When Twitter Gets Racist: How Should We Deal With The Attack On Joel Ward?

Senior Writer
04.26.12 19 Comments

Last night, the 7-seed Washington Capitals defeated the defending Stanley Cup champions and 2-seed Boston Bruins to advance in the NHL Playoffs, and plenty of Boston fans were none too pleased. Sadly, instead of simply enjoying a great upset in an exciting series, most of us are enjoying a huge buffet of WTF today.

After Caps RW Joel Ward scored the game-winning goal, Bruins fans took their frustrations to Twitter, and the personal attacks on Ward got out of control quickly. Sadly, the attacks weren’t based on the fact that Ward only scored 6 goals this season and had no business being the hero. Nope, it was because he’s black. And in case you didn’t know, Twitter can be quite the haven for racism.

Thousands of Tweets were posted within minutes, calling Ward the worst word of them all, and they basically all looked like this (NSFW for language)…

You can see plenty more of these Tweets at Chirp Story, but that one above gives you the basic idea.

If I had to rank the most racist comment forums on the Internet, I’d probably say it’s:

1) Yahoo!

2) YouTube

3) Twitter

Go ahead and check them out. They’re the ultimate proof that our global education is in the shitter. There’s no point in being outraged about last night’s latest episode, because it’s wasted emotion.

(UPDATE: Reader Neil reminded me about the student in England who was sentenced to 56 days in jail for racist Tweets. I don’t normally encourage cluttering our legal system and delaying important trials like Roger Clemens’ fibbery and Kris Humphries seeking the truth about his fraudulent marriage, but I think a few convictions here would do wonders for some of these morons.)

Seriously, here’s a screen grab of the latest Tweets using that word that I so incredibly loathe:

Some are harmless, others are the complete opposite. And there are more:

So many more:

You get the point. As long as assholes have a keyboard and a chip on their shoulder – or even worse, just the desire to troll in the most heinous way possible – there will be racism on the Internet, because social media sucks and proves that not everyone was meant to have a public voice.

So what the hell can we do about it? Seth Davis from Sports Illustrated thinks we should find out who these people are and get them fired from their jobs. Fine, let’s make them angrier. Other people think these dickheads should be deleted from Twitter. While that seems reasonable, they’ll just get new accounts and amplify their hate.

Short of forming small tactical teams that travel the country and locate these people based on IP addresses so we can round them up and put them on rockets and fire them into the sun – which I’m totally down for, by the way – the best we can do is ignore them. Hopefully, Joel Ward is, because he already beat them all.

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