TWITTER HASHTAGS ARE NOT NEWS, DAMMIT!

Unless you’ve been unplugged for the last 24 hours or make it a policy to ignore anything related to geek stuff (in which case why would you be reading this blog?), you’ve probably heard about the #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag making the rounds on Twitter. Stories about it are blowing up social media right now, and understandably so, given how shockingly offensive and ridiculous the movement behind “Boycott Star Wars VII” seems.

The story goes like this: there is a growing movement to boycott Star Wars: The Force Awakens because, those behind the movement say, it’s an anti-white movie that glorifies minorities and is part of an agenda to minimize white people.

An appallingly shitty viewpoint, no question about it.

Except there is no movement.

This news story, which has been picked up by a slew of outlets, including some heavy hitters in the world of Internet magazines, is based on nothing more than a few stray tweets by maybe three or four Twitter trolls. Literally three or four people who might as well have been talking into the void.

There is no movement.

I hate this guy

I hate this guy

Don’t take my word for it. Search the hashtag yourself. It’s a tiny handful of idiots and the hundreds and hundreds of people, bloggers, and (lousy) “journalists” tweeting about them.

And yet if you were to take the headlines at face value — sorry, won’t give them traffic with links, but a quick Google will turn up tons of stories — you’d think this was a genuine, bone fide movement with loads of people on board, a leaders, and all the other stuff a “movement” implies.

Nope. You can fit the entire movement into a Toyota Corolla. Some lazy writer at some website for lazy writers saw an offensive comment, knew it would generate lots of outrage (and hence lots of delicious clicks), and built an entire story out of it.

And then a bunch of other lazy writers jumped on the bandwagon, because bandwagons are easy and clicks are delicious, and shat out their own clickbait.

Rinse, repeat.

I wouldn’t even be commenting on this if it was an isolated incident. Unfortunately, we see shit like this all the damn time now — and by “shit like this” I don’t mean racist dickbags, I mean lazy journalists digging up obscure nonsense from the far corners of Twitter and creating clickbait bullshit stories out of what they find.

You see it over and over and over again. I’d link to examples (it would be easy to drum up a dozen cases or more of stories built around flimsy bullshit like this), but I’m not interested in giving them traffic, however meager that traffic might be.

Are racist dickbags racist dickbags? Without question.

Does that mean they deserve attention? Not really, though I’m all for calling them out on their bullshit and publicly shaming them, because fuck those people.

StopItBut goddamit, you lazy ass writers, a few fringe dickbags are not news. Stop digging up this bullshit and trying to make it news. Stop looking for clicks with this kind of thing, because when you do YOU’RE MAKING IT WORSE. You don’t fight divisiveness when you push this crap for clicks, you feed into it. You actually EMPOWER racist assholes and dignify their goofy views, while also hammering yet another nail in the coffin called Journalism.

Search long enough and you can find some really awful, offensive, and tragically stupid opinions on just about anything … yes, even on Star Wars. That’s not news. It doesn’t deserve a headline, and it sure as shit doesn’t deserve to light up the Internet like a torch every four or five days when you’ve discovered the latest previously ignored (but now getting LOTS of attention) asshole on Twitter.

Stop.

Just stop.

Dear god, please just stop.

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  1. Pingback: Twitter hashtags are (still) not news – Your AWESOME Editor

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