I love the Internet. It’s full of great people. It’s also full of people that certainly seem horrible. I’d like to think they are not bad people, they just behave badly and let out frustration on the place where they feel most free to do anything. It’s like, what would you do if you thought you wouldn’t be seen or caught? Well, a lot of people will do things to quickly get satisfaction, and a lot of times that means being a huge asshole. Such is the case with tweets to Frank Ocean in response to his story of falling in love with another man at 19.
One of my favorite publications, fastcompany, put together the story of the other side of the Internet - a group of Swedish designers that put together a site that tells the story of Frank Ocean and then displays the hateful tweets that were sent to him. They included a feature to “send some love” to the hateful tweeters. Kill them with kindness, right? Yes, it can be passive aggressive. But it’s also effective, honest, and shows not all people on the Internet are awful.
On July 4th, Odd Future band member and 2011 breakout star Frank Ocean posted a grainy screengrab of his new album’s liner notes on Tumblr. In the “thank you’s” section, he described falling in love with a man, and the heart-wrenching experience of being rejected. His story wasn’t really about sexuality so much as love—falling into it, accepting it, and requiting it. Those subtleties didn’t seem to matter on Twitter, where the 24-year-old was barraged with homophobic slurs and hateful messages—despite statements of support from Beyonce, Russell Simmons, and even (arguably homophobic) Odd Future frontman Tyler the Creator. Weirdly, the media portrayed Ocean’s story as a triumph for an industry where homosexuality is taboo. But a cursory look at Twitter told another, uglier story.
But what is the Internet, if not a vehicle for vigilante justice? After seeing the outpouring of hate on Twitter, five young Swedish designers decided to build a website that would leverage the power of the Interweb to defend Ocean.
Using Twitter To Troll Frank Ocean’s Homophobic Haters