Every day somebody says or does something that earns them the scorn of the internet. Here at Digg, as part of our mission to curate what the internet is talking about right now, we rounded up the main characters on Twitter from this past week and held them accountable for their actions.
This week’s characters include a guy whose website self-destructed on the same day it launched, a sports reporter who fiercely defended the merits of unpaid internships, a governor whose tweet single-handedly got “I HATE IT HERE” to trend and two pundits with very bad opinions about Texas.
The character: Tom Redman, a Canadian product manager and engineer.
The plot: In an emoji-filled announcement, Redman proclaimed the launch of recipeasly.com, which would “fix online recipes” by filtering out “the ads or life stories.”
The repercussion: The splashy announcement went over like a lead balloon as hundreds of food bloggers accused him of stealing content and exploiting the labor of others.
While he initially attempted to defend his creation, he took recipeasly.com down within hours of launch, replacing it with this apology:
Redman acknowledged he messed up.
The character: Jane Slater, a sideline reporter for the NFL Network and fan of unpaid internships.
The plot: On Monday, Slater tweeted out an “exciting internship opportunity” to her 162,000+ followers with the caveat that it was unpaid.
After getting some initial blowback for her tweet, Slate decided to double down on her support for unpaid internships and said she would have “jumped at it in college.”
The repercussion: Slater was ratioed into oblivion, with numerous media types pointing out that many people — especially people of color — can’t afford to take an unpaid internship.
Slater was also called out for not acknowledging that she was privileged enough to take an unpaid internship given her family’s wealth.
After taking a significant drubbing from the internet, Slater later wrote a mea culpa acknowledging her privilege.
The character: Greg Abbott, Texas governor and blamer of windmills for his state’s problems.
The plot: On Tuesday, Abbott suddenly decided to ditch all of Texas’s coronavirus restrictions, including the statewide mask mandate, and allow all businesses to open with no capacity limits — using caps locks for emphasis.
The repercussion: Abbott’s tweet announcing the policy change sparked widespread outrage. Health experts excoriated him for terminating the mask mandate and rushing to reopen, calling his decision a mistake.
Others called him a worse politician than Ted Cruz.
Abbott’s move sparked “RIP Texas” and “I HATE IT HERE” to become trending topics, and other netizens openly worried about the imminent danger toward which the Lone Star State appeared to be heading.
The character: Michael Moore, Oscar-winning documentarian.
The plot: Following Tuesday’s main character’s announcement that Texas would operate full speed ahead without COVID restrictions, Moore tweeted that residents of the state didn’t need to be given the vaccine.
The repercussion: While Abbott drew much flak for his decision to lift restrictions, Moore’s tweet got the severe wrath of both liberals and conservatives for saying Texans should be denied the vaccine as a result, and many people slammed the filmmaker’s comments as being unhelpful.
Others pointed out that based on Moore’s logic, residents of Flint, Michigan, deserved the water they got for electing former Governor Rick Snyder, who has recently been charged for his role in the crisis.
Moore later tried to walk back his tweet, saying that of course we should “vaccinate the poor and people of color in Texas,” but emphasized that Texans needed to hold their leader responsible.
The character: Keith Olbermann, former MSNBC and ESPN commentator and progenitor of the recurring “Worst Person In The World” segment.
The plot: Olbermann asked his many Twitter followers why we were “wasting vaccinations on Texas if Texas has decided to join the side of the virus.”
The repercussion: Olbermann’s hot take was torn to shreds by the internet, with many people saying he was rooting for people to die over the actions of their governor.
After the massive backlash, Olbermann called his tweet “needlessly harsh” and apologized for it.
Read the previous edition of our One Main Character column, which includes a Barstool Sports blogger who got conspiratorial about Tiger Woods’ crash and more.
Did we miss a main character from this week? Please send tips to [email protected].