IOL’s Woke Twitter Article Review

The article by Imaan Latief and Robin Henney defined and outlined an incident that happened mostly online. The article looks at a group of individuals whose racist comments went under close inspection from the online community of Woke Twitter. The article reveals how their comments online had real world effects in that the individuals received threatening phone messages, lost their jobs and possibly might face time in prison.

It is astounding how quickly the anonymous warriors picked up on the comments of Penny Sparrow, Chris Hart and Justin van Vurren and sought to bring them to justice. But there seems to be a question on whether or not this is “legal”.

They brought in the voice of Brenda Wardle who is a legal analyst with her own take on the Pistorius trial from 2014. An article states that she is a “respected legal authority”1 with much more on her resume to boast about. Her voice has helped people comb their way towards understanding the complicated jargon of the law which then would help them be able to make their own decisions on issues being held in court. She has even wrote a book granting a “behind the scenes” look at the Pistorius case.

Wardle’s take on the whistle blowers vs. the racists seems the lean more toward Woke Twitter’s side. She states that even though the racist comments are protected by freedom of speech, it is not protected by the law to degrade the dignity of other people which is one of the fundamental human rights. So the racist comments ended up being a crime. When you consider that the internet is a place where posts never really go away, the evidence will remain seen. Therefore, Sparrow, Hart and van Vurren will perpetually be shamed by the online and offline community.

The article sums up the information with a warning to “stay woke” since the constant connectivity of the world on issues of human rights is fresh in the spotlight with all of the riots and unrest. We all have to be careful with what we say in real life as well as what we post onto our various social media feeds. Although it is almost like you cannot make a move without offending someone online.

1.(http://spencermemorial.org/2015/12/29/south-african-legal-analyst-brenda-wardle-provides-an-up-close-look-at-the-oscar-pistorius-trial/).