Real Talk: When Twitter Rage Goes Too Far

What's with so many celebs wilding out on Twitter? In the last week, New Edition's Johnny Gill, rapper The Game band actress/singer Jennifer Hudson have all been acting up...

This week's mantra should be "Think before you Tweet!"
 
In the last week, New Edition's Johnny Gill, rapper The Game, and actress/singer Jennifer Hudson have all been acting-up on Twitter.
 
Gill went in on the CEO of his record label, Ira DeWitt, calling her "deranged" and "f***ing nuts” for leaking a track that didn’t appear on his latest CD, "Still Winning." The following Thursday, Gill was losing after DeWitt filed court papers denying the accusation and suing Gill for an unspecified amount.
 
TMZ, of course, caught up with Gill at LAX where Gill told a reporter that he thought people should be able to say what they want on Twitter. Otherwise, "courtrooms would be filled with a bunch of Twitter people complaining about things people say every day... It's freedom of speech."
 
Is it?
 
The Game may also end up in court for his Twitter antics. Over the weekend, a tweet went out from his account urging his 580,000 followers to call the number to the Compton Sheriff's station if they wanted an internship. The station's lines were clogged with calls and Captain Mike Parker from the Sheriff’s office tweeted to The Game that he was “compromising public safety.”
 
The rapper responded, "Ya'll can track a tweet down but can't solve murders!”
 
The Sheriff's Department says they want the D.A. to potentially file misdemeanor charges, including delaying or obstructing a peace officer in the performance of their duties. The Game says his account was hacked.
 
Hmm.
 
Jennifer Hudson, America’s newly svelte sweetheart, has her own Twitter troubles. Last week, she got huffy with a fan that asked, "Did you get surgery to assist with your weight loss? Or is it all weight watchers?"
 
Jen responded, "Please don't ask me no more dumb ass questions. If you try WW you would know you don't need any assistance."
 
@1984Lips4daze was the wrong follower to flip on. She lit J-Hud up, going in on Jen's fiance's sexuality and the lackluster sales of her latest CD, “I Remember Me.”  
 
Jennifer tried to clap back, threatening to "show u some of my Southside" and fly out to fight her verbal attacker.
 
Yikes...
 
I get it... sorta. Celebs are human and don’t always think their actions through, just like some of us. But the result of a hasty 140 characters or less clearly can lead to lawsuits and damage hard-built reputations. And don’t think you’re immune because you’re not a public figure. Several people have lost jobs, friends, or significant others over tweeting.

The next time you feel like playing a harmless prank, or tough type in anger, picture yourself with a bullhorn to your mouth in front of a crowd that includes your relatives, friends, associates and employers (current and future). If you’ve still got the tough huevos to put folks on blast and take the consequences like a woman, by all means say it how you feel it. But if you don’t? Try firing off a profanity-laced BBM or text to a friend who knows how to keep their mouth shut instead.

And remember, don't drink and Tweet either.
 
Demetria L. Lucas is the Relationships Editor at ESSENCE and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. She has recently been nominated for an African American Literary Award. Vote for her now on literaryawardshow.com

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