I recently came across this article over the weekend:
This for me has been only the most recent representations of how social media has evolved to the point where anything anyone posts can be placed under immense scrutiny. The professor involved is an art professor from New Jersey who was simply tweeting a photo of a fandom that he shared with his daughter, that being Game of Thrones. His daughter is wearing a t-shirt with a quote from the character Daenerys Targaryen, one of the more popular protagonists of the series, that reads “I will take what is mine with fire and blood”. This post led to his eventual suspension by the school as they took the post as a threat against the Dean of the school, as the school was involved in labor disputes at the time.
The thing that social media has done more efficiently than any other form of media is attracting a massive audience at the flick of the switch. However, our society doesn’t seem to understand the full implications that come along with that, and as such sometimes don’t understand when something that is read by hundreds of thousands of people is given a different meaning than what they intended. There are so many different viewpoints and so many different ways to read a post or view an argument that posting a quote of your favorite character may not always be safe. It does, however, demonstrate the potential for a more expansive and cohesive viewership, and has also been a way for many different kinds of dialogue to occur on many different subjects, from popular culture to world events. But in order to be part of those sorts of dialogues, people must first be made aware of the power that they now have, over both their own image and the image of their topic.