Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Anthony verdict sparking jokes on Twitter

We hear all the time about all the good social networks have done. They've been credited with everything from helping overturn repressive dictatorships to reconnecting long-lost friends to changing forever the way information gets shared. When people talk about any negatives, criticism tends to focus on privacy risks inherent in sharing personal information across a public medium.

What we hear less criticism about is the vile behavior this newfound communicative freedom brings out in some of us. You can see a good example right now in a popular hashtag that has been trending this afternoon among Charlotte's Twitter users: #caseyanthonyplaylist. People are making jokes about what songs would be on Anthony's hypothetical iPod playlist now that she's been acquitted of murdering her young daughter. Some of the songs the internet jokesters have suggested: "You Be Killing 'Em," "All I Do is Win" and "Smooth Criminal." Someone suggested "Have You Seen Her" by the Chi-Lites and quickly added: "I'm goin' to hell for that one."

Social networks -- correction, people on social networks -- have a tendency to turn public tragedies into public spectacles, public sport. Everybody wants to join in the "fun" and show how clever they can be and maybe even get retweeted to their own 15 seconds of Twitter fame. (To be fair, the word "speechless" was also trending in Charlotte this afternoon, ostensibly from all the people tweeting about their disbelief over the not guilty verdict. That much you might expect, given the wall-to-wall coverage the case has received in the media).

Nevertheless, I suspect the Casey Anthony playlist meme is the one people will be talking about at the water cooler. "Some of y'all have me dying (no pun)," someone tweeted. "I feel terrible for laughing."

You should. We're better than that, people. At least I hope we are.


Anonymous said...

I still say the best jokes ever were from the OJ Simpson trial.Canned juice was the best!!

Jim West said...

Yeah I agree OJ simpson trial jokes were hilarious, I get into a fit of laughter even today whenever I remember them...

Anonymous said...

The funniest trending topic has been Dexter Morgan.

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