Be careful what you tweet, especially if you are a celebrity. It could bring you some very unwanted attention. 50 Cent tweeted some negative comments about autism and special needs. This has not gone unnoticed, and has resulted in an event cancellation for the rapper.
50 Cent is obviously not the name listed on the rapper’s birth certificate. His real name is Curtis Jackson. It has become quite common for celebrities to have a Twitter account. You can follow @50cent on Twitter if you want to.
Being on Twitter, as a famous person, can be both a blessing, and a curse, depending on what the celebrity chooses to tweet. For example, a good way to use Twitter is to keep your fans updated on what you are working on, or where your tour is headed. A celebrity might make some fans feel more connected to them if the celebrity responds to the tweets of non-celebrities in a polite way.
On the other hand, a celebrity can use their Twitter account in a way that is likely to make them lose some of their fans. One vivid example of this can be found in what 50 Cent chose to tweet. First, he tweeted a response to a fan. So far, so good. Unfortunately, he followed up that comment with:
“@50cent: yeah just saw your picture fool you look autistic”
After tweeting this insult to someone who was a fan, 50 Cent chose to tweet:
“@50cent: “I don’t want no special ed kids on my time line follow some body else”
Now, on Twitter, he directed these Tweets at the fan by adding that person’s Twitter name into his tweet. In other words, 50 Cent decided not only to insult this particular fan, but also wanted to make it really obvious to everyone exactly which fan he was talking to. This is not a smart idea.
The bigger controversy is that 50 Cent’s words made it clear that he thinks it is ok to make fun of a person whom he perceives to have an autism spectrum disorder specifically because he thinks that the fan has a special need. Following that up by proclaiming that he doesn’t want “no special ed kids on my time line” makes things worse.
I have a family member who has an autism spectrum disorder. I don’t find anything about 50 Cent’s comments to be the least bit amusing. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Many autism organizations have responded to the mean comments. 50 Cent’s unkind words also caused Carphone Warehouse, in Dublin, Ireland, to cancel an appearance that 50 Cent was supposed to make in the Dundrum Town Centre.
Image by Alex Const on Flickr