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Recreation of popular Jimmy Kimmel skit, ‘Celebrity Mean Tweets,’ used to raise cyberbullying awareness

Screencap of Kevin James from Jimmy Kimmel's Celebrity Mean Tweets series.
Screencap of Kevin James from Jimmy Kimmel’s Celebrity Mean Tweets series.

Jimmy Kimmel’s “Celebrity Mean Tweets” episodes usually fall under some of my favorite viral videos, next to compilation videos of husky puppies, of course. Videos consist of celebrities, and for one video, even President Obama, reading the most ridiculous and meanest things tweeted to them.

The Canadian Safe School Network and advertising agency John St. modeled their own version of the video after Kimmel’s popular videos to raise awareness for cyber bullying. The video shows teenagers reading their own mean tweets aloud, with an obnoxious amount laughter from the “studio audience.”

Cyberbullies directly take shots at kids’ racial stereotypes, appearance, weight, and beyond.

“Holly has a face that only diabetes could love.”

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“Nobody likes you. Do everyone a favor and just kill yourself.”

Even with the queued up laugh of a recorded studio audience, there was nothing funny about the things being said to these kids.

More than 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.

With the growing popularity of social media and the increasingly growing crowd of younger users, cyber bullying has become just as prevalent as good ol’ fashioned bullying.

We’re all a little braver behind a computer screen; that’s why cyberbullying is so easy. There’s a feeling of anonymity and less responsibility behind the words we type.

But this doesn’t just pertain to the younger generations.

I’ve seen Florida Gulf Coast University students tweet (comment, post, etc.) incredibly harsh things toward each other, just ‘cause.

Last week, I was covering a segment called “Spring Breaker of the Day” in which vacationing spring breakers on Fort Myers Beach were featured with a photo and short bio. The articles containing the bios and photos were later posted on the Facebook page of a Southwest Florida paper.

I watched in horror last week as cruel comments flowed in on a photo of an 18-year-old girl who was featured in the story. The photo of her shows her on the beach, obviously in a bikini. Comments like “Suck it in girl” and “Tell her she can breathe now” flowed in from middle-aged (and beyond) users on the newspaper’s Facebook.

Kids will be kids. Kids are cruel. But why are we?

There’s no need for the hatred toward each other. The words you use have the power to hurt others, whether they’re next to you or on the other side of the screen. Think before you type.

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