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Really Inspiring Person: Twitter and the RIP bug

Really Inspiring Person: Twitter and the RIP bug

There is a new kind of death doing the rounds on social networking sites. It is called the RIP Twitter bug.

New Delhi: There is a new kind of death doing the rounds on social networking sites. Created by the ‘Twitterati’ RIP or Really Inspiring Person has successfully managed to cause mass confusion by talking about (and thus trending) the deaths of celebrities, who in real life, are perfectly hale and hearty.

Let us clarify the point - ‘Really Inspiring Person’ and alternately ‘Rest In Peace’ both having the same initial alphabets in the words creates the same acronyms. Thus on being tweeted – RIP causes ample confusion for most of the world knows the acronym to go hand in hand with condolences.

When ‘Really Inspiring Person’ started trending on Twitter – it is but inevitable that the 140 character limit obsessed ‘tweet happy’ public would shorten the words to RIP. Unfortunately therefore – when someone tweeted – RIP Adele – what he/she meant was – he/she found Adele to be really inspiring. What came about however was a barrage of tweets appalled at the news of Adele’s death.

It would be wrong to say that every time someone tweets ‘RIP’ – the feel good acronym is the post of choice. The twitterati have also successfully managed to cause ample chaos by posting fake reports of people’s death – mostly based on vague rumours. Britney Spears, Aretha Franklin, Charlie Sheen, Justin Bieber (though we must add here – that a large chunk of the Twitter population celebrated this one), Adam Sandler, Mick Jagger, Nelson Mandela, APJ Abdul Kalam, Morgan Freeman, Chris Brown, Adele and the latest in the list – Madonna – have all borne the brunt of a Twitter death. There is no modus operandi when it comes to choosing the latest RIP victim it seems – the sick, the recovering, the old or the genuinely despised – anyone and everyone is game.

The question that comes to mind is – what does one possibly acquire out of making a fake death news trend on Twitter. When a rumour or just a petty death wish creates a post, in a generation that relies extensively on social networking sites for news, the effects are rather crippling. Perhaps those are the pitfalls of the ‘internetverse’ – what ever trends becomes news over real facts.

What is on the mind of the serial tweet murderer or is he/she just a starry eyed fan who wants to declare to the world who he/she finds inspiring – either way – the information vortex takes it all in.

This is a generation of thrills that last just long enough till the next tweet – the last laugh is on us. So while Lady Gaga fans defend Mother Monster – Madonna fans fight on. The battle is just a few million tweets old and raging.

first published:February 18, 2012, 19:40 IST