For those of you who use twitter and follow celebrity gossips, I am sure most of you would have seen the hashtags #freekesha and #sonysupportsrape.
So what is this whole thing about? Isn’t the hashtag #sonysupportsrape slanderous to Sony? Well, in a sense, you may feel that it doesn’t after reading the origins of them.
In a nutshell, in Oct 2014, Kesha had sued her producer, Dr. Luke, for “sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, unfair business practices, and infliction of emotional distress”, while Dr. Luke in retaliation, sued Kesha for defamation, breach of contract, and others. Recently, on 19 Feb 2016, New York Supreme Court Justice Sherley Kornreich rejected Kesha’s request for an injunction to be released from her contract (ie, she would have to continue working with her alleged rapist).
Upon the verdict of the hearing, prominent names in the music industry began tweeting their support for Kesha. Such names include Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Lorde, Ariana Grande, even other stars who had produced music with Dr. Luke, such as Kelly Clarkson. Other tweeters had used the #freekesha and #sonysupportsrape in order to gain more exposure and spread the news about Kesha’s current predicament. A petition (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/646/007/918/freekesha-tell-sony-not-to-force-her-to-work-with-her-alleged-abuser/) has been started with the same hashtag, which may or may not work due to the legal circumstances in which this case resides. Public news outlets such as The Washington Post (online edition) have picked up the hashtag and publicised the case in their paper, spreading the news even further.
What is so significant about this is how social media has been utilised to create attention and spread the news at such a high speed. Just by searching for the hashtag #freekesha, one gains access to many different tweets, all about the same issue, and given the signal boost from the pop stars mentioned above, the main public could choose to boycott Sony and Dr. Luke, ultimately resulting in disastrous outcomes for the two of them.
Do you think Sony and Dr Luke would be pressured into releasing Kesha from her contract as a result of this social media campaign?