Back in October 2013 Curtis Lepore was accused of raping his ex-girlfriend. Both he and his girlfriend are popular on Vine and have amassed a large social media following, which made the charges and accusations a public spectacle as it was even covered by TMZ. Lepore ended up pleading no contest to felony assault which, with the completion of 24 days of community service and one year of counseling, the charges will be changed to a misdemeanor assault.
Instead of letting the issue quietly go away, Lepore decided to hop on Twitter and express himself. Most notably this tweet which was deleted after several days:
You’re more than welcome to explore the rest of his Twitter feed and read endless taunts to his rape accuser like this or maybe where he mock rape statistics or the claim that, despite rape accusations, gaining more followers on a social media app means everything in your life is fine.
As unpleasant as those are, there is something much more disturbing happening. A seemingly endless amount of teenage girls are defending him. This is a man who was accused of rape and is being passionately defended by young girls. He’s not a close friend or a relative that they personally know and can defend based on firsthand knowledge or a close relationship. This is a man that they simply know from six second videos he posts online.
Chris Brown’s fans were known for going after anyone that spoke negatively against him, despite his numerous tirades and violent behavior, but now have we really gotten to the point that popular social media users have the same sort of blindly loyal fans? This has to stop. We have to break the cycle of young minds becoming so infatuated with the persona they’ve manufactured of a celebrity (or Vine user) that it clouds out all reason and sense of judgement.
Last year a teenage girl went to a Miami Heat game and ended up sitting next to Justin Bieber. By the time she got home, his rabid fans had found out all of her personal information and began threatening her, even with physical violence. It feels as though it’s transitioned from fans to gangs. You may think it’s much worse with someone as famous as Bieber compared to a social media user like Lepore, but it’s not. Here’s a look at what some of his fans are posting mere days after his rape accusations became public. It’s truly terrifying.
— danielle (@dmrsk) February 22, 2014
@curtislepore id let you rape me
— (@bmthbixber) February 25, 2014
— fuya (@iFooYa) February 21, 2014
— skittlez seely (@skittlesseely) February 22, 2014
— Anishka Rae (@Aniee_Gil) February 24, 2014
@curtislepore I mean, you can tell when someone is innocent & when someone is full of it. So happy they dropped the charges! Stay strong. x
— Meena (@Justmeena55) February 24, 2014
@curtislepore It’s so easy for Girls to shout rape like Peter Cries Wolf seen Happen to close Friends I have a gut feeling your Innocent!:(
— Clunie Clu’teng (@Cluteng) February 22, 2014
@curtislepore love me instead. I’ll give you blowjobs and grilled cheese and won’t accuse you of rape
— megan (@rneegan) February 24, 2014