1. Ask rhetorical questions.
Twitter’s primary purpose is to serve as a platform for an individual voice. It allows for exchanges, but that’s not its principal role. I can only assume that this is all very frustrating for an indignant celebrity who is craving to mouth another celebrity off, but does not want to appear too aggressive. And so the rhetorical question tweet was born. “She cheated on me with nearly 20 dudes while we were together, I wonder how many she will sleep with now that we apart? But I mean 20?!!!” Rob Kardashian tweeted in 2012. I’m going to go out on a limb here and assume he’s referring to his ex-girlfriend Rita Ora. And I’m going to also assume that the question he poses here is rhetorical — that he doesn’t actually want to know the number of guys Rita is now sleeping with. Still, the rhetorical question tweet — if gone unanswered — can be pretty powerful. Rob followed up with another one: “How can a woman who is so busy trying to start her own career have time to be with so many dudes all while in a relationship?!” Again, I’m surmising that he does not actually want to know how one woman can juggle so many men, all while being in a committed relationship to him, but I can imagine it’s not hard.
2. Take things too seriously.
Celebrities are certainly a peculiar sector of our population, with odd, ill-advised, Scientology-centered predilections. Perhaps if Twitter did not exist then we wouldn’t be privy to certain celebrity’s notable peculiarities, but it does exist, and thankfully we are. A fantastic example of this that we would all do well to emulate occurred in 2010 when Kim Kardashian tweeted a photo of her with Lala Vasquez, Serena Williams, and Kelly Rowland, with a caption that read “Big Pimpin.” And Demi Moore was not amused. CLASSIC Demi, was all I could think. By which I mean, say wha?? Where did SHE come from? Yet, regardless of her irrelevancy, Demi was not going to stand idly by as Kim re-appropriated Jay-Z’s song, no siree! “@KimKardashian No disrespect I love a girls night out but a pimp and pimping is nothing more than a slave owner!” Demi curiously tweeted, reminding us all to be thankful for her tendency to patrol celebrity Twitter feeds.
3. Don’t name names, but still make it abundantly clear who you’re referring to.
If you’re a celebrity and you’re Twitter feuding, it’s crucial that you at least appear to be trying to uphold a professional attitude. And one quick and easy way to feign decency is by not naming names. Take a quick survey of some memorable celebrity Twitter rants and you’ll notice how rare it is for a celebrity to actually name names. Instead, the preferred method is — through various clues, hints, and skillful un-subtleness — to make it patently clear who the tweets are directed at, without actually disclosing the person’s name. Then, when the attackee tells mommy and daddy, the attacker can claim innocence, and use their tweets as evidence.
FOR INSTANCE. A couple months ago we witnessed a feud between Solange and Dev Hynes. And despite not once mentioning the other’s name, we were all somehow able to crack the code.
4. Offend with “Yo Mama”-like insults.
Much like Wilmer Valderrama, the show he hosted for a brief period, Yo Mama, was impressively unexceptional. And, like both Wilmer and his failed MTV show, “Yo Mama”-related disses are bone-chillingly lame. If you’re a celebrity and you find yourself smack-dab in the middle of a Twitter brawl, don’t let the above facts deter you — for it has not yet deterred anyone else. It’s important that the insults you throw out into cyber space are pitifully soft — a handicapped offshoot of a “Yo Mama” diss, if you will.
When Chelsea Handler tweeted about Nick Cannon’s tour in 2010, “I just heard Nick Cannon is starting a comedy tour. Who’s going to do the comedy?” Nick Cannon was not happy. So he went and did what any good little celebrity would do: he visited the nearest playground, took notes, and then went home and hurled embryonic insults Chelsea’s way on Twitter. The result? “just talked to @50cent He said he made @chelseahandler get G-Unit tattooed on her balls!” Bravo, Nick. Bravo.
5. Make vague references to private correspondences.
As a public outlet, Twitter allows celebrities to make outlandish and weird declarations to countless ordinary plebes. As such, celebrities must always keep themselves in check. They must remember: even as they feud with another celebrity, that celebrity is still more an ally to them than any random peasant in their cohort of Twitter followers. Hence why celebs will often refer to private conversations that the public isn’t privy to — reminding us that there will always be aspects of their life that we can’t masturbate to.
You see, even as Lady Gaga tore Perez Hilton a brand new butthole in August of 2013 for betraying her and kind of stalking her, she still didn’t forget to assert her privacy that we didn’t know she had. “@PEREZHILTON YOU ARE A LIAR I KEPT EVERY PSYCHOTIC TEXT U SENT TO MY PHONE. I NEVER RESPONDED+NOW YOU’VE STALKED MY HOME. BOY WHO CRIED WOLF,” she tweeted, causing us all to forget about the feud at hand and instead speculate on her private texts and whether or not she crafts them while sitting on the toilet.
6. Tweet a Bible verse.
Here’s a Twitter move that never fails: tweeting a Bible verse. It’s like the Karlie Kloss of tweeting — it can literally do no harm. Which is perhaps why Chris Brown tweeted on January 31st of this year, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you – 1Peter 5:7.” That, or he’s trying to cut down his inevitable jail time. Either/or.
Bieber likes to tweet bible verses too; apparently, in an ironic twist of events, Biebs actually beliebs. In a nod to his boy (God), he lamented all the rumors circulating about him, adding, wrote “the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
7. Be passive aggressive.
In the world of celebrity Twitter fights, passive is the name of the game. Cut your target deep with a harrowing insult, but make sure to cloak it in passivity. One celebrity who has really honed her passive aggression is Rihanna. And why wouldn’t she? She is admittedly bad. On the Fashion Police in 2011, Ciara remarked that Rihanna wasn’t the nicest to her, inciting Rihanna to go ahead and do what she does best. Rather than directly confronting Ciara, Riri wrote a passive-aggressive tweet: “My bad ci, did I 4get to tip u? #howrudeofme” at once conveying disinterest and implying Ciara’s unique potential in the waitressing field. Then, in 2013, she passively addressed her ex Chris Brown, his poor values, and his overall immaturity:
Settling is not an option! Nothing less than 100% loyalty, honesty, and respect!! Love ain’t for kidz #butimsleeptho
— Rihanna (@rihanna) May 7, 2013
8. Take cheap shots.
I must give credit where credit is due and, in this case, Us Magazine is right: Sometimes stars truly are just like us. At least that’s what I think to myself when I witness a celebrity who can’t stop him or herself from crassly lambasting another. WHOA. DADDY. were my first thoughts when I read Kanye’s Twitter rant directed at Jimmy Kimmel — in particular, the tweet in which he invokes Kimmel’s ex Sarah Silverman, maintaining that she’s funnier than Kimmel “and the whole world knows it.”
Now is probably as good a time as any to bring up celebrity Twitter fighter to the stars, Amanda Bynes. After all, this is a list about celebrity feuds and such a list would not be complete without directing our attention to her and the slew of cheap shots she tweeted around the world. Among the most noteworthy was Bynes’ tweet at President Barack and Michelle Obama, in which she called them ugly, as well as her tweet at Rihanna in which she alluded to the Chris Brown assault.
9. Victimize yourself.
Twitter rants are fascinating — mostly because the celebrity in question is having a correspondence with no one else but him or herself. To observe a celebrity’s thought process in real time — to witness the gradual process as legitimate or illegitimate opinions begin to take shape — is a titillating sight. And a direction that many of these rants take is victimization. A day after spending less than an hour in jail due to a hit-and-run incident, the ever-faultless Chris Brown tweeted in August of 2013, “Don’t worry mainstream America. After this X album it’ll probably be my last album,” seeming to try to gain sympathy points in a final attempt at salvaging his image.
Bieber is a huge proponent of this method too. Amidst rumors that very few people actually care about, Bieber reached for a similar sympathy card:
Off to have fun and smile with friends. I’m human. I feel. I hurt. But I got thick skin too. I can handle it. I love you
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) May 15, 2014
Side-note: I might get that framed.
10. Tweet a somber and earnest “I love you.”
Though celebrities have it hard, they also want you to know that they care (so long as you’ll buy their album or whatever). But what’s more — and as Rob Kardashian showed us — they feel. And the favored method of communicating this humanity? Through love, duh.
I will continue to be the man my mother raised. I love people and I will try to be kind even when things are not fair. Don’t believe rumors
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) May 15, 2014
Thanks for those who stick by me and those that help me grow everyday. I love you.
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) May 15, 2014