Using Twitter To Troll Frank Ocean’s Homophobic Haters

Hatetweetsoffrankocean.com lets you respond to homophobic Twitter bigots with a message of love.

Last week, 2011 breakout star Frank Ocean posted a grainy screengrab of the liner notes to his new album, Channel Orange, on Tumblr. In the "thank you’s" section, he described falling in love with a man, and the heart-wrenching experience of being rejected. His story wasn’t really about sexuality so much as love--falling into it, accepting it, and requiting it. Those subtleties didn’t seem to matter on Twitter, where the 24-year-old was barraged with homophobic slurs and hateful messages--despite statements of support from Beyonce, Russell Simmons, and even Ocean’s (arguably homophobic) Odd Future bandmate Tyler the Creator. Weirdly, the media portrayed Ocean’s story as a triumph for an industry where homosexuality is taboo. But a cursory look at Twitter told another, uglier story.

But what is the Internet, if not a vehicle for vigilante justice? After seeing the outpouring of hate on Twitter, five young Swedish designers decided to build a website that would leverage the power of the Interweb to defend Ocean. “We noticed that a lot of people sent just awful replies to Frank Ocean on Twitter, becoming sort of a dark Twitter-based undercurrent that only reached Mr. Ocean himself, unless you actively sought these people out,” explain the group’s leaders, Martin Löfqvist and Jacob Åström, over email. “And very few people did. We wanted to lift this rock and expose these people and their hateful messages to the world.”

It took the team less than a day to develop and launch Hate Tweets of Frank Ocean, which went live yesterday. The site collects dozens of homophobic Tweets, framing them above a pink heart-shaped button that generates an @reply to each individual message. The auto response? “It’s not who you love – it’s *that* you love that truly matters.” The group hopes they’ll show online bigots that “this kind of behavior just isn’t acceptable,” explains Åström, who says the response has been “inspiring.” Yep--the livestream of responses is pretty wonderful.

We habitually think of the Internet as humanity at its worst. But that’s reductive. Sure, the web has made cyberbullying easier, but it’s also enabled some pretty amazing ways to troll cyberbullies (here’s another example from this week). “I used to love the Internet,” Åström writes on his personal Tumblr. “But right now our relationship is in a constant state of crisis.” Chalk this one up as a win.

Head over to the site to send some warm, trollish love.

[Top Image: Jared Buschang/Shutterstock]

Add New Comment

9 Comments

  • Ranters

     THEM
    Wow, you said it. I'm not sure what to say about insane straight people comparing gays to paedophiles....it's like WTF? Consenting adults...versus abuse??!I'm sad. And Ocean has gotten so much hate about this. He say's he isn't brave but the more I read on Twitter about what is said about him....poor guy. But you know, the white gay media are hardly supporting him either....

  • Glenford Scott

    I did mean "Gay" as in it makes me happy. The fact that you removed my comment shows YOUR ignorance

  • Jack Shimosa

    I blame everything on Religion. This subject really complicates how we define ourselves as human beings.  We tend to "judge" people as per our beliefs and not how it is really is.

    Frank is an artist and expressing himself through music, just like any other artists who express themselves through paintings, drawing, etc. I believe it is not Frank's intention to tell the world about his sexuality or trying to "promote" homosexuality.  This was through his expression to write about how he feels. But at the end of the day, you have a choice to follow his music or not to follow.

    Ok i said enough.

  • Brian Jacobs

    Call me old fashion, but I think it's silly, and more than likely a media ploy, that all the hoopla and "support" around this man discussing his sex life is getting so much attention. I personally believe homosexuality is a sexual perversion just like having a sexual attraction to children or animals. In fact that was what I was taught in my college psychology course. But hey the liberal media, hollywood, and liberal arts colleges want it to be viewed as "normal." SMH.

  • James Turner

    In the time it took you to seek out, read and voice your homophobic opinion about this article you could have gone out and... I don't know... hugged a friend who's suffering from heartache, called your mom to see how she's doing or read an article about psychology in the 21st century. 

    Now excuse me while I try and make up for the time I've wasted putting things into perspective.

  • them

    Brian,

    I could care less what YOU think about my homosexual orientation. For all I know, it might be a "psychological disorder" but it's my body, my life and I pay my taxes dammit, so if I want to spend the rest of my entire life with my partner of thus far 10 years, then so be it. What's it to you?  I am not harming anyone. I did not choose my sexual orientation, regardless of what you have been "taught". And when were you taught homosexuality is a perversion? The 1950s? The APA removed homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses long ago in the 1970s. This Frank Ocean is not discussing his "sex life". He is discussing his homosexual orientation and heartache, because he has been hiding in an industry that is vehemently intolerant (go figure.... black rappers hate it when whites/cops are bigoted towards blacks, yet they can be bigoted towards other minorities) and anti-gay to the point of encouraging beat-downs of gays and killings. Frank was merely expressing that he is not straight. Frank did NOT talk about his sex life, what he does in bed, what he likes to do in private at all. He merely came OUT. 

    If he had discussed taking it up the poop shoot and liking it on Twitter, just like if Paris Hilton had discussed giving BJ's, then I would agree with you that one's sex life should be private and it's TMI; which I don't want to hear about. So I don't see the comparisons. 

    The difference between my homosexuality and a child molester is that I have sex with a consenting adult; my partner. So don't equate the two; it's offensive to all law-abiding, ethical man-loving gays who value the innocence of children and do not like being compared to pedophiles. After all, gays are attracted to manliness and grown up sexuality; not young boys or girls. 

    Listen, you can think what you want about homosexuality but if I want to marry my partner, I should be able to. I pay taxes, I am law-abiding, I love my country and I want to visit my partner in the hospital without being harassed in case he gets sick. There are hundreds more benefits that come with marriage. I should be able to partake in them; even if it is called "civil union". I love him to death and no... we don't take it up the butt. Homosexuality is first about being attracted emotionally and sexually to adult males (or females if you are lesbian)... sex is what you do in private. That sex can be anal, oral, mutual masturbation... yadda yadda. Just like heteros. It's all personal preference. I just wish straight homophobes would get off the anal trip when thinking of gays. Not all gay men engage in anal and not all hetero's can have babies. So I guess infertile hetero's are sexually deviant as well, since they disrupt the natural progression of humankind, huh?  Sheesh. 

    I'd love to hear what your thoughts are on two hot Playboy Playmates eating each other out? Disgust or turn on? Just as I thought... Hypocrite.

    As I said, I am not here to convince you or anyone that homosexuality is normal. Gays don't hurt anyone. We just want to be left alone to live peacefully. You might think it's being "shoved" down your throat because of all the visibility lately but we still get bullied, beaten and killed. I am in my 40s and lived miserably in my teens because I hated being this way. It's out of my control. So I decided to live with it and be happy. At least I am not killing people, molesting kids or disillusioning a wife with my secret "life". I am happy and in love and my partner is great to me. Why is that a threat? It's time you "conservatives" start practicing what you preach. You most likely preach "small government" and "liberty". I believe in small government as well. Government should be out of our personal lives and out of our bedrooms. Live and let live.