Rumors of infidelity, leaked nude photos and drug allegations are consistent stunts pulled by celebrities and sites to garner attention. But highlighting dead fetuses is crossing the line.
I’m all about obtaining exclusive interviews, quotes and photos, but there has to be a boundary. I’m sure entertainment site Bossip made a ton of money on advertisement with their interview featuring video vixen Esther Baxter. I know my Twitter timeline and Facebook feed was flooded with commentary on the Joe Budden and Baxter drama.
In a recent interview, Baxter responded to domestic violence charges against Budden, recently released Budden track and past miscarriages. At first after hearing mention of the Budden vs. Baxter situation again, I thought everyone just hadn’t heard about this week old news. Once I clicked the link and saw it was an interview featuring photos of a restraining order, bruises and a dead fetus (which has now been removed), I was appalled.
The entire situation is very disappointing. For awhile, the Twitter fiasco between Budden and Baxter died. Tweets surfaced last week between the two about the lyrics of Budden’s latest song, “Ordinary Love Sh*t, Part 3: Closure,” that details personal accounts of his past relationship with Baxter. I see Baxter was not lying when she said she could produce documented proof. But documented proof at what cost?
Blogs generate tons of revenue because of the ability to constantly update and encourage dialogue between readers. There are many media sites infamous for creating these controversial platforms loaded with advertisements. Anytime you can drive clicks to the site, you can generate solid profits. This is a winning formula for online editors. Today, sites are not worried about the content, instead they’re worried about the number of clicks. Sites are going for the exclusive stories with no strings attached. Get the exclusive, get the traffic.
Credibility tends to be the lowest common denominator with stories like this when compared to profits. Yes, this is the Internet. We all enjoy logging on because we can somewhat leave our personal lives aside from our Internet protocol address. It’s good to have a convenient place to forget all the stress of the day. After a long day of busting our butts for a check that’s already spent before we get it, we just want to luxuriate.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve had people really rise to the challenge by bearing proof. From President Obama having to produce his birth certificate, to Esther Baxter having to display her miscarriage and domestic violence photos. Never would I have thought I would compare and contrast President Obama to a video vixen. Never. Would we ever believe Baxter sans the photo of the miscarriage? Does a video vixen really carry much credibility?
Call me weak, but I just cannot put up with foolishness. It takes a strong person to put up with foolishness. I’m a punk. Ignorance just makes me weak. But there are so many people who love ignorance.
I cannot tell you where to land your Internet cookies. Nobody can. I can only encourage you to be wise where you click and venture. Don’t complain if you’re supporting.
—Drew-Shane Daniels is a Philadelphia based writer maneuvering through life and graduate school. He’s the creative genius behind the project www.heardhimsay.com, his daily blog where he offers his two cents on lifestyle, sexuality and pop culture issues. His work has been featured on Soul Train, Clutch Magazine, Krave Magazine, theFreshXpress and BET.com. You can also follow him on Twitter @drewshane.