e are a country at war. Never mind those insignificant little skirmishes going on in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re talking about something real—something that touches all our lives. We’re talking about celebrity Twitter wars. Despite the fact that the online universe that connects celebrities (or the people they pay to tweet for them) to anyone with a phone has only been around since 2006, there have already been more celebrity Twitter wars in that time than there have been actual wars fought in all of human history.
If, for some unimaginable reason, there are people left in the world not yet on Twitter, Twitter wars are a series of back-and-forth tweets between two people in which grievances are aired, criticisms are made, and beefs are hashed out.
Why would celebreties use a forum designed to reach the masses as a means of communicating with one person? Because they’re celebrities, and in their world, anything done out of the public eye might as well never have happened. When a celebrity goes to war on Twitter, legions of fans not only witness the battle, but get to come to their hero's defense as well.
When Nicki Minaj throws down against Steven Tyler,
no one is expecting the Nixon/Kennedy debates.
They want some low-down trash talking, and that’s exactly what they get.
And the best thing about the Twitter war is there are no casualties. When, for instance, Donald Trump declares virtual war on Cher, Deadspin.com, Star Jones, Michelle Malkin, Mark Cuban, or Bette Midler—The Donald has become the Napoleon of Twitter Wars—both combatants reap the rewards of extra publicity.
But surely, given Twitter’s 140-character limit, it can’t be a good forum for a war of words, right? Au contraire—Twitter is the perfect place for a celebrity battle of wits. We’re talking about fights that barely rise above a kindergarten playground level. For example:
Trump: "I watched Mark Cuban on Jay Leno last night - what a jerk!"
Cuban: "You just see this crazy life I have & you're in awe. I'm just gonna take over the world while you getting mad."
When Nicki Minaj throws down against Steven Tyler, no one is expecting the Nixon/Kennedy debates. They want some low-down trash talking, and that’s exactly what they get.
When Tyler second-guessed Minaj’s music-judging abilities, saying, “'If it was Bob Dylan, Nicki Minaj would have had him sent to the cornfield,” Minaj shot back, saying, “Steven Tyler said I would have sent Bob Dylan to a cornfield??? Steven, you haven’t seen me judge one single solitary contestant yet!”
Just like real wars, some Twitter wars are fought by proxy, with each celebrity’s fans doing the actual fighting. When Justin Bieber threatened to overtake Lady Gaga as the celebrity with the most followers, Justin’s fans launched an all-out offensive, starting with the following typo-ridden opening salvo:
"To all beliebers this is operation unfollow Lady Gaga. I'm sorry if your a 'little monster' but don't ou want Justin to be #1 followed on Twitter? Well here is the plan we all know that all beliebers with twitter follow Justin and we don't have to ceate a million account with this plan. First, it's simple to lok up Lady Gaga on Twitter. Next unfollow her. Simple! I'm not trying to trash Gaga or anything I am a fsan of her music but I think Justin should be #1 followed on Twitter! That's all but believers please spread the word for me okay? Thank you all that helped!"
Lady Gaga’s followers weren’t having it though. "#OperationUnfollowGaga. Beliebers, you have gone too far,” Tweeted one Gaga fan. “This is disgusting. SHOW SOME RESPECT. Lady Gaga is awesome."
When the smoke cleared on the Bieber/Gaga battlefield, both superstars remained famous, and both saw an uptick in their Twitter followers. If only all wars could end so happily.