Social media thrives on shame – but how should we handle an offensive past coming to light?
Written by Stephanie Soh on gal-dem.
“Because one reason why there is such a visceral ‘gotcha’ response to these posts, is down to the continued dismissal of marginalised communities who want justice for the discrimination they face. Whether it’s Black people speaking out about police brutality, women who have suffered sexual assault being let down by the criminal justice system or trans people who are harassed not only in the street but in supposedly professional spaces, the problems marginalised communities face remain unaddressed. So when a trial-by-social-media does happen after old offensive posts surface, it can be a chance to see justice very publicly served, as well as prove that the discrimination you say you face, really does exist – because it’s right there to see, in a tweet.
But often, raging at individuals for long-past mistakes seems like misplaced energy. What we need to challenge are the people and institutions who continue to discriminate today, and who show no signs of changing.
If serious problems are found, then it’s only right that Ollie and Yorkshire CCC should be held accountable for them. In fact, tackling the systemic problems would not only help prevent the attitudes that manifest themselves as offensive posts, but move us away from a culture where we are so justice-starved that we demand to see heads roll.”