Why the saga mother and son of Twitter #HimToo was a satisfactory moment for social networks?

adminOctober 9, 2018


Screenshots of the original tweets from side to side.

Screenshots of the original tweets.


It was a social media saga that took the form of a play in three acts: first, the politicized Twitter message of a mother about her son, which showed a ridiculously presented photo of her and her complaints about her lack of life due to the "Current climate of false sexual accusations", went viral. Soon it inspired a wave of parodies: people who publish about the problems of their "children" in the "current climate".Marty McFly can not make appointments because his mother made him a pass at the prom.) Then the real son in the middle of everything spoke to clarify that he had no idea what his mother was talking about. What a strange confluence of events involving a group of people we had never heard of until 5 seconds ago!

The original publication, since it was deleted along with the account that published it, reads as follows: "This is MY son. He graduated # 1 in the training camp. He was awarded the USO prize. He was # 1 at school A. He is a gentleman who respects women. She will not go to solo appointments due to the current climate of false sexual accusations by radical feminists with an ax to grind. I VOTE. #HimToo. "The indignant tone was accompanied by the image of a young man in a Navy uniform, posing theatrically with one leg resting on a bench and his chin resting on a fist.

The fact that the publication was ridiculed was too predictable: here was an apparent conservative who tried to argue that the #MeToo movement had gone too far and illustrated why with a very specific example: how it is affecting his very good son. If someone who was in the Navy and No. 1 in training camp can not "go on solo dates," which is a wonderful way to express it, what is this world about? This type of bluff is common in social networks, but the details made the message especially ripe to be remixed and memed. People started posting photos of his children, aka random things that they called their children, which included the child of The sixth Sense, Donald Trump Jr., and some "children" that technically were animals, among others.

However, what took this story from medium to fun to transcendent, was when the original child in question appeared on Twitter. His name is Pieter Hanson, and his Twitter account? @Thatwasmymom

In answering, Hanson questioned his mother's statements in a kind and gentle way that is generally not seen on social media. He was not here to rebuke his mother, but to say that "Sometimes the people we love do things that hurt us without realizing it," which is indisputably true. Imitating the silly pose of the original tweet was a daunting touch and a sign of good humor. Taken in sum, Hanson achieved a rare feat: he claimed his narrative and, disobeying the unofficial rule that anyone suddenly noticeable on the Internet is probably worse than he thinks, achieved what Verge called the "reverse milk shake duck" : instead of a viral hero who revealed himself as less than heroic when his racist, sexist, homophobic or offensive publications arose, he was presented here as a viral villain as, in spite of everything, a just hero.

Hanson's response was an excellent reminder of a crucial and often forgotten fact of social networks: when you post about someone, sometimes they respond, and they may have a very different opinion of things! As simple as it is, this really amounts to a verification and balance function in a world where the truth seems more slippery than ever, although there are many reasons to question the concept of Twitter as a "truth machine", there is a reason That idea caught in the first place. If that is too high, then Hanson's response is also, at a minimum, a warning to social media: happy parents everywhere.


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