Megan Thee Stallion is not on trial. Canadian rapper Tory Lanez has been charged with shooting her in both legs. However, the popular hip-hop blogger, podcaster and social media content on his accounts can be misleading.
Outlets are part of a new wave of infotainment, with content creators covering consequential events without the expectation of following journalism standards. At any time in Lanez’s trial, believers may believe that her DNA was conclusively not found in the gun used during the shooting, or that Kylie Jenner kicked Megan out of her home. No, but there is no evidence to support either idea.
There is also the question of whether Megan Thee Stallion was shot.
These online personalities attract thousands to millions of viewers for celebrity-related news and often share provocative and unverified rumors with their large following. The result is misogyny and misinformation between prominent women like Megan Thee Stallion and Amber Heard and men accused of subversive acts like Tory Lanez and Johnny Depp. A fueled online frenzy is born.
Lanez, whose real name is Dayster Peterson, is on trial in a July 2020 case in which Megan Thee Stallion, whose real name is Megan Jobon Ruth Peete, claims that Peterson is Kylie Jenner. Alleges he shot her in the leg while leaving a party at home…in a car. Peterson denies the allegations.
Pete publicly denounced In September’s blog and social media comments, he wrote: “
Blogs and sites such as NoJumper and Hollywood Unlocked have drawn criticism for questioning Pete’s claims.
Podcasts, blogs, and social media accounts cover a variety of topics, including theories that Pete wasn’t actually shot. This includes police reports that do not contain the results of her surgery. Many also focused on Pete’s sexual history and portrayed her as an aggressor and liar to undermine her testimony. became.
“I’ve seen the entertainment and gossip spaces commenting on this incident, so it’s hard to believe that she’s going out for herself, lying, and being set up as a problematic person in all of these ways. is very clear,” said Catherine Knight Steele, professor of communications at the University of Maryland and author of Digital Black Feminism.
“This shows how misinformation and disinformation and misogynoir are trafficked for their profitability, even in the black community. It is beneficial to deal with
Misogynoir refers to the specific misogyny directed at black women in which both race and gender play a role in prejudice.
The backlash against Pete follows a trend of harassment of female celebrities making claims against celebrity men such as Heard and Angelina Jolie. It said it was “exploring all legal options” regarding the blogger who posted the information.
Malika Berry-Rogers, executive director of the advocacy group Southern Black Girls and Women’s Consortium, watched in court as Pete testified last week. “I think the conversation left the victim behind,” Berry Rogers said. I didn’t say exactly why.”
Peterson’s defense team alleges that Pete and her estranged friend Kelsey Harris were fighting over him, raising questions about Pete’s sexuality and the inherent intimacy of their relationship.
While much of the mainstream media has highlighted the racial and gender dynamics of the incident, pointing out that misinformation is being circulated, experts say popular bloggers and entertainment sites have made it clear that Pete and Peterson’s sexual history, alleging that Harris may have shot Pete in a love dispute. triangle.
Hip-hop news commentator Milagro Grams has been interviewing Pete and Peterson since before the trial began. She covers the trial from inside the courtroom and tweets updates.
In May, Gramz posted an image of an LAPD report on Peterson’s arrest, saying the doctor who first examined Pete “confirmed lacerations from stepping on glass.” Although it was recorded before bullet fragments were found in Pete’s leg, bloggers and podcasters like DJ Akademiks have taken Grams’ post along with conspiracy theories that Pete wasn’t shot. presented.
In a telephone interview, Grams said, “On my part, not everything is meant to be a factual statement. ‘It could have a comical effect.'”
Grams added that she was “not trying to tear anyone apart” and that she was praying for Pete and the victims who went through “what she claims.”
Gossip blogs and social media accounts have grown in popularity over the past 15 years as venues for “deliberation and dialogue,” Steele said. But today, she said, many people prioritize shock value.
“What can be the most controversial can be the most viral,” said Steele. “Being anti-black women, using black women as scapegoats or villains, is a threat to different audiences, white audiences, black male audiences and, most unfortunately, black women distancing themselves from negative influences. It’s beneficial because it works in spaces that use misogynoir to put you on relationships with other black women.”
Pete’s attorney told NBC News that he flagged some of the social media posts from the gossip account as abusive content.
Jordan Thieve, one of Pete’s attorneys, said seven of Grams’ tweets were reported to Twitter on behalf of his client. A screenshot of last week’s response from Twitter shared with NBC News said: [Gramz’s] Explain that you broke the abusive behavior rule. Gramz confirmed that her account was restricted for 11 hours after she violated Twitter’s rules, and that Pete’s legal team received a message that the account was locked due to their allegations. confirmed.
NoJumper host Adam Grandmaison said in an email:
Hollywood Unlocked founder Jason Lee, who knows both Pete and Peterson personally, says the site’s goal is to be “fair.”However, he has also been criticized by social media users Says he’s biased towards Peterson.
He unfoundedly implied that Pete may have been “aggressive” towards Peterson during the shooting, and that Peterson acted in “self-defense.”some people pointed out Comment from Lee On social media appearing to support Peterson.
Lee said his personal opinion does not reflect that of Hollywood Unlocked.
“Jason Lee has his say, but Hollywood Unlocked is unbiased,” said Lee. “At first, I thought it was unfair for people to automatically declare Mr. Torrey guilty without giving her a chance in court. I don’t think it’s fair to say she’s guilty of being shot by a man, but I also don’t think it’s fair to call a woman who says she was shot by a man a ‘liar’.”
Meanwhile, AllHipHop.com senior contributor Rea Davis said black-owned media sites like AllHipHop are “pretty objective” when it comes to reporting on shootings.
“Often when you look at bloggers, they’re exercising a lot of their opinions because they’re not held to the same standards,” says Davis. “When opinions are shared about the facts, there is more room for misinformation to enter.”