Celebrities always have an easier way of gaining attention than everyone else. It’s never been more evident than during this past election season with countless videos imploring voters not to back Trump. This past weekend, this liberal celebrity privilege has been taken to a whole new level.
Over the weekend, a Twitter user named Amy Moreno (@VivaLaAmes) was under constant harassment by Islamic State members and sympathizers, which included many death threats. According to Moreno, some of those ISIS members even urged “Lone Wolves” to find and kill her.
You would think that maybe Twitter would take action and try to help Amy, right?
Wrong, instead Twitter chose to lock Moreno’s Twitter account meaning that she couldn’t tweet anything until she deleted tweets that Twitter felt were against their rules. After Moreno had accessed her account again, ISIS continued to bombard her with threats. These tweets are a small fraction of how many there actually are, as the other ones contain graphic images and profanity.
After the alleged ISIS users had posted these tweets, some of the accounts that they were posted under stayed active for over 10 hours before being taken down. Compared to when average Twitter users harass celebrities, they receive special treatment. When Milo Yiannopoulos trolled Leslie Jones, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey personally reached out to her and helped her get through some of that alleged online harassment.
How is ISIS harassment not more serious than what happened to Leslie Jones? Jack hasn’t reached out to Amy Moreno yet, even though ISIS fighters are calling on her to be killed. Some may ask “Why was Leslie Jones given special treatment?” The simple answer is because she is a celebrity, and she has a bigger voice than any of us ever do.
Let’s look and a more recent incident in which Teen Vogue writer Lauren Duca (@LaurenDuca) was trolled and harassed on Twitter by PharmaBro Martin Shkreli. It all started when Shkreli direct messaged Duca on Twitter asking to his “plus one” to the Trump’s Inauguration.
After Duca responded, Shkreli then made his cover photo a collage of pictures of Duca along with the words “For Better or Worse, ‘Til Death do us Part, I love you with Every Single Beat of my Heart.” Duca then captured a screenshot of his profile and posted this tweet.
In addition to the creepy Twitter cover photo, Shkreli even tweeted that he bought the domain name “marrymelauren.com,” In a statement to CBS News, Duca said that “Shkreli is engaged in targeted harassment, and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended.” Shortly after Duca reported Shkreli’s account for harassment, he was suspended.
What’s concerning to me is the fact that Duca got someone kicked off of Twitter for non-life threatening harassment very quickly, while some of the ISIS death threats against Moreno were left untouched on Twitter for hours. Don’t get me wrong, I believe what Shkreli did was harassment, and he deserved to get his account suspended.
Lauren Duca and Leslie Jones are prime examples about how celebrities use their status to get special treatment. Meanwhile, the rest of us have to scrap to get half of that attention in a life threatening situation such as what Amy Moreno went through. When I search on Google “Lauren Duca,” tons of articles from major media outlets, including CBS News have written on the harassment she received.
What do I get when I search “Amy Moreno?” Nothing. There’s not a single article written before this one about the fact that ISIS has been harassing her.
To the media and Twitter, it’s time to check celebrity privilege.