The internet is a weird place. Everyone has opinions, and everyone has opinions about everyone else’s opinions. And because we can’t just be regular goddamn people on the internet, sometimes— or all the time— those opinions take the form of all-in crazytown death threats. It’s reached the point where death threats are such a common response to regular opinion statements that people like President Obama and video game journalists are on the same level of predictable targets of said death threats. “Death” (HOW DOES THIS NOT GO WITHOUT SAYING) should not be a go-to criticism method, but because we live in an awful place where it has become that thing, I guess we’ve had to lower that expectation bar. So even if we do live in a world where talking about video games is deemed worthy or at least expected of death threats, can we not recalibrate, just a little? Even in that world, how are these people receiving actual, multiple threats on their lives?
Olly on Game of Thrones
Look at that face. Who could hate that face? … A lot of people, apparently. A whole bunch of book reader purists already hated Brenock O’Connor’s HBO-only character of Olly, since he was diverting screen time away from “actual” characters. But when (ALREADY COMMON KNOWLEDGE SPOILER for the end of last season) Olly played a very young hand in the murder of Jon Snow, 16-year-old Brenock started receiving death threats. PEOPLE. Actors— ESPECIALLY CHILDREN BUT ALSO ALL ACTORS— have no say in their plot lines. This kid was spectacularly lucky in booking a recurring role on an HBO show. In what loony tunes bizarro alternate universe should that lead to actual death threats?
The Woman Who Did That Nude Painting of Donald Trump
Remember the woman who did that brain-scarring nude Trump painting? I hope you don’t. It was horrifying. Not horrifying enough to have to flee to Europe following death threats, though. And for anyone who thinks internet death threats don’t actually constitute a threat, this is what happened when this woman returned home:
Today I was punched in the face by a man who got out of his car and yelled, "Trump 2016!" in Los Angeles, just days after I returned home from London just down the road from my house. Though I encourage passion, opinion and emotion, especially though art, I think violence is disgusting. To live in a place where Facebook has given my address to an anonymous third party makes me feel like I am homeless again. This type of violence makes creatives feel like we live in a world where our individual creative input isn't safe. I am sad that this is the state of our America right now. I am sad that Trump, and many of his supporters, don't find words enough to express their opinions - they need walls, waterboarding and punches. @realdonaldtrump Please stop glamorizing and perpetuating violence. Make America Decent Again! #makeamericadecentagain No, they have not been caught, and the men drove off laughing. A detailed police report has been filed.
Along with women like Selena Gomez and everyone who’s ever dated Harry Styles, FKA Twigs has gotten mountains of death threats for daring to date a teen heartthrob. FKA Twigs (singer, songwriter, producer, dancer, and girlfriend of Robert Pattinson) also happened to do so while black, so of course her death threats were multiplied exponentially.
Some Vegans Who Turned Out to Not Be Vegan
The couple who owns the very famous (while not pop culture themselves, epically celebrity-heavy) vegan restaurant Cafe Gratitude recently made public the fact that they themselves aren’t actually vegan. They were vegetarians for 40 years, but after deciding to start eating meat again— meat that they raised and slaughtered themselves on their own farm— they began receiving death threats. WHAT IS WRONG WITH US?
Emma Watson For Saying the Word ‘Feminism’
TL; DR: Hermione wants you to respect women. She doesn’t hate men. People want to murder her.