The Ugly Side Of Twitter

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  • December 11, 2014

Social media was supposed to give us all a voice. It suddenly became the great media equalizer. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube have allowed us all to become the media. But lately, I’ve been noticing more and more that discourse is evaporating. And unfortunately it’s giving way to pure vitriolic intolerance.

Instead of being able to counter opinions, more and more frequently, social media is being used to attack and silence opposing viewpoints. Conversation is waning and it’s given way to the lynch mob. Disagreement is followed by an immediate pronouncement of social death. And the sentence is carried out with relentless, and often thoughtless, force.

Here’s the latest person to have to face the social gallows.

Doug Gottlieb currently hosts an afternoon show on CBS Sports Radio. He also does game coverage for the network as well. His Twitter bio says that his “Tweets are meant to relate my snarky commentary on the world…. nothing else.

Well it seems that some people took offense to his most recent display of snarkiness. Gottlieb, like many other people, decided to weigh-in on the latest sports craze…the wearing of the “I Can’t Breathe” slogan by sports and entertainment celebrities.

He posted the following (since deleted) tweet.

Other than the obvious grammatical error, do you see anything wrong with his tweet? Notice, what I said is do you see anything wrong. I didn’t ask you if you agree with it.

Here’s some of what the response was like on Twitter following that tweet being posted.

But it just wasn't your average user who trolled on about Gottlieb. Even other opportunistic "journalists" piled on:

I’m not saying that anyone should suppress what they feel about Gottlieb. Actually, I ENCOURAGE your response to him. I applaud your engagement. However, I abhor those who try to silence and demand reprimand from one’s employer because of said disagreement.

If we simply seek to force someone to agree with us, we will succumb to intolerance. Social media is supposed to be a place where we can voice our concerns, desires, and yes, even our snark.

Gottlieb didn’t write anything racially wrong. He may have been guilty of insensitivity. He might even lacked empathy. But if we’re all subject to being fired for being snarky, then social media will be our downfall.

By the way…anyone else find it odd that it was this guy that Gottlieb was talking about? Some of us do have very short memories…don’t we? Imagine if this guy was fired by his employer for some “indiscretions” that surrounded him a few years ago.

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