The pressure of the mob is a thing to behold on social media. An annoying thing to behold. It’s past the point where you can say “now more than ever.” We are stuck at a perpetual “still and again” when it comes to being exasperated by the forces of offense-taking.
In the latest case, it’s the United States Air Force that was mobbed into an apology over a tweet that was, frankly, awesome.
They deleted the tweet, so you’ll have to settle for this screenshot:
It’s clever, it’s trash-talky without being crass, and it’s tough. You know, like you’d want the military to be.
But they deleted it and apologized.
We apologize for the earlier tweet regarding the A-10. It was made in poor taste and we are addressing it internally. It has since been removed.
— U.S. Air Force (@usairforce) May 17, 2018
Why? The mob, of course,
Hehehe murder, amirite fellow adolescents?
— chrisred (@chrisherrgari) May 17, 2018
What about the innocents you murder by "mistake"? What would they rather hear? You guys need someone on your PR crew who isn't a sociopath. This is bad form.
— Jamie Dyer ⚡ (@jamiedcville) May 17, 2018
You’ll notice a common theme there, and I wonder if this next guy agrees that what our Air Force does is “murder.”
Of course, it is not murder, obviously.
The tweet references an attack on the Taliban by Afghanistan and the United States. The Taliban insurgents were attempting to take over a town, which is a bad thing. Afghan forces conducted the bulk of the strike, and spokesman Najib Danish told the New York Times that “the whole Farah city is cleared from the Taliban. Around 300 members of the Taliban were killed in the fighting.”
You know. Like in a war.
The Twitter brigades, made up mostly of people who are either unintelligent or lack moral judgment, are representative of the culture of taking offense that is especially prevalent on social media but does penetrate most other aspects of our society to one degree or another.
It is not a partisan habit. There is magnified or manufactured offense or outrage on both sides of the aisle, it just takes different forms. On the left and in popular culture it tends to manifest as either rote objection to everything said by a particular person, or as a knee-jerk reaction to all topics in a particular area. In this case, the idea of the American military doing the thing that military forces exist to do.
I do wonder what these children think is the purpose of a fighter jet, for example. You’d think the word “fighter’ would be a clue.
When we disrupt bad guys, when we use our weapons to defeat them, when we stop terrorists with guns or save innocents from slaughter through force, or even when we call murdering murderers “animals,” we are right to do so.
For the Air Force to smartly use a pop culture topic to highlight our success in war is a good thing, not a bad one. It’s part of their mission as much as firing the weapon in the first place.
Of course, this accurate reasoning is immaterial. Because, as you can see from the objections above, it’s not really that the tweet is offensive. They object to the existence of the Air Force, to the use of force by America (but not by the Taliban). In short, it’s just another manifestation of the natural inclination toward anti-American sentiment that one comes across every day in the social justice circles of social media.
And they successfully got the Air Force to retreat. That’s not good, folks.