Several impetuous Twitter users got a lesson in social media karma Monday after their racist remarks about Nina Davuluri went viral.
Davuluri, who was named Miss America 2014 on Sunday night, is the first woman of Indian descent ever to win the coveted beauty pageant. Shortly after her crowning achievement, Twitter lit up with digital cheers for her, as is Twitter's wont. But buried just beneath the countless well-wishes was no shortage of ignorant, racist comments from Twitter users who seemed to see her victory as somehow encapsulating the downfall of American society. Using insults like “Miss Al-Qaeda” and “terrorist” and “a slap in the face to the people of 9/11,” the tweeters demonstrated not only a lamentable absence of manners but also a complete lack of historical cognizance.
Within hours, BuzzFeed writer Ryan Broderick had culled together more than two dozen of those tweets, posting them in an article that has since been shared more than 25,000 times. Other news outlets, such as CNN and USA Today, followed. Many of the tweets were also collected and placed on the Public Shaming Tumblr page.
By Tuesday morning, the law of social media outrage kicked in, with Twitter users unleashing their fury upon the demonstrated ignoramuses who had sought to rain on Davuluri’s parade.
And in most cases, it seems to be working. Several of the Twitter users appear to have been shamed right off of Twitter, and have either deleted or hidden their account. The profile page for Twitter user Jake Amick, who referred to Davuluri as an “Arab,” is now nowhere to be found. Ditto for Jessica Ayres, Sara Whitton, De La Rutherford and others. Wendy Fraser, of “slap in the face to the people of 9/11” fame, also appears to have deleted her account.
Others have either deleted their Twitter streams or made their accounts private, including Jared Tomes, who thought it appropriate to tell a 7-Eleven joke in honor of Davuluri’s historic win.
Not everyone retreated, however. As of Monday afternoon, a few holdouts remained, including Nick Pizzo, who characterized his “terrorist” comment as a joke. Following the BuzzFeed article, Pizzo definitely fended off critics for a while before posting this tweet:
Do you all hate America
â€” Nick Pizzo (@pizzo_nick) September 16, 2013
At least one of the offenders, Twitter user Pookie, apologized for the tweet, but that wasn’t enough for some respondents.
@Granvil_Colt Good to apologize but please learn from it. She was born & raised in this country. And Indians are not Arabs.
â€” julie keating (@juliekeating) September 16, 2013
At a press conference Sunday, Davuluri, a 24-year-old from Syracuse, N.Y., brushed off the Twitter insults. “I have to rise above that,” she said, according to an AP report. “I always viewed myself as first and foremost American.”
Christopher Zara covers media, culture, entertainment and the arts. He joined IBTimes in June 2012. From 2005 to 2012, he served as managing editor of Show Business, a trade...