Internet trolls are a sad fact of life — always at the ready to tear down anyone and everyone who raises their ire (or just mildly annoys them). While most people would advise you not to “feed the trolls,” a cadre of friends banded together to do just that when haters started taking to Twitter to bash singer Frank Ocean, who recently revealed that his first love was a man.
hatetweetstofrankocean.com is a pretty simple website: Surf on over and you’ll be presented with an array of venom-tinged tweets directed at the O Music Award nominee. Click “reply” on the site and you can send an automated tweet to the hater in question with the message “It’s not who you love – it’s *that* you love that truly matters” or an epistle of your choosing.
According to co-creator Martin Löfqvist, he and his friends retweet any and all hateful tweets directed at Ocean, and then the site fetches those tweets so that users may respond.
“We felt ashamed reading what people wrote to Mr. Ocean when he first published his letter,” Löfqvist says, referring to the letter Ocean recently posted to his blog explaining how he fell in love with a man. “We wanted to let all the homophobic haters know that we don’t share their hate. This is our way of doing that.”
Although the naysayers are aplenty on the microblogging site, musicians are coming out in support of the musician. Fellow Odd Future member Tyler the Creator — who famously tussled with Tegan and Sara over his homophobic lyrics — tweeted, “My Big Brother Finally F**king Did That. Proud Of That Nigga Cause I Know That Shit Is Difficult Or Whatever. Anyway. Im A Toilet,” and Beyonce posted a poem on her blog.
While a blog post by Beyonce is decidedly more visible than a single tweet from Whatshisface, fan tweets do add up. “Maybe because it feels like nobody else will read it,” says Löfqvist of the 140-character-loving-haters. “Which is why we’re trying to do something about it.”
Yes, Löfqvist and Co. are poking the trolls with a metaphorical stick by encouraging people to respond to them, but maybe, just maybe, he’ll be able to help flush any and all hateful tweets from Ocean’s stream. It doesn’t hurt that Ocean’s long-awaited album, Channel Orange, just dropped either.