One of the peculiarities of the Digital Age is how quickly mass hysteria can arise against someone. Perhaps the most famous case of this phenomenon is chronicled in The New York Times Magazine article “How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life.” Sacco, with a small number of Twitter followers, tweeted a foolish line that was – rightly or wrongly – interpreted as a racial slur before she boarded an international flight. By the time she reached her destination, her tweet was the top trending one and a virtual mob was calling for her head. She lost her job, her life was threatened, and she has become famous for all the wrong reasons.
Yet it is not only unthinking tweets that can bring someone undue attention. People can purposely target someone with whom they disagree, and try to bring a high degree of public shaming on that person. A case in point is that of BuzzFeed‘s article that came out this week entitled “Chip And Joanna Gaines’ Church Is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage.” BuzzFeed is a digital media company that delivers news and entertainment over social media. This post on the Gaines, who host the popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper“, seems nothing more than an attempt to bully the network to remove this show and this married couple into shame for holding a traditional view on marriage.
Several helpful pieces have been written regarding this situation. They are offered here in the hope that we might learn to apply the wisdom of James to our online lives. “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” (Jam. 3:8).
10 Questions For Buzzfeed | Samuel D. James
This post simply but effectively raises questions to the staff at BuzzFeed regarding whether they even know any Christians with evangelical beliefs and the motivations in sending out this article.
Are Chip and Joanna Gaines ‘Cultural Heretics’? | Trevin Wax
As the author says, “No, this is not about diversity and inclusion; it’s about enforcing the new moral orthodoxy by shaming ‘cultural heretics.’”
BuzzFeed Wants To Destroy Chip And Joanna Gaines For Being Christian And Wildly Popular | Hans Fiene
Not only did I find out who created the funny, theological videos called Lutheran Satire, but this post at The Federalist speaks clearly to the ill intent of BuzzFeed with this article.
BuzzFeed’s hit piece on Chip and Joanna Gaines is dangerous | Brandon Ambrosino
Even a homosexual man writing for the secular Washington Post sees the problem with this article.