Cancel Culture IRL

What Should Be Seen As Hate Content Online

barefooted women protesting

There is talk of social media turning a blind eye to hate and shutting down accounts vocalising their opinions. Meanwhile, we can thank the American-based former couple for this. They’ve called for stats on the dislike button YouTube to disappear from public view. Their demand got met. Only the like button stats appear.

 Hate accounts threaten people’s lives are allowed to remain active. Moreover, this is why we’re speaking out. We want to hammer home that this is an important issue that cannot go ignored any longer.

Now, before we begin the mainframe of the post, we need to say that everything in this article is our thoughts and feelings. The points we’ll be discussing include:

  • Hate Campaigns solely based on Opinion
  • Death Threats
  • Body Shaming/Appearance
  • Racism and Religion
  • Sexual Orientation And Gender
  • Political Views
  • Fandoms
  • Doxxing and Stalking
  • Fake News/Misinformation
  • Sexism

A “Hate Campaign” Based On Opinion

If you follow the royal drama, you’ll know there’s a massive surge of apparent “hate” towards Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Markle is biracial, not that it should matter. However, there is minimal hate towards the ex-actress. Everything we’ve seen is 95% opinion.

Are we being ignorant to the hate towards what has been going with the Sussexes? No, we’re not. We’ve seen how their PR teams push fluff articles to paint them favourably and the other royals as pariahs. Let’s examine what people similar to Christopher Bouzy think when it comes to a hate campaign.

In the eyes of the Sussexes and people like them, you’re not allowed to have an opinion. If you do, it’s a hate campaign. We’ve covered this in numerous posts before. We’ve spoken about how in Meghan’s mind, the world worships her as she’s biracial. Moreover, if a person doesn’t agree with her, they’re racist, and it doesn’t matter your appearance.

One example that we’ve written about is John Barnes, a former English Footballer who commented on the skin colour debate. Now, Mister Barnes is a person of colour and has strong opinions about racism. His wife is a white woman with whom he has mixed-race children. His opinion is that the conversation is normal amongst mixed-race couples and their families regarding future children. We’ll dive into a later in the post.

Death Threats Are Hate

Death threats have existed longer than social media. However, online, people can get away with it due to being anonymous. Furthermore, this is a serious matter, especially when the targets in question are public figures.

Having followed the British royals for a while, we’ve seen the Sussex fanbase threaten the senior royals. The Queen. The late Prince Philip. Charles, The Prince of Wales. Camilla, The Duchess of Cornwall. Prince William and Catherine, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. The Cambridge children. While we should be asking why people do this and how can we stop it, the issue is, we can’t do anything to prevent it. The people who write this stuff are unhinged and desperate to be part of a cause.

It’s not only the Sussex sugars who threaten people. Fans of political parties do it too. Trump supporters are well-known for this. These human beings are feral. They issue death threats towards anyone who even speaks ill of the former businessman.

Body Shaming/Appearance Hate

Since the existence of social media, body shaming and appearance hate have become an issue, and that’s only putting it mildly. It’s this kind of bullying that causes many of the world’s suicides. Shaming someone for how they look shows how insecure the poster of the comment is. They’re jealous of how someone appears or how popular their target is.

We’ve seen a load of activity surrounding YouTubers we follow who choose to show their faces on camera. What business is it of the poster of what their target looks like? Does it matter if they’ve had plastic surgery done? No. Does it matter if they’ve had too much lip filler? No. Should it matter if they’re not attractive enough for the attacker? No. Every person isn’t created to look the same.

Bullying someone for their appearance is NOT on. Anyone who targets people based on their appearance is, as we’ve said, insecure and needs to feel powerful. Targetting a more successful person is their way of getting that power.

Racism And Religion

As we mentioned earlier, racism is one of the largest problems we’ve seen online. Meghan Markle brings it up constantly, and it’s worn thin for a load of people. The Duchess of Sussex is a woman of two worlds; the black community via her African-American mother and the caucasian community via her white father. Simple, right? The majority of biracial famous people don’t have an issue with their ethnicity. They’re proud of their roots. However, the former actress uses her black heritage, which she never acknowledged before meeting Prince Harry, as a shield.

To her, if you say something negative about her, you’re racist. We mentioned this earlier during our discussion about hate campaigns. She believes she is a victim of racial hate when she isn’t. People of colour who lived through segregation know racism. Meghan does not. As the feature image of this post says, “Racism is not opinion”. If you dislike someone because of their race, no matter what it is, there’s something wrong with you.

Also, look at how scared people were after the Lindt Cafe Siege in December 2014. People of the Muslim faith were terrified to board public transport because they were afraid of being attacked. This concern came after an increase of hate was spotted on social media. As a result, a hashtag started to trend in the form of #illridewithyou. It was designed to support those of the Muslim faith who were travelling solo.

It shouldn’t matter what religion you worship and it doesn’t defy who you are inside. Just because one nutjob is the same religion doesn’t mean everyone who follows the faith is the same. The same applies to race.

Sexual Orientation And Gender

Another factor that is often a target of hate online is sexual orientation and gender identity. We haven’t seen much abuse regarding these factors, but we know it’s out there. It shouldn’t matter what you choose to identify as. No person should be left to feel like they don’t belong on social media. There are plenty of people who support them. Some online communities, both on and off social media, are non-judgemental.

Every person who identifies differently should be respected, not feared or discriminated against. They are simply being their unique selves.

Political Views

A massive source of hate online is American politics. Ultimately, this was a huge discussion point during the Trump era on social media. His rabid lackeys bullied people for simply talking about the other side, better known as the democrats.

The political conversation has come up multiple times with Meghan and Harry as well. As much as we’d rather talk about other people, we’ve only covered the Sussexes. Around the time of the 2020 presidential election, they did a video endorsing Joe Biden. They don’t say this in the video, but it’s implied to whom they’re discussing.

Just because you don’t align yourself with a political affiliation doesn’t mean anything. You don’t agree with an ideology, and that’s fine. Some people are apolitical, meaning they don’t follow or get involved with politics. The British Royal Family is apolitical, though the Queen regularly checks in with the Prime Minister and opens parliament. This doesn’t make her political. It is her job as she is the head of state.

Fandom

Ah, yes, this is one that we have a lot of experience within. There is a lot of fandom hate out there that is ridiculous. We see it all the time with the Fandom Menace, aka the toxic Star Wars fans. We also witness it with the DCEU (DC Extended Universe) and the Arrowverse. You have to be careful with what you say around some of these toxic, garbage people because they’ll say that you’re not a true fan. It’s a minefield of toxicity. We tweeted a while ago that there is no one way to be a fan.

We stand by that statement because all these toxic fanboys (and likely some fangirls) do is whine because something isn’t as they envisioned. Star Wars is a perfect example of this. As far as some people are concerned, only the original trilogy counts towards canon, and the prequels and the sequels don’t exist. They even drag Kathleen Kennedy who is the President of Lucasfilm, and the cast, resulting in some of them being driven off social media. That is how bad it has gotten. There have even been petitions for the sequels or the prequels to be remade. None of which have been successful.

Doxxing And Stalking

If you’ve been following celebrity culture past or present, then you’ll know that stalking is incredibly common. One example is Rebecca Schaeffer, an actress who was murdered in 1989 by a stalker. Her boyfriend was director Brad Silberling who loosely used his own experiences regarding her death as the subject of a film called Moonlight Mile. Schaeffer’s death was a wake-up call to Hollywood regarding stalkers.

Three decades later, stalking is largely done online. Ultimately, this includes doxxing, which is the publishing of someone’s private information. A famous case of stalking would be of Justin and Hailey Bieber by the creepy obsessive fans of Justin’s ex-girlfriend, Selena Gomez. Exposing SMG did an extraordinary video on this situation a while back. Selena herself has said she doesn’t condone her fans being stalkers.

Over to the doxxing situation, and there has been a lot of it. Many of the YouTubers who talk about the Sussexes have been doxxed by Sugars. If you have been following Project Fangirl’s royal coverage, you’ll know who some of them are. These people do not deserve to be bullied off. We cannot tell you all how many toxic Sugar accounts we’ve reported along with Tweets on Twitter. Most of the time, we don’t get an update, which says a lot.

Fake News/Misinformation

A big thing that is all across social media platforms is fake news and misinformation. We’ve been following a lot of the fake news and misinformation, and we can tell you now that it’s often easy to debunk a lot of what is said. We covered the Oprah Interview with the Sussexes in March, and it was one the easiest things we’ve ever done. Much of the truth was already in the public domain. The same applies to all the lies told by former President of the United States, Donald Trump. Let’s not forget the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp drama.

There are so many other instances that we could talk about, but this post is already long.

Sexism

Sexism is everywhere online. You mightn’t know you’re looking at it, but it’s always lurking. You see it a lot in fanbases. There’s been a lot of activity surrounding the Star Wars fandom in recent years. Actor Mark Hamill responded to a tweet from a mother who explained that her daughter had been bullied at school because she wore Darth Vader shoes to school. The girl was told by some boys that Star Wars was for boys. The mother even posted a photo of her daughter’s shoes.

Hamill, to the delight of the mother and her daughter, responded and said that the little girl was cool for wearing Darth Vader shoes. It appears the kids who were bullying the little girl do not have positive role models in their lives, which is why they made a sexist comment. Back when Star Wars was taking off in the late 70s, early 80s it was intended for the male populace, but women loved it too. The same applies to Star Trek. Lieutenant Uhura was the only leading lady on the original series in the 1960s. Sure, there were several female guest characters, but Uhura was a massive staple on the show. She broke many barriers, like being one of the first women of colour to kiss a white man on a scripted television series.

Just a note about this. The kiss between Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner was not the first one of its kind. A decade before the Uhura/Kirk kiss, the first interracial kiss was, according to Robin Zabiegalski of Heavy, Lucy and Ricky on I Love Lucy, which starred real-life mixed-race couple Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. However, Robin notes the Uhura/Kirk kiss was the first liplock.

Conclusion

Hate is strong in everyone. But it can be managed. However, it shouldn’t be amplified online. Social media giants need to stop thinking about themselves and consider the well-being of their users. Moreover, this is why Facebook had to rebrand because it got called out for valuing profit over its users.

Perhaps ALL social media outlets should be looking into the death threats and the sexism and the doxxing and harassment of everyday people due to their opinions rather than turning a blind eye. People are terrified of losing their jobs if these vengeful people contact their employers to tell them that they’re “horrible” people. How would the doxxer feel if someone went after them? These human beings need to stop and think about themselves rather than “protecting” their idols.

Social media outlets need to crack down on death threats as they can damage mental health. However, we know they won’t as they’re too concerned with keeping the wealthy happy. In their eyes, hate is okay because it ties in with who they are as people. They couldn’t care less about other people. Screw the guidelines that social media has. That’s their motto.

About Author

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She now writes for FanSided and is loving it!

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