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#Naughty social media!


AT THE time of writing, certain hashtags with a prefix of the f-word are trending big time on social media. For example, the hashtag #f**kcovid19 has 830K posts on Instagram, and #f**kcoronavirus has 69.4K. What with the Chinese Communist Party virus taking thousands of lives and shutting down the world’s economies, how could these hashtags not be heavily promoted?

Looking back, #f**k2016 had a good run (52K posts). With the election of President Trump, as well as the deaths of Gene Wilder and Carrie Fisher, the year 2016 was lambasted by our shallowest thinkers who imagined themselves as very brave to flip the bird to a period of time, something intangible and unable to respond or punch back. This is the equivalent of a parent smacking a tree into which his child has run while yelling, ‘bad tree!’ Once the child has calmed down, he, too, starts whacking and whining along, ‘bad tree!’ A year or a virus could never and will never respond. 

#f**kcancer (4.3million posts) is another common cry strewn all over social media. Having lost a loved one, the posters are no doubt suffering, but how deriding a disease helps soothe their pain is beyond me. I’m sure the mental health workers of the world would say they are ‘venting’; ‘the venting of a child’ is how I would reply. Like many people, I have lost a few family members and friends to cancer. These losses hit me hard, but never once did I think that a rational way of consoling the bereaved, as we looked down at the deceased in his casket, was to say ‘f**k cancer’. Offering such a mindless thought was not going to bring our loved one back to life, but serve only as a reminder as to what brought him to his end. And what good would such a reminder do? It would be akin to following ‘Sorry for your loss,’ with ‘It was cancer, right?’ 

Meanwhile, the hashtags #f**kchinavirus (100+ posts), #f**kwuhanvirus (100+ posts), and #f**kchinesecommunistparty (<100 posts) are lagging far behind the aforementioned virus-affiliated hashtags, in spite of being the more productive ones to promote during these difficult times. Social media posts such as these bring attention to the origin of the virus and the regime that attempted to cover it up. Not to mention that it would also make the person who posts it sound truly brave. Why aren’t we seeing much of this type of posts? Because of concerns of being called ‘racist’ and getting ‘cancelled’ by the politically correct Western world, and fears of being ‘disappeared’ on mainland China. Simply put, unlike a virus or a year or a disease, the PC police and the Chinese Communists can, and will, punch back.  

Here’s hoping that 2021 sees a more courageous social media crowd. 

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Thomas Lane
Thomas Lane
Thomas Lane is a writer who lives and works in New York City.

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