“More Than Mean” is the new online campaign to bring awareness and to stop social media bullying. The campaign takes aim at tweets directed toward a handful of prominent female sports writers, and it shows just how awful some of the things people say on social media that they would never say to a person’s face.
“More Than Mean” is a 4-minute video that features Sarah Spain and Julie DiCaro, two prominent women in sports media who have been targeted by plenty of hate on social media. The video is meant to be shocking, and it’s also meant to bring awareness to just how horrific some of the comments that people freely make on social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram can be.
A group of regular men was brought in to participate in making the video. They did not write the original tweets, and it’s pretty obvious that they struggled badly while trying to read through some of the tweets directed at Spain and DiCaro. What they didn’t know is that both women had already seen the shocking and hurtful tweets that their anti-fans happily typed up while enjoying the anonymity from behind their computer screens.
“One of the players should beat you to death with their hockey stick, like the w***e you are,” one of the tweets read. “Hopefully this skank Julie DiCaro is Bill Cosby’s next victim. That would be classic,” said another. At one point, one of the men asked, “Uh…..so I have to read all of them, right?” and you can hear Julie DiCaro tell him that he does. So he very painfully reads, “I hope you get raped again.”
— charles i. letbetter (@charlesletbette) April 27, 2016
“I don’t think I can even say that,” another man said. “I’m having trouble looking at you when I’m saying these things,” said another during the short video that only highlights a few of the hundreds and thousands of social media messages that hoped for violence, tragedy and even death for those women who already are trying to break barriers in a male dominated field.
Who writes horrible things like that directed at anyone? Let alone someone who is just doing their job. The sad fact is that for many prominent women on social media, and for some reason, for sports media professionals specifically, this is not uncommon. There have even been jokes (that aren’t funny at all) about how the harassment just comes with the job.
— Charles Adler (@charlesadler) April 26, 2016
According to Mashable, the overall message of the “More Than Mean” anti-bullying video is that some men tend to say some pretty shocking things to women in social media that they would never say to a woman’s face. It happens to pretty much all celebrities and those who live in the public spotlight. The video pointed out how women in sports media tend to be subjected to a lot of social media harassment that the harassers would never dream of saying out loud. So why are they so willing to type it out and post it?
Julie DiSpano and Sarah Spain are used to the constant insults and threats. They sat silently and even agreed with the men who couldn’t believe the horrible messages they were asked to read out load. At the end of the four-minute “More Than Mean” video, it showed those same men apologizing on behalf of everyone who has sent a horrible mean tweet without thinking how it would make the woman receiving it feel.
One thing is for sure, humanity needs to do better. Just because we have access to be able to say anything we want to anyone we want, doesn’t mean we need to. “More Than Mean” is eye opening and horrific. Women in sports media and in general should never have to hear men tell them they hope they will die or get raped. The four-minute video seen above is just one of many recent anti-bullying efforts aimed at bringing awareness to some of the horrors of social media.
[Image via YouTube]