Recently my thinking on an issue has evolved, and I thought I would share it here. It’s semi-political, in a way, but relatively non-partisan. It has to do with how celebrities are treated, whether they are in the entertainment industry or well known political peeps or whomever.
In the past, I basically dgaffed. My view was that, for movie stars especially, they became famous by seeking the spotlight, so live by the sword, die by the sword. I had no patience for their bitching about the paparazzi. The exception was Princess Diana, but, still, was it a photographer’s fault her chauffeur drove like a maniac?
That was a long time ago, and before celebs were on twitter along with their stalkers. Same for politicians, etc. It’s really not a solution to say “get off social media.” I can, since I don’t actually have a writing career. But a politician can’t. An established author must have an online presence. Actors are probably told the same. Etc.
They are not only relentlessly mocked and harassed, but also impersonated to an insane degree. This goes far beyond the annoyance of having some shutterbug snap a photo when they’re trying to relax at a resort.
The other day a singer I follow on Twitter, Rosanne Cash, had her entire account recopied word for word, photo for photo. That account then followed me. My first reaction was hey neato Rosanne follows me now! But I looked more closely and figured out it was a fake. I reported it, and Twitter deleted it.
Why do people do that? To begin setting up scams. Most likely after fake-Rosanne amassed enough followers she’d begin flirting with some men, tell them she wanted to chat offline, and hit them up for money for whatever thing. They’d send money by PayPal and she’d disappear.
My reporting fake-Rosanne will probably accomplish nothing. She’ll try again. She’ll choose a different celeb. I reported another fake account a while back and it too was deleted. Twitter does take action ~ it also will get rid of those awful antisemitic Q accounts too if you report them. But there are so many that it’s hopeless.
I feel sorry for celebs now. Some actors like Scarlett Johansson are victimized by “deepfake porn,” videos that make it seem like they are really acting in porn movies. The technology is so good that these creeps can superimpose faces on other women’s bodies and apparently you can’t tell the difference. No one should have to put up with that in the name of “free speech.”
It’s all because of this idiotic idea that we should be able to access the internet anonymously and thus be completely unaccountable for our behavior. Get TOS’d? No problem. Make a new anon gmail and begin again. I’ve said before that I’m against anonymous speech and there are only more and more reasons piling up why it’s a bad thing. My view is we should have one ID, from say a fingerprint, that follows us everywhere online, no escape from our words and behavior.
No worries, you can still be a creepy troll… but everyone will know who you are right away. The nasty stalkers will still be able to dog their fave celebs and politicians all over Twitter in the name of free speech, and they can still be obnoxious and crude in the comments on Fox News, but we will know who they are and where they are the second they hit send. That will most likely make a lot of these jerks have second thoughts about blurting out their vile spew. Neither “little people” nor stars should have to put up with this continual harassment.