AU MA Social Media

A class blog about social media.

Twitter: Where the Infamous Become Folkheroes

Posted by richardjudge on June 12, 2013

The case of NSA leaker Edward Snowden has made me realize something.  Maybe it was obvious to everyone but me, but I guess I’m just starting to actually realize it.  The internet is where outlaws become heroes.  Don’t get me wrong, Edward Snowden is a fine looking guy, but an internet sex symbol?  Really?

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There’s always been a segment of our society who love and support the infamous. This isn’t something that  just started happening when the internet came along. From real life criminals like Bonnie & Clyde and Al Capone, to fictional characters like Robin Hood and Tony Montana, there’s a place in American society for criminals with a cause.  But where and how do the infamous become heroes in today’s world?

On Twitter of course!

Before #IStandWithEdwardSnowden, soldier Bradley Manning had a Twitter monopoly on leaker heroism, with the hashtag #ThankManning  a popular rallying cry.  And before that, deceased California cop killer Christopher Dorner was cheered on by Twitter fans during his lengthy run from the law.  A quick twitter search during his crime spree turned up popular hashtags like  #GoDornerGo and #WeStandWithDorner.

With the Edward Snowden case especially, I am curious if the Twittersphere will influence public perception of him and his leaks.  Is he an American hero as those on Twitter argue, or a traitor to his country as his government claims?

– Rick 

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