The Depp-Heard trial reveals the Internet's cruelest trends

The Depp-Heard trial reveals the Internet’s cruelest trends


Chris Rock joked about her. Lance Bass impresses her. Duolingo is leaving mocking comments on TikTok about her. SNL Yippee parody all of that. Details about Depp v. Heard the trials are harrowing and have many tentacles, but according to much of the Internet, Amber Heard and her accusations of abusing Johnny Depp are not simply false – they are food for hilarious content.

From its inception, Depp v. Heard The defamation trial was a shitshow, with harrowing accounts of abuse from both sides that were snarled into an endless stream of memes – a process that not only decontextualizes and obscures public truth, but also makes us nihilistic and misinformed about abuse. It started at the beginning of their chaotic divorce a few years ago, but it got worse when both celebrities spent time in the stands.

It would be difficult to get on any major social media platform and avoid content around the lawsuit, and in almost everything Heard is a consistent theme of ridicule and ridicule: from her clothes and behavior to her detailed, scary accounts. abuse she says she has suffered from. Depp, of course, demanded reports of the terrible abuse Heard had suffered, with his own evidence. But it’s remarkable how differently the Internet treated time in the stands on both sides – laughing at Depp’s jokes and composure, examining and giggling at how Heard laughed or cried or the direction he looked in the courtroom.

To be clear, the point here is not to discredit one or the other party. If anything, the court only confirms the feeling that it was a deeply problematic and unstable relationship that was destructive at best, violent and rude at worst, probably on both sides. No matter where you stand on Depp v. Heard In court, what the online content apparatus has done to our public perceptions of Heard and her accusations, and the disproportionate distance the Internet has gone to emphasize its distrust of her, should be a matter of grave concern.

In the middle dozens of cases as we look at the process – events that have happened over many years – it is safe to say that the vast majority of people do not even have a broad understanding of the evidence at stake. (This fact is by no means a criticism in itself – it is reasonable and it is expected that the majority of the public is not familiar with the details of what was revealed within a few weeks of the trial.) It can also be said with certainty that the majority would not. I consider it generally normal or appropriate to publicly condemn, let alone joke, the multilateral chain of allegations of abuse that have taken place over several years and have already been ruled by the United Kingdom High Court were largely true.

So why did everyone gather so cheerfully and ridicule one party in the midst of a very chaotic trial that had not yet introduced witnesses from Heard’s team? Why did the Internet so unanimously opt for the cynical and cavalier rejection and downplay of the alleged victim of Heard? It’s not because everyone comes to a prudent conclusion about its credibility – again, most people simply don’t dig through all the layers of evidence from the trial. One obvious answer is that we are still deeply ready to pounce on, survive, ridicule, ridicule and condemn survivors. But the second response to Heard’s hatred is a more stealthy and frightening example of how the flow of information online can be used as a weapon to create an ugly mainstream consensus that quietly slips us into a dementia.

Depp’s horde of staunch fans transparently pushed most of the early online content about the process: clips and memes were almost always signed by #JusticeforJohnnyDepp. (Depp ‘s online fandom currently results in and cult following around his lawyer, Camila Vasquez.) With the flattened power of the Internet, which thrives on context-free polarization and outrage, this early flood of pro-Depp content has spread so much that it has made its way into an almost universal position. The momentum only gained momentum in the stands – which had the major advantage of coming before Heard – to the point that the general public, and thus the online content machine, was drawn into Heard’s fixation as a manipulator so disgusting. That she deserved not only to be doubted, but also to be ridiculed.

Now that Heard is on the stand, the online pendulum has gathered such full force, and the consensus is so entrenched that we have crossed the point of party takeover and simply see the trial and allusion to Heard as stupid. form of entertainment. It’s really bullshit that and TikTok account of the company brand would feel good making a joke about Heard in the app.

There is a dirty truth about this process and what has happened in this relationship, but the independent reaction of the public has nothing to do with it. It is one of the most gloomy and concise examples of everyday but evergreen truth in recent times: the internet has really, really ruined our brains. “It’s so much fun,” says one of the best comments on the viral NBCNews TikTok clip Heard on a stand. “I bet he’ll make a movie about it in the future.”





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