done this in the past primarily as a self-defence mechanism. If I get insulted for something and just leave it as is, it makes me feel trapped and vulnerable, open to merciless attack from that person or people. Whereas if I post it out there, I'm no longer alone. Other people can see it, other people can potentially defend me, or perhaps give second opinions on what I said.

I realise this probably falls under the first group of such instances you mention, but then again, I don't think the dividing line is very clear. The motivations are likely the same in both cases: a person says something, gets attacked for it, and brings those attacks out to the public because they don't want to bear it on their own. Whether or not you consider this to be warranted seems to depend on who you consider to be 'right' in this instance, which is a subjective thing.

It's definitely possible that the various reasons you list for a celebrity to want to do this are all legit, but at the same time, celebrities are ultimately human too (...usually), and react the same way to insult, warranted or not. (And to most people, their own opinion is the right one.)