Twitter’s Darkside Comes to BC

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I was born and raised by media junkies.  Even before social media became a main source for breaking news, my parents were constantly consuming information on the radio, the television, and the newspaper and from sources from Bloomberg and CNN to ESPN and Yahoo Finance.  I was raised to always be in the know and to always know what was going on around me culturally.  Twitter, however, has made this extremely feasible for us media snobs now.  It is a constant outlet that ties together numerous platforms and sources to be streamed on one newsfeed for your viewing pleasure.  While many (including myself) find Twitter to have a positive effect on our generation it definitely has its negatives.

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From unwanted direct messages to spam accounts Twitter definitely has its downfalls.  Society and Boston College particularly is being faced with a new negative to the Twitter world; the creation of a fake Twitter account, or a parody account to mock or promote hatred to a being or group.  The Boston College community was faced with this first hand on October 9,2016.  The creation of the Twitter account @FireAddazioBC was born, and boy does it promote nasty propaganda and highlight hatred for the Boston College Football Coach.

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Many have been upset with the outcome of the Boston College Football team this season, as they have suffered in being unable to record a win in the ACC Football Conference.  Many outraged fans have been taking this out particularly on the Head Coach.  With modern technology we knew it would not be long until this handle was created.  This is a clear example of how negative Twitter can be.  How can a social media platform that touches millions of people not have censorship over these things?

This account did not act lightly either.  It started to follow a bunch of people in the Boston College and Boston media world.  Tweets like, “@FireAddazioBC,” saying “Steve Addazio should be fired as the head coach of Boston College football. He is so conservative and the program is horrible right now. #FireSteveAddazio”, have been surfacing on the computer screens and cell phones of hundreds in the community.

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How will society and social media be able to put a stop to this negativity and backlash?  Will they, or do they see it as a positive in that others can have a platform to show their voice regardless how cruel and demeaning their points may be?

8 comments

  1. This post addresses the major issue that Twitter is currently facing, censorship. Where does twitter draw the line? Hate language is omnipresent on the platform which is leading to its slowed growth and popularity. Twitter is a great method to connect people, but they need to fix their internal problems. I would have liked to see you explore this issue in greater depth.

  2. wfbagleyiii · ·

    It seems like this is a problem that Twitter has faced since its inception. What’s more, I find the problem with cyberbullying and a lack of censorship discourages some companies from establishing social media accounts because it is hard to control what’s said. Perhaps this comes with the territory: people, organizations, schools etc just need to assume the risk of backlash.

  3. finkbecca · ·

    I actually think the Fire Addazio Twitter account is rather tame compared to most of the hate accounts/tweets you find on Twitter! It’s filled with far less hate and bullying than we see on a certain presidential candidate’s Twitter account.

    I think the TedTalk we watched with the Security VP at Twitter is relevant here, just in how difficult it is to find and determine what needs to be censored. Digging further into how Twitter could even begin to censor and stop bullying on their platform would make for an interesting post.

  4. This reminded me of the video we watched about Justine Sacco, the woman who was publicly shamed for her tweet. People are so excited to be given a voice on social media that they end up abusing this privilege and anonymity to so something that harms others. I bet this will also relate to our class on Thursday about online harassment. Social media is meant to give voices to the voiceless, which can be a very beneficial thing (for example, there was a social media campaign that allowed women to speak out about times they were sexually harassed), but it’s also such a shame that this is also being used to spread hate and negativity.

  5. gabcandelieri · ·

    Great post! This idea of Twitter bashing goes extremely well with this week’s topic of online harassment and social media trolling. The freedom users are able to exercise on Twitter is truly a mixed blessing in my eyes. It is undoubtedly a great means of self-expression and source of news, beating out many apps in the efficiency category, but what happens when users see news/opinions they don’t like? Lashing out has become the norm and somewhat accepted, and I am not even sure that more censorship will decrease negative comments and trolling in general. It might actually encourage the opposite–inviting aggressors to continually post until their comments stick or incessantly criticizing the platform itself, which could, depending on the extent of trolls’ attack, detract people from using Twitter as a means of self-expression. But in terms of trolls in general I completely agree with Jon Ronson’s idea that Twitter is creating a surveillant society in which people abuse their freedom of speech to spread negativity that can damage an individual’s reputation.

  6. sandytanny · ·

    Nice post! Though I find myself agreeing with @finkbecca‘s point that this particular Twitter account, though mean-spirited, is definitely tame compared to other instances of cyberbullying and hatred that can spew from Twitter. The case of Leslie Jones and the racist remarks and death threats she received from trolls on Twitter comes to mind. Social media makes it so easy to comment on anything instantly, often without having to face the consequences you would if you said these things in real life or directly to the person you are bashing. What’s great about these platforms is that people are freely able to express their opinions and share that in real time amongst a sea of different people with their own varying opinions and thoughts. The difficult part is determining whether these “different” opinions or thoughts diverge into hate speech, merciless bullying, or death threats that can have real life consequences.

  7. Nice post. I guess it just goes to show these things can hit pretty close to home as well. It probably doesn’t make doing his job any easier.

  8. mikeknoll98 · ·

    I have seen this Twitter and it is truly disappointing, but as beck commented I think it is relatively tame. As much as I hate the content posted it does not sack up to a lot of the cyberbullying that other college football players face and other students that are bullied in general. I hope that Twitter finds a way to control accounts like these, but at the same time it is important to allow people to have their freedom of speech. ohh cyberbullies you never cease to disapoint :/

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