When Social Media Becomes a Lynch Mob

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Screenshot of Mark Duplass’s tweet about Ben Shapiro

There are days when I lose all hope for humanity. Really, it’s gotten that ridiculous.

First off, actor Mark Duplass said something nice about conservative speaker, attorney, and Orthodox Jew Ben Shapiro on twitter. Then he is immediately caught up in a twitter-storm so severe that the very next day, he formally apologizes.

Then “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn defends Duplass while at the same time, sliming Shapiro. And then, it’s discovered that Gunn made some pretty horrible tweets back in the day and is subsequently fired by Disney so you won’t see him directing “Guardians 3.”

I suppose Shapiro thought in the aftermath of all this, someone might take a look at his “dumb stuff” tweets, so he posted a list of them, and promised to keep updating it (I haven’t had the time to read that last article yet).

What the heck is going on? Have liberals have decided as a group, that no individual liberal can be friends with or even like a conservative without starting a social media flame war?

Why? How did we enter this twilight zone of dysfunctional communication?

I have friends and acquaintances on both side of the aisle. I admit to having to cut loose some people for the sake of my own mental and emotional well being, since whenever they decided to interact with me, it was to continually accuse me of some wrong doing or evil (living while being conservative). I don’t need that constant bombardment of negativity.

Also, some people have cut me loose because my opinions offend or upset them. Fair enough.

But to the degree that I can have civil conversations with people who disagree with me and vice versa, and at the end of the day, we don’t get into a verbal knife fight, why can’t these so-called high-profile individuals do the same? What was so horribly wrong with Duplass saying something nice about Shapiro?

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Screenshot of Ben Shapiro’s reaction to Mark Duplass’s apology

By the way, as far as Gunn is concerned, he made a ton of totally outrageous tweets about gays, mexicans, rape, and stuff which made me want to drop kick him to the Moon. But when I looked, I found that they were all between 2008 and 2011. Someone purposefully searched his twitter stream and couldn’t come up with anything more recent than 2011.

Now as Gunn’s career became increasingly successful, maybe he thought he’d better tone it down a bit, but stuff never disappears on the internet, so sooner or later, if you’ve tweeted something stupid, it’ll show up and the twitteratti will hold you accountable (that is, if you’re anyone who might show up on their radar – so far, I’m just a small fry so no one cares enough to be aware of my opinions).

Should Gunn have his feet held to the fire because of things he tweeted seven to ten years ago (even though some of them were really shocking)?

I don’t know. On the one hand, maybe his own apology is sincere, but on the other,  maybe he currently holds all of those reprehensible values and notions, and he’s just covering his butt as best he can, and covering his butt was probably what Duplass’s apology was all about, too.

I guess if Rosanne Barr can lose her job over a dumb tweet, so can James Gunn.

In a way, I guess this shows both conservatives and liberals are occasionally held to the same standard of social media conduct, but it still illustrates a disturbing trend of intolerance in social media-land.

It’s a minefield out there, and even when you say nothing overtly offensive or hostile, people are going to blow up if you contradict their dearly held opinions even in the slightest way. It’s a shame, really that an entire communication platform is held hostage by a bunch of people with the rage problems of a toddler.

I feel sorry for Mark Duplass, I really do.

9 thoughts on “When Social Media Becomes a Lynch Mob

  1. Yeah, I’m sure I’ve posted some pretty stupid stuff back in the day. Sadly, this is the world of social media. The only thing that has changed is instead of torches, pitchforks, tar and feathers the outraged mob goes after your ability to make a living.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. If we continue to allow ourselves to be divided by an agenda driven on social media and frankly the media in general, it will only get worse. We will continue to see cases like these more often. How limiting that would be. Not allowed to think outside the mob mentality.


  3. Not much really to be said about this. A bunch of people doing ridiculous stuff… except Duplass, who I know nothing about otherwise at all. The news I saw about Roseanne today — not that I was looking for or expecting any — was that after seeming to apologize some time ago, she’s making excuses now.


    • Twitter is a double-edged sword. As much harm as it causes (and it is actually the people who are harmful, not the app), it also is a good way to connect (briefly) to a wide audience and, for those hopeful of creating a readership, promote our works.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think it encourages the harmful aspect. Most of us are a mixture of good and bad, but somehow our badness gets magnified and even encouraged on Twitter–it gets attention for sure, much more than less provocative words. I’m not sure that the positive aspects make up for the negative ones.


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