“Mean Tweets” videos usually consist of A-listers reading a selection of imaginative and slightly odd insults, served up with a laughter track and a mutual understanding between audience and celebrity that these 140-character ramblings aren’t to be taken too seriously.
But what about when online commenters are really, really mean? What if they’re more than mean? What about when they contain threats of violence and rape?
That’s an everyday reality for numerous female sports reporters on social media, who are berated, belittled and threatened on social media day after day just for doing their job, a plight that journalists Julie DiCaro and Sarah Spain highlighted in their campaign, #MoreThanMean.
Watch a group of normal guys struggle with some of the awful tweets from the two women’s Twitter mentions and elsewhere.
The messages start off fairly harmless (does anyone actually know what a “scrub muffin” is?), but quickly become deeply disturbing.
“I hope your boyfriend beats you,” reads one, while another says “I hope you get raped again” to DiCaro, who bravely shared her experiences in this Huffington Post article.
Watching the men squirm and struggle to read out the horrible comments is painful, but that’s just a fraction of the feeling DiCaro, Spain and innumerable other female sports reporters out there have felt. They are #MoreThanMean, just as the video suggests, and if you wouldn’t say it to someone’s face, there’s no need to type it.