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No joke zone: Twitter mob CANCELS Twenty One Pilots’ frontman Tyler Joseph for visual pun on ‘using platforms’ for social issues

No joke zone: Twitter mob CANCELS Twenty One Pilots’ frontman Tyler Joseph for visual pun on ‘using platforms’ for social issues
Tyler Joseph, member of the American pop band Twenty One Pilots, had to go through a round of self-flagellation for the crime of ridiculing the use of social media for public good, raising the ire of the online mainstream.

Joseph had employed a little bit of creativity to take a swipe at fans that apparently urged him to spread some socially-important message across various social media platforms.

The 31-year-old musician uploaded a pair of photos of himself wearing extremely high platform trainers. “You guys keep asking me to use my platforms. Feels good to dust these bad boys off,” reads the caption to the sarcastic post published September 3.

Online vigilantes responded to the tweet shortly after, with the general mood being best represented by the following comment: “No that’s actually not what we mean. We would like you to speak up on the injustice in this country.”

Critics have bombarded him with accusations of being tasteless and insensitive to the challenges of humanity. “I didn’t think someone could be this horribly insensitive and so blinded by their own privilege,” one wrote.

The topic of privilege has also been used to take Joseph to task. A commenter labeled the musician “the white man refusing to use his platform to benefit people of color and basically laughing in their faces.”

Some moderates dared to speak in Joseph’s defense, pointing out that he wasn’t joking about the issues, “he is joking about the ‘fans’ that ask and put pressure on him to speak, and without respect.” These, however, turned out to be voices in the wilderness.

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Later in the day, Joseph went on air again, trying to explain himself in a series of tweets. Finally, he brought a formal apology, saying the ironic tweet “wasn’t supposed to be about human rights.”

“So in case you are wondering where I stand: Black Lives Matter,” he wrote.

Anti-racism sentiment has been mounting in the musical world for several months in a row on both sides of the Atlantic, garnering both support and critique. One of the notable examples of this was the BBC, which made a surprise decision to play traditional songs ‘Rule, Britannia!’ and ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ without lyrics at its Proms concert, as these are associated with times of colonialism and slavery.

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The conservative public expressed both shock and dismay at the decision, prompting the broadcaster to make a drastic change of mind, deciding to sing the anthems – but by a “select group” of performers.

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