Twitter was sent in a frenzy today when several internet trolls directed their offensive and hateful comments at celebrity Leslie Jones. The 48-year-old comedian has been a main cast member of Saturday Night Live since 2014, and more recently, has appeared alongside other SNL veterans in Ghostbusters.
Ghostbusters, a 2016 reboot of the 1984 film of the same name, has recently released in theaters. Unsurprisingly, the movie garnered a whole lot of internet attention, which is a both a good and bad statement.
Like every reboot before it, Ghostbusters has divided the internet, with many fans loving it, and many others not. Regardless of how you felt about the film, it has successfully brought attention to its four main stars, especially Leslie Jones, who before the film had only been known for her stand-up and aforementioned SNL cast role.
Unfortunately, not all of that attention has been of the good variety. Today, Leslie JonesÃ¢ÂÂ Twitter was bombarded with absolutely offensive and racist troll posts, some of which were focused on her Ghostbusters role.
The Racist Trolls Are Out In Full
I just don't understand pic.twitter.com/N9xWoXPttuÃ¢ÂÂ Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 18, 2016
JonesÃ¢ÂÂs Twitter was filled with her retweets of people attacking her with all kinds of slander and racist comments, and just generally insulting her. For the sake of everyone reading this, I wonÃ¢ÂÂt show any more here (besides the one above), because theyÃ¢ÂÂre pretty terrible.
However, anyone who follows Leslie Jones on Twitter knows that she doesnÃ¢ÂÂt simply take things quietly. Not only did Leslie retweet the hateful comments directed at her, but she also encouraged her fans to Ã¢ÂÂbe louderÃ¢ÂÂ and get these kinds of people reported.
Stop letting the ignorant people be the loud ones. Y'all I got more love than hate but they louder. Fuck that be louder.Ã¢ÂÂ Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
After tweeting about the hate sheÃ¢ÂÂs been receiving, Jones was met with the usual responses along the lines of Ã¢ÂÂJust ignore itÃ¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂTheyÃ¢ÂÂre just trollingÃ¢ÂÂ. Rather than listen to these comments, she went on a long and much-needed tweet spree, telling people that itÃ¢ÂÂs time to Ã¢ÂÂsay somethingÃ¢ÂÂ, a statement that couldnÃ¢ÂÂt be more true.
While some might see the comments directed at her as Ã¢ÂÂtrollingÃ¢ÂÂ, itÃ¢ÂÂs nothing less than serious hate speech. Hate speech that Twitter has yet to create a plan to get rid of. When news of the attack on Leslie Jones finally reached Twitter HQ (as it was bound to), a Twitter representative released the following statement:
Ã¢ÂÂWHILE WE DONÃ¢ÂÂT COMMENT ON INDIVIDUAL ACCOUNTS, HEREÃ¢ÂÂS AN EXPLAINER ON OUR CONTENT BOUNDARIES HERE: HTTPS://SUPPORT.TWITTER.COM/ARTICLES/18311Ã¢ÂÂ
The URL brings people to TwitterÃ¢ÂÂs guidelines, where visitors can read all about TwitterÃ¢ÂÂs policy on harassment and abusive language/behavior. While a reminder of TwitterÃ¢ÂÂs content boundaries is good, itÃ¢ÂÂs clearly not what we need right now.
What we do need is to listen to Leslie Jones's words. Hateful speech on Twitter is not a new thing, itÃ¢ÂÂs actually pretty common. Nowadays, it really feels like the Ã¢ÂÂhatersÃ¢ÂÂ and Ã¢ÂÂtrollsÃ¢ÂÂ are the ones who mostly populate the world, when that simply isnÃ¢ÂÂt true.
It only feels like that because, as Leslie has stated in her Twitter rant, the actual humane people aren't speaking up enough, while the trolls seem to scream at the top of their lungs.
I'm tired of everybody not believing they can change something. We are the people we can change anything if we want. We stop eating spinachÃ¢ÂÂ Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
Cause we thought it was hurting us. You mean to tell me we can't stop hate. I don't believe that. I just am sadden today.Ã¢ÂÂ Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) July 19, 2016
Luckily, Leslie Jones has a ton of loving fans who share her opinion. The hashtag Ã¢ÂÂ#LoveForLeslieJÃ¢ÂÂ has been trending on Twitter all day long, with many of her fans, including other celebrities and the new Ghostbusters director, defending her from the hateful comments sheÃ¢ÂÂd been receiving.
TheyÃ¢ÂÂve also been sending messages to Twitter, asking the admins of the site to delete the hate speech, as well as the accounts of the people who are spreading it.
.@Lesdoggg has more class, talent, and worth in her pinky finger than every single hateful troll spewing racist crap at her does combined.Ã¢ÂÂ Alisha Grauso @ SDCC (@AlishaGrauso) July 19, 2016
Whether you liked the new Ghostbusters or not, I encourage you to take to Twitter, show some love for Leslie Jones, and demand that Twitter be better at combating hateful and racist troll accounts.
Thanks For Reading! What Do You Think Twitter Should Do To Handle This?