Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has been the talk of social media because of his latest posts about Pete Davinson.
His posts are simply entertaining for some people as they see a celebrity gone "crazy." For others, it's a call to action to protect their favorite celebrity. A third party considers this scandal to be a dangerous situation that can escalate to violence or that it's already a violent act as it exposes Kim and Pete.
In this slogging thread, we discuss whether or not we, as a society, enable violent behavior just because it is entertaining and trending.
This Slogging thread by Mónica Freitas, Sara Pinto and Linh Smooke occurred in slogging's official #pop-culture channel, and has been edited for readability.
What Ye’s online warfare reveals about the dangers of celebrity fandom
"Some fans of the rapper, formerly known as Kanye West, see his social media warfare as meme fodder, but others worry the attention is unhealthy."
"Ye posted the meme in the midst of a torrent of social media activity in recent days, in which the rapper and artist has professed his desire to get back together with Kardashian West and his anger toward Davidson. Ye, who has more than 14 million Instagram followers, has posted multiple creations made by fans and screenshots of comments left by fans. He has also posted screenshots of private text messages from Kardashian West and Davidson, including texts from his former wife asking him to stop posting their private conversations. In one text, Kardashian West cautioned Ye that Davidson was going to get hurt because of his posts. All the posts have since been deleted, but screenshots have spread across the internet."
"Plenty of celebrities have attracted devoted, and at times aggressive, online fan bases, and in some cases those groups have gone beyond fandom and spilled over into harassment. In other instances, celebrities have utilized their fan bases to silence critics or push their agendas, sometimes also using the content their fans create. It’s a dynamic that can sweep up even well-meaning fans, while also fueling others who see no problem going to extremes to support their favorite celebrities."
This recent buzz around Ye has received different reactions:
My question here is: are we, as a society, enabling violent behavior just because it is entertaining and trending? Are platforms allowing way too much room for this kind of demeanor? Are platforms quicker to turn a blind eye when it comes to celebrities?
Mónica Freitas, I believe so, and worse, we are also enabling mental illness, in the sense that we laugh about it, and we're not helping others seek help. The internet is an open space, which is good, but when it comes to propagating behaviors like that, and there are no sanctions, it's concerning. Plus, this all aggravates when the fandoms, as you mentioned as well, support it. Some fans are so blind and put the celebrity in such a high place that they think everything they say is correct.
Sara Pinto, you're entirely right. It's worrying how we can be so nonchalant about these things. Just now, as Russia invades Ukraine, I've seen people making jokes. I wonder if we're desensitized... and why?
Mónica Freitas, whether or not we like it, social media has a lot of impact on the way we think. Even though there are informative people out there, there's also misinformation and careless actions. And we can't help but be influenced by it.
Sara Pinto, could it be that we tend to follow the masses? If the majority likes something, we tend to share the same opinion, and vice-versa?
Mónica Freitas, I believe so, but for me, the worst part is that people follow them clueless about the impact of their actions. And I think we can't see it with this Ye case. People follow and support him, regardless of how it's affecting his wife's life.
Sara Pinto, I don't even think people think about Kim and their children. They're just laughing at Ye's overreaction or hating on Pete. Kim is probably terrified, but some people still see this as a man fighting for his wife... go figure.
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