Yes, I know it’s kind of futile to try and impose rules on social media, especially one as toxic as Twitter, but can we at least try?
After Twitter user @SamBrod watched The Ballad of Buster Scruggs on Netflix, he had some thoughts to share and decided to tag in actress and writer Zoe Kazan. He referred to her performance as being ‘frustrating to watch’. Kazan responded in turn, saying, ‘Solid example of when not to tag an artist in your tweet about their work […] Like I am not a restaurant, this is not yelp, I don’t need to know that you found the meal overly salty.’
@SamBrod quickly apologized, saying, ‘I did not think Zoe (or anyone) would ever see this. I simply tagged her to let others know who I was talking about. It was stupid and i didn’t know what I was doing. I’m very sorry, [Zoe Kazan]. I don’t understand how Twitter works!’
You don’t know how Twitter works? You didn’t think she’d see the message you deliberately included her into? Sure, Jan.
Weirdly, a lot of people have taken umbrage with Kazan for calling this dude out. I’ve seen a number of Twitter users say everything from claiming Kazan is over-sensitive to sneering at her for not accepting ‘constructive criticism’ to demanding that the people who create the content we consume put up with all this abuse because they’re rich and famous. The comment sent to Kazan was nowhere near the worst thing a man has said to a woman on the internet, but that doesn’t negate how rude and unfair it was. You don’t like Kazan’s performance? Fine, you do you. Talk about it for days on your Twitter account. But let’s not pretend you don’t know exactly what you’re doing when you tag that person into your words. You know that there’s a solid chance they’ll read it. You want that attention.
A lot of people love to claim that Twitter is their own personal soapbox to air out their grievances to the world. They love the idea of having a forcibly captive audience, one who has to see what you say about them until you mute or block or finally give in and pay attention to them. Twitter also makes it very easy to forget that, you know, there are human beings with emotions involved. Add to that the increasingly blurred lines of contact between fans, critics and creators, and the stew is most certainly overcooked.
I can promise you that the actress whose performance irritated you so much has no interest in engaging in your ‘feedback’. They’re not going to fawn over your insults and have a ‘come to Jesus’ moment because you were so gracious to tag them in on your rant. Hell, I don’t even like tagging in people whose work I like. For me, I like to keep the lines between my work clear but that’s not for everyone. Let’s just try not to be d-cks, okay?
Header Image Source: Getty Images.