The Way It Is Now


This post is by from Online Public Relations Thoughts


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The internet has made celebrity a peril. It opens a sluice for trolls, haters and the disgruntled to vent at a notable person.  It doesn't matter whether the individual deserves recognition or not.  Consider the case of Katie Bouman, a young computer scientist from MIT who led a  team that developed software to develop the first picture of a black hole.  MIT tweeted about her contributions then a storm of praise and blame ignited.  Her name was exalted and dragged through the mud at the same time.  She asked for none of this and had made abundantly clear she was part of a team that developed the algorithm. No matter.  It became ugly, and she had to turn off her phone to stop the barrage of messages.  Bouman almost certainly wishes MIT had never tweeted in the first place.  She didn't to be a symbol of successful women in STEM disciplines.  But she was targeted with celebrity anyway.  In time, people will forget and she will settle back into anonymity, but the bitter experience will remain.