On Tuesday, Gwyneth Paltrow spoke at Re/Code’s Code Conference, featuring a bunch of Microsoft and Google big wigs. She addressed the way Internet trolls affected her and other celebrities in a negative way.
“It’s like the scabs from your high-school wounds being ripped off on a daily basis,” she said. She continued her speech, blaming social media sites for its “foundation of objectification.” She spoke about a horrible incident in which a celebrity friend posted a photo on Instagram and someone commented about wanting to “rape and disembowel her.”
She also talked about her desire for situations like this to change in the future saying, “Perhaps the Internet has been brought to us as a test of our own emotional evolution.”
People may have the same feelings as Paltrow when it comes to bullying, but she caused quite a stir when she compared trolling to being in a war. She said:
“You come across online comments about yourself and about your friends, and it’s a very dehumanizing thing. It’s almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing, and then something is defined out of it. My hope is, as we get out of it, we’ll reach the next level of consciousness.”
Sources believe that Paltrow went on this anti-Internet bullying rant because of her personal experience with Internet trolls. In February, a user on Whisper, an anonymous secrets-sharing app, posted a message about Paltrow cheating on her husband, Chris Martin. While a rep claimed this rumor to be untrue, she filed for separation a month later, and was harassed by trolls on the Internet for calling it a “conscious uncoupling.”
Paltrow said in her speech, “At a certain point when you’ve been made fun of and excoriated and dragged through the mud…for 20 years…you realize it’s not really about you.” She ended by saying, “It’s no accident that as the Internet grows, and the voices get softer and softer because there are so many of them…we’re drawn to authenticity.”
I believe that Internet bullying is a huge problem in our society right now. Whether you’re a celebrity or a “regular” person, nobody should be degraded by people hiding behind a computer screen.
What do you think about Paltrow’s speech on Internet trolls? Do you agree with her?