Technology has a way of bringing out the worst in people. Its distance and anonymity give people a feeling of unassailable power, and bullying and threats can be made because people feel they can get away wtih it. Not to mention that most people who choose this way to act like a disturbed moron wouldn't dare do it to someone's face. The View co-host Sherri Shepherd recently fielded this unexcusable tweet: "Somebody should drag u in a back alley and rape you."
Not suprisingly, Sherri was outraged. She replied that she was going to report the threat to the police. People seem to think that Twitter exists in some alternate universe where the rules don't apply. But they're wrong.
Here are 5 other celebs who have been threatened over Twitter and what happened:
Miley Cyrus. In February, Miley began getting death threats via Twitter from a user dedicated to hating on her. Miley fought back, calling on Twitter to make the social network safer. "I won't tolerate someone telling me 2 die. I think Twitter needs to take some responsibility and make it a safe environment!" she wrote. Agreed.
Selena Gomez. Hell hath no crazy like a Belieber tweeter scorned. After pics surfaced of Selena kissing her boyfriend, Justin Bieber, she was inundated with death threats tweets. I cringe when I think that there are deluded Bieber-philes out there writing stuff like @selenagomez If you are the Girlfriend of Justin I will Kill you I HATE YOU :@ !!! Yeah, that'll make the Biebs love you for sure.
Chrissy Teigen. Rabid Chris Brown fans showed their "class" when they tweeted death threats to the model and fianceé of singer John Legend after she made a crack about Brown fans' "fits of rage." The joke was tasteless -- after all, it is Brown who has the rage problem, not his fans -- but they didn't prove her wrong by tweeting threats.
Taylor Armstrong. The Real Housewives of Orange County castmember contacted the FBI after receiving numerous death tweets. The Twitter stalker even threatened to harm her 5-year-old daughter. He or she also threatened to kidnap Taylor at a book signing. She did the appearance anyway.
Fabrice Muamba. When the U.K. footballer tragically suffered cardiac arrest while playing a game in March, a 21-year-old student began tweeting jokes and horrible comments about him being dead (he wasn't), and making hate-filled and racist threats. He was arrested and sentenced to serve 56 days in jail. Proving that Twitter jerks aren't so bad-ass in real life, he cried as he was hauled off to the pokey.
Do you think death threats over Twitter should be taken seriously?
Image via West.M/Flickr