The invention of digital media allowed people to communicate with peers and express themselves. This platform for free self-expression also allows people to express negative feelings towards other people. This directed negativity can easily turn into cyberbullying.
Around a quarter of teens in the United States have negative feelings towards social media because of the negative information that spreads quickly through it.
How This Strange Meme Started
Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown deleted her Twitter account after being the target of a homophobic meme. The 14-year-old actress has eliminated her twitter presence after users started using photoshop to combine posts from her Snapchat with homophobic and racist statements.
The trending twitter “joke” quickly went viral with the hashtag #TakeDownMillieBobbyBrown. It seems as though the memes originally started out as a joke with no real malicious intention but quickly spun out of control.
This joke originally started to tease the innocent do-gooder image that Millie Bobby Brown is known for. She’s 14-years-old, C’mon people you really thought this was a smart idea???
While many people were playing into the popularity of the meme, others were not buying it. One Twitter user wrote, “Unpopular opinion but I don’t find the Millie Bobby Brown meme funny at all? She’s a child leave her alone you know ppl are going to take it seriously and come @ her.”
For people who aren’t frequent social media users, this was definitely true. Infrequent social media users were confused by the offensive photos when they logged onto twitter. Wouldn’t you be?!?! They thought that the racist encounters with Millie had actually occurred.
This was especially offensive to Brown as someone who has always been outspoken about her support for the LGBTQ+ community. She also leads a handful of campaigns against bullying including having a specific twitter designated for anti-bullying. This account, @Milliestopshate, is still active on Twitter and was not removed.
Brown will return to Netflix’s original series Stranger Things for season 3. The science fiction horror TV series instantly became a favorite among Netflix users when they released their first season in July of 2016.
Like any other viral thing, this will eventually die out. Hopefully, Millie will be able to come back to Twitter without feeling targeted and harassed.