Bezos tweets! Finally, but just once; Sun’s anti-Muslim front page leads to hashtag response
Morning Brief: Murdoch’s UK tabloid publishes a retraction after IPSO receives record number of complaints; Western Washington University cancels classes after threats were posted to social media
Well, that took a while: Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com and the owner of The Washington Post, has finally tweeted.
The rarest of beasts – a used rocket. Controlled landing not easy, but done right, can look easy. Check out video: https://t.co/9OypFoxZk3
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) November 24, 2015
That, folks, was his first tweet, and the man has over 36,000 followers. That’s a lot of people waiting to hear something, anything, from the man. Was it worth the wait?
Hate speech and threats are becoming all too common. On Tuesday, Western Washington University cancelled all classes after receiving threats via social media.
“Yesterday, we observed social media being used for hate speech targeted at Western students of color,” wrote President Bruce Shepard. “I need to be VERY clear here: we are not talking the merely insulting, rude, offensive commentary that trolls and various other lowlifes seem free to spew, willy nilly, although there has been plenty of that, too. No, this was hate speech.”
As a result, classes were cancelled on all the school’s campuses.
While one can, sadly, understand the caution, I’m not sure it will continue to be possible to react in this way. Otherwise, our institutions will be paralyzed.
Forces have been unleashed in the country that are truly frightening, and things only look to get worse with time, not better.
The paper’s front page on Monday drew over 450 complaints to the Independent Press Standards Organization, the UK’s regulator of the media. The tabloid, in response, posted a small correction today. Oops, sorry we did it again.
“The number of complaints was greater than the 400 received over Sun columnist Katie Hopkins’s description of migrants as “cockroaches” in an article in April,” the Independent wrote today.
I’m sure Murdoch’s editors have a pool to see who can generate the most complaints and stir up the most controversy.
“It is a shameful distortion of its own polling data, consciously designed to fuel terror and distrust of Muslims,” wrote Steven Barnett, Professor of Communications at the University of Westminster on Huffington Post.
“The front page juxtaposition of “Brit Muslims”, “Jihadis” and frightening photo of an Isis murderer is no accident. It reflects the warmongering editorial tone of the newspaper, which is apparently intent on exploiting any means at its disposal to persuade its readers that British muslims are – at best – ambivalent about terrorism. Its dishonest use of opinion polling is the Sun’s latest weapon of choice in this undeclared propaganda war,” said Barnett.
If there is good news about this sort of trash it is that Twitter users are pretty used to this and react swiftly. The hashtag #1in5Muslims quickly started trending and continues to be active this morning.