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Be Sensitive to Abuse: Learn From These Social Media Epic Fails

Fighting against abuse and prejudice can be quite exhausting, especially when some public figures keep re-enforcing the exact sentiments you are fighting against. Here’s a lesson from this year's these social media fails.

The beauty and the beast of social media lies in its constant fails. It’s 16 Days of Activism and we can be sure there are many who have taken to their social media to tackle topics around rape, women, children and domestic abuse. Hiding behind a computer or cellphone makes it much easier for people to post their inner monologues, jokes and social prejudices around these topics without being sensitive to the issues at hand but on social media, you can always count on the good people logged on to make sure a small post spirals into a viral topic that teaches sensitivity.

People on social media have become effective watchdogs policing misogyny, sexism, racism and general jerk behaviour. Let’s collectively learn from these social media fails of other’s to make sure we can be sensitive to issues of rape, misogyny, child abuse and other major issues affecting women and children around the world.

Bonang and Euphonic’s Twar

Many abusive situations that happen in people’s private homes often go unreported and acknowledged but when you are a celebrity like DJ Euphonik and TV personality Bonang Mathebe, keeping these events a secret is a difficult task.
Bonang and Euphonic were once Jozi’s power couple until an incident was reported to the police that Euphonic had beaten up TV star Bonang and left her with bruises. She pressed charges and later withdrew them. Earlier this year Marie Claire began a campaign for Women’s month where male celebrities wore heels to “walk in the shoes of women” and speak out against abuse. Euphonic was one of the chosen celebrities with other’s like Gareth Cliff and Siv Ngesi. Bonang tweeted the campaign immediately adding her thoughts on the whole thing.
Things got a little bit sticky when the Department of Women and Children’s Affairs interjected the tweets posing questions that made it seem like they were victim blaming. They attracted social media backlash together with Marie Claire for defending Euphonik. Siding with the perpetrator or victim blaming is the worst response for any governmental organisation with a mandate to protect women and children.


The department of Women and Children decided to interject.


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James Franco DMs Underage Fan

Some celebrities reach a certain level of fame where they think they can get away with certain behaviour and most of them do. James Franco thought he had met his next conquest after he began chatting to her on Instagram. The 17-year-old fan asked him to show her a picture of him to prove she was talking to him. She then posted as a screengrab, ending the whole shaded affair before it went any further.


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Robin Thicke’s #AskThicke Fail

Robin Thicke had the most peculiar past two years of his life. He released a hit song with Pharrel Williams titled ‘Blurred Lines’, which topped the charts, sold millions across the world and catapulting him to superstar status. Everything was going well until pictures, stories and testimonials of Thicke’s infidelities became public knowledge. His wife, actress Paula Patton eventually filed for divorce and his hit song soon received backlash after it was branded a “rape anthem” because of its content. Thicke together with producer and rapper Pharrel Williams were accused of plagiarism by Marvin Gaye’s family and to top it all off, it ended up in court and they lost. Thicke moved on and released a new album basically begging his wife to take him back, his team decided it would be a cool idea to do a Twitter Q&A with his fans but things didn’t quite work out the way they expected.



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Bill Cosby Asks  Twitter To Meme Him

By now many people are well aware of Bill Cosby’s rising notoriety for allegedly drugging and raping 51 women across the span of his illustrious career. During the course of this year, 51 women came forward accusing him of drugging and raping them. Some celebrities including Janice Dickinson, Catherine Mckee and Beverly Johnson are part of the group that is currently busy with the deposition against him. Cosby remained quiet as more and more women told their stories on different media platforms. He then denied the accusations when he eventually spoke. All of this is not surprising, what really baffled the world was when the 77-year-old took to his Twitter to promote his new stand-up comedy show. He asked his followers to “meme him”.




Two major things went wrong here. Twitter users began using the hashtag #CosbyMeme probing and making memes about Cosby’s allegations because he had never addressed it previously and had the audacity to think people would just focus on his show instead of what was really making headlines.


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Donald Trump Wins As Twitter Enemy Number One

Donald Trump has made himself the face of all American racism, sexism, any sort of ism you can think of, he has probably tweeted something offensive around it. When the mogul announced he was running for president a few years ago, no one took him seriously. However, it seems Trump still hungers for the ultimate taste of power and this year he came with full force, especially on social media, to be America’s most hated celebrity. Trump has pissed off South Africans, Rosie O Donnel, New York City, Mexicans, women, breastfeeding mothers and many others. Take a look at some of the worst things he has tweeted.


The scariest thing is that Trump is a presidential candidate and has drummed up all the support from racists, sexist republicans who share his opinions. He has, however, lost a lot of supporters and business because of his prejudice. After his comments that Mexicans were rapists and brought drugs to America, Macy’s canceled his Trump Clothing line, NBC canceled his TV show ‘The Apprentice’, Univision, NBC dropped his Miss Universe organisation beauty pageants, even a mattress company announced it would halt production on Trump branded beds. If there’s anyone in the world who needs a serious lesson on sensitivity and compassion, it would be Trump. He has set the bar quite high for jerk behaviour, here are some selected tweets.





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