Internet creepers

I love Twitter and I mostly use it to follow librarians, teachers, authors, book people, and news organizations. I don’t use it to follow celebrities, though authors are my celebrities, but you know what I mean about celebrities. I don’t follow Lady Gaga, Ashton Kutcher, or anyone with the name Kardashian.

But I got a little insight into the world of celebrity on Twitter this past week when Soledad O’Brien retweeted me.

Soledad O’Brien isn’t as large of a celebrity on Twitter as those previous people I mentioned, but many people would know who she is by mere mention of her name, so that’s celebrity enough for me.

I tweeted about a very cool program for girls that Soledad O’Brien is bringing to different places around the country, including Minnesota’s St. Kates. O’Brien’s program is called PowHERful Summit and this news release from St. Kates is what I tweeted.

Soledad O’Brien retweeted me. She has over 300,000 followers, and most of her followers who interacted with my tweet favorited it, retweeted it, or replied telling me how inspiring they found Soledad to be.

But there were also some internet creepers that had to chime in, and of course their rants focused on Soledad’s race and gender.

We’ve seen time and time and time again, that when people disagree with women online, they often focus on their gender and harass them.

The tweets sent to Soledad and me were not awful, but the reason they disturb me is that my tweet was simply about an empowering program. An empowering program brought about internet creepers who had to tweet nasty things about females and Soledad’s race? It makes me wonder what bad harassment Soledad gets when her tweets have any sort of opinion in them.

After receiving some nasty tweets, I tweeted:

Soledad also retweeted that and then replied to me and said:

I’m glad she can just brush it off, because I’m sure she gets way worse tweets, but the fact that she says “But that’s twitter!” is so disturbing. She’s not disturbing, but the sentiment is.

It’s one thing to disagree with someone. If the men who replied to us legitimately wanted to tell me why they disagreed with a PowHERful Summit, then that’s completely valid, but the fact that they didn’t even mention the PowHERful Summit but instantly said nasty things about Soledad’s gender and race is insane. It’s ridiculous. It’s pathetic. And, sadly, as Soledad’s response to me shows, it’s all too common.

I don’t know what I’m trying to say in this post, as you can probably tell with the rambling, but I was just disturbed to be let in on celebrity public life for a brief moment to find that there isn’t rational discourse but scared, immature, 13-year-old discourse from adults. I’ve known this for years, so I really shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was.

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