Why Black People Should Leave Twitter
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If you ask people the name of the “Cash me outside” girl, they’ll tell you Danielle Bregoli. If you ask people the name of the “On fleek” girl, most of them will have no clue. Kayla Lewis, who also goes by the name Peaches Monroee, is the creator of the phrase, “on fleek.” That phrase has been used by celebrities, put on clothing, and added into our everyday vocabulary. Peaches decided she wanted to start her own Gofundme, to help her raise money to start a cosmetic business. While some thought this was an innovative idea, others wondered why she had to do this considering other memers that get famous, like Damn. Daniel or Alex from Target, don’t. Daniel received a lifetime supply of vans, Alex became the next Cameron Dallas, and Peaches got nothing.
“Black twitter” is a well known term used for African Americans on twitter who participate in posting comical or political posts related to the black community. They have come up with phrases like “it’s lit” and trends like the “#MannequinChallenge”. Many black users on twitter are being used by companies for their slang and not getting anything in return, just like Peaches. There are many examples from Taco Bell saying their “on fleek” to Jimmy Johns calling their customers “bae.”
Companies using black influence for marketing skills is nothing new, but what’s disheartening is the lack of black people working for those companies. Despite there being a major African american influence on twitter, only 3% of employees at twitter are black or latino. This is damaging to communities of color because this means that while companies don’t mind borrowing words and phrases from black people, they mind offering them opportunities to work with them.
This is a wake up call for all the inventors of color. Start your own business or social media, recruit more people that look like you and don’t allow other companies to profit off something that you invented unless you are getting something in return from doing so.