PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” announced earlier this week that Trevor Noah is going to be the replacement for long time host Jon Stewart, and within a day, he has been under attack for tweets that he sent up to five years ago that included controversial jokes about Israel and fat women.
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Jon Ronson, author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, told Talk Radio 1210 WPHT morning host Chris Stigall that this is what people do on social media now — comb through thousands of tweets just to find ones that they feel are offensive.
“What we love to do on social media now is find the worst tweet that somebody has ever written, and then define them by that tweet. You know, pretend that that tweet is like a clue to that person’s inherent evil, but it’s not true. What about the other 8,995 funny tweets that this guy wrote who are innocuous tweets?”
Ronson feels that many of the people that are in the “Twitter Mob” that attack people for what they say on social media are actually doing it because they feel like the underdog.READ MORE: Philadelphia Participates In National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
“On social media, we all like to see ourselves as like the silent underdog, like Rosa Parks punching up, but it’s not true. A: Rosa Parks was courageous, and it’s not courageous to destroy somebody like a drone strike operated behind a computer, and B: We are powerful. Like when tens of thousands of people get together on social media to destroy somebody, we’re the powerful ones. It’s terrifying to be at the end of that. “
While the “Twitter Mob” thinks that they are akin to Rosa Parks, Ronson sees them more like a “toddler crawling towards a gun.”
“This incredibly powerful weapon in social media and we’re all kind of like babies, we pretend to ourselves that we don’t realize the power of this weapon.”
With controversies like this in mind, he is fearful of a world with self-censorship where nobody says anything interesting.MORE NEWS: 52-Year-Old Shot To Death In Chester, Police Say
“I would rather live in a world where the person making the joke that might be misconstrued shouldn’t be the one changing their behavior. The changed behavior should be the people who then pile onto that person and tear them apart, because I don’t think that we want a conservative conformist world where people are only tweeting about Lady Gaga and ice cream and going to the beach. I don’t want to live in that world.”