It’s true that social media is home to many chronic complainers with a limitless capacity for outrage over the most minor of infractions. There is often a lack of perspective and proportion. It also happens that a large portion of these people are conservatives or libertarians with huge followings (which is why the “this is why people hate Democrats” comment seems somewhat specious). These right-leaning personalities obsessively tweet about the “woke mob” and “snowflakes” and tell them to stop “whining,” with no self-awareness that their Twitter timeline is a cornucopia of complaints, whether about critical race theory, “cancel culture” or other affronts. For some reason, their constant state of aggrievement does not count as “whining.”
What’s the difference between Maher’s rant about Miranda’s apology and people on Twitter complaining about colorism in Miranda’s movie? The only thing that separates them is that Maher has a huge platform on HBO and that people on Twitter don’t. Where else can someone without such a platform make complaints about systemic issues like colorism – the serious and painful issue of discrimination based on skin tone – than on social media? Yet, only one kind of criticism is being called “bullying” or “bitching.”
What many people call bullying (or in other cases, “cancellation”) is often just criticism or calls for accountability. It’s almost always about issues that have been long-standing and raised ad nauseum only to fall on deaf ears. Yes, sometimes the Twitter swarms are overreactions. They can be cruel and abusive, and we should all take care to not reward this kind of activity.