Think before you tweet… particularly if you’re a celebrity with over 200,000 followers.
This week, amidst the controversy and unrest caused by the tragic death of unarmed (hoodie-wearing, Skittles-carrying) teen Trayvon Martin, one man named Marcus Davonne Higgins believed he uncovered the address of Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, who is not in custody.
Higgins tweeted the address, and Spike Lee retweeted it to 240,000 followers.
The problem is — the address does not belong to Zimmerman, but to Elaine and David McClain, an elderly couple in their 70s. After Lee’s retweet, the couple has been forced to flee their home and live in a hotel given the rapidly spreading threats of violence.
“He definitely owes a big apology,” Elaine tells ClickOrlando. “All this is
really scary and it’s a shame. There’s no reason they put our address
out there without checking to see who lived there.”
Some may assert that Lee should have done a little research before RTing, but even if the address had belonged to Zimmerman, was it appropriate to tweet it? Using Twitter to direct a mob to a killer’s house hardly sounds like a good idea, particularly when said killer still has possession of the gun that killed Martin. Not to mention, descending on Zimmerman’s house in a rage is hardly a step toward justice for Marton.