Everyone secretly loves a scandal. Scandals are the reasons why tabloids are still selling and “Jersey Shore” was so popular.Â Recently, ACU has been rocked by its own scandal.
A flurry of crude and offensive tweets have spawned from several Twitter accounts, causing an internet uproar. These accounts have addressed ACU social clubs and students in cruel and demeaning ways. While these accounts have caused drama on and off the internet, they have also raised the question: how far is too far when it comes to social media?
The internet is a tool that allows people to voice their opinions without exposing their identities. However, because people can hide behind the veil of anonymity, they lose the incentive to stick to their morals. They can be as hateful as they want and no one knows who they are… yet.
Vulgar, anonymous comments on the internet aren’t limited to just Twitter. YouTube is another example of a site that lets you hide your identity. Some videos have comments that would cause a nun to have a stroke.
Our First Amendment rights grant us the freedom of speech, which includes anonymous posts on the internet. But there are boundaries.
Just because something is legal, does not make it ethical. There’s a difference.
We are Abilene Christian University. Does that mean everyone here must be a Christian? Absolutely not. But it does mean that students here are held to a higher standard. A standard of honor and morality.
However, the creators of the Twitter accounts are not the only ones to blame. We, the consumers, are to blame also.
Why do people get such a kick out of posting mean, infuriating things on the internet? Because they know it will cause a stir. By re-tweeting and talking about the “Twitter scandal,” we are doing exactly what the “tweeters” want. We are spreading the word and making them more infamous.
Even this editorial is responsible for spreading the word by simply mentioning the tweets. It’s up to you, our readers, to decide how you will respond.
People need to realize there is a fine line between being offensive to be funny and being just plain offensive. They also need to remember the morality they display through their comments will be linked to their reputation. Your tweets, posts, “likes” and the rest of your online life make up a large portion of the way you are seen by the world.
Always remember, if you don’t want to be associated with a comment, keep it to yourself. You might feel safe hiding behind a username, but once you hit “tweet,” “send,” “post” or “submit,” that information is out there for the world to see.
Just think, if everyone knew who you were, would you still post it?