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George is Tired…of Celebrities Searching Their Own Names

If you go looking for something, you are surely going to find something there.

Most of us have seen an episode or 1000 of Maury and we know that if you go through someone’s phone, you are gonna find stuff you don’t like. The same rule applies for when you Google or Twitter search your own name. You are very likely to find that there are going to be folks saying things about you that you aren’t happy with, especially if you are a celebrity.

One thing they teach us in Journalism 101 (my actual degree is finance, BTW) is TO NEVER READ THE DAMN COMMENTS. Reading the comments will have you angrier than a tick on a flat ass.

Seriously, though, I remember when I first started writing nearly five years ago and seeing all the comments. I used to respond to everyone who was dragging me. The comments used to be bothersome and hurtful until I realized that these people don’t ACTUALLY know me. And that only a hit dog hollers. I rarely respond to invalid criticisms or attacks (unless I have free time and feel like dragging people from their edges).

Recently, Chance the Rapper had some free time between albums or being goofy to go surf the net to see just how people felt about him. While searching his own name because he for damn sure wasn’t tagged, he stumbled upon a tweet which basically said that he was “Chance the rapper is the black Joel Olsteen. He’s the friend that tells you ‘no don’t think that way it gets better, be positive’ and thinks it’s revolutionary advice.” This isn’t that deep. Chance has always been the corny, goofball type that makes these type of optimistic statements with no real solutions lol. It’s part of the whole package of him.

Apparently on December 17th, someone pissed in his Cheerios and he found it important to respond to a guy named Tito with 3096 followers (in comparison to his 8 million) and say “ur ugly.”

Now, first of all, that is so kindergarten. You just going through tweets that you aren’t tagged in and fighting folks? For why? He then doubled down with memes and responses when people chimed in defending Tito. The harassment and notifications got so bad that the user eventually had to protect his tweets and his accounts to stop it all. Just absurd.

Now I hear all of the devil’s advocates. Yes, celebrities are humans with emotions and feelings. I totally get how their mental state could be affected by seeing people constantly drag them or hate on them. However, it is one thing to respond to someone who directly tagged you in a post, and another to go SEARCHING for smoke and then responding in a way that brings your millions of followers to harass said person. And as unfortunate as it may be, that is part of the territory when you live in the public eye. You are open to being judged. And why pick this ONE tweet of the millions that checked you (especially when you was defending Kanye. Where was the clap back that day? I’ll wait).

Social media has created a space for celebrity and fan to be connected in a way that we have never seen before. You could easily have a full conversation for the world to see with people who in a different space and time would be untouchable. Your favorite artists and celebrities can even follow you and take a vested interest in your life. It creates a world where many think that these people are our actual “friends” in a sense because of how we easily we can interact and even direct message some of them.

The other side of that is it creates a firestorm when controversy happens. In the past, these public figures would make a mistake and it might make the news or the paper or be discussed in a magazine a month later. It may make the tabloids and be talked about in the home and meeting places but never on a public forum. Now, however, in the age of virility, any statement from a person with 300 followers can be seen and shared millions of times. Millions can chime in for or against when a person messes up. And the celebrity can now see it all.

But one thing I do know is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. So as a celebrity, you need not only hire a PR person but USE THEM. Run your tweets by them before posting if it is directed at a person. That is why they are there. Listen, celebs have every right to use social media just as we do. I get it. But they also have to remember the saying “to whom much is given much is required.” This is one of those requirements.

So, celebs. Stop searching your name. Or at least be like Kevin Durant and get a burner account so you can troll all you want.


George M. Johnson

George M. Johnson is a black queer journalist and activist located in the Nyc area. He has written for TheRoot, ET, HIVequal, TheGrio, TeenVogue, NBC News and several other major publications.

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