Tuesday, 16 April 2013

The Tweet that made Anne Frank a Belieber.

Twitter is revealing just how hard it is to be a celebrity.

Imagine if everything you did and said was interpreted and used to highlight a cause or taken personally?

The comedian who tells a joke about cancer, or deafness, or being overweight and suddenly has an audience member heckle and scream of offence because they are personally affected by the issue; a family member died or suffered or they have battled through whatever is now the butt of the joke.

I am a master at upsetting my small circle of friends and family over things I say without enough thought. Imagine what it must be like to have every word you speak analysed and taken to heart by millions.

Being a celebrity is clearly hard work. The ones who master the art of not offending, of being supportive and gracious towards fans shine long and bright. The ones who fall foul are quickly cut off at the knees or allowed to wither and die as a fallen star.

Recently Justin Beiber visited Anne Frank's house and wrote in their visitor's book this: "Truly inspiring to be able to come here. Anne was a great girl. Hopefully she would have been a belieber."

This was tweeted by the Frank house - very cleverly - as it will no doubt attract huge publicity and thousands or visitors. Bieber has been pilloried for being egotistical and making a tragic event within the holocaust about him. 

The tweeted words don't have room to explain the curator of the Frank house had been talking to Bieber of how Anne was heavily influenced and into the pop culture of the day and would most likely have been one of his fans had they shared the same time together. That is why Beiber wrote what he wrote. Out of context he's a self absorbed narcissist.

In context, as a 19 year old, he may well have been flattered by the idea of one of the world's most remembered teens being a fan. Certainly no one has made much comment of the very thoughtful comments he wrote before the belieber reference.

Lady Gaga tweeted:  "Just killed back to back spin classes. Eating a salad dreaming of a cheeseburger #PopSingersDontEat #IWasBornThisWay."  

She was attacked for advocating severe dieting.

Gwyneth Paltrow was labelled a racist when she twittered the N word - only to later explain it was the title of a song. The furore realised their mistake,

Miley Cyrus infuriated fans over this: "You are all stardust. You couldn't be here if stars hadn't exploded... So forget Jesus. Stars died so you could live." 

Fans of Jesus tweet: "Miley, you are dead to us - Bitch!"

There are countless other 'Twitterstorm' contoversies. 

Some justified like Gilbert Gottfried tweeting that -"Japan is so advanced - they don't go to the beach the beach comes to them," before the waters of the tsunami had receeded.

Others are overblown and overhyped and perfectly illustrate how, as a celebrity being scrutinized, it is probably better, certainly easier to say nothing. Because saying anything will always offend someone. 

Twitter, that stupid short spray of ideas that was lampooned for it's modern irrelevance and inability to address any issue in enough depth to ever be important, turns out to be the most important social media tool going around. Why? Because it does two things well - it condenses ideas into the modern attention span and much like the log line of the pitch to a good film, allows people to grasp the idea being tweeted in 10 seconds or less. And two - it condenses complicated ideas into their bare bones - not allowing elaboration or spin - it just has room for the core idea - and often, as with both the radical left and radical right - be they from the media, politics or everyday life, that core idea is clouded in emotive, caressing rhetoric and backed up by massaged facts and figures to make that harmful, spiteful, self serving core idea seem plausible and less offensive. 

Not so the naked tweet.

To tweet is to live or die by your ideas and true beliefs without any spin or supporting propaganda. You cannot hide your central theme in misdirection in an attempt to make a hurtful or misinformed idea seem more palatable to the masses.

The pen may be mightier than the sword, but the tweet is proving to be instant death unless you know how to use it.

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