Comedian Bill Cosby has been plagued all year by renewed claims that he’s a serial rapist; allegations backed by the testimony of more than 13 women. Ever since Gawker linked the long-ignored Cosby scandal to the controversy surrounding fellow celebrity and rumored pedophile Woody Allen in February, it’s been downhill. Queen Latifah even canceled a scheduled interview amid worries that having him on her new show would legitimize his continued evasion of the issue.
These days, Cosby is more likely to be brought up in the news in relation to these sordid accounts than as a result of anything he’s doing currently (including his bizarre appearances on late-night talk shows). So it’s not just puzzling but outright stupid that his official Twitter account opened itself to all comers on Monday evening by daring the entire internet to “meme me,” even providing a tool to do so hosted on his own website:
If you’ve ever been on the internet, you know this is just asking for punishment. And Twitter delivered in spades, angrily mocking the comedian for his alleged history of sexual violence by hijacking the poorly-thought-out hashtag and driving his reputation into the ground. Here’s just a sampling of the incredible-yet-predictable torrent of abuse that poured into the #CosbyMeme hashtag, which has likely ruined his social media profile forever:
Finally, this one really takes the cake:
And as one Twitter user pointed out, anyone even vaguely familiar with how hashtags work should know that soliciting user-generated commentary on such an incredibly controversial issue is virtually certain to backfire:
Here, apparently, is how Cosby’s staffers naively thought this would work out:
I’d tell you to head over to his site and make one yourself, but the tool has already been taken down and now redirects to Cosby’s front page. In the meantime, let this be a testament to the fact that while fame and money might make it possible to escape criminal prosecution for some very serious allegations, it’s simply not realistic to hope the internet will forget about it.
By the way, if you’re looking for a job in social media and don’t mind working for an accused serial rapist, Bill Cosby is probably hiring right now. You couldn’t possibly be worse than the last guy.
RELATED: While Cosby may or may not deserve a trial by meme, the President certainly didn’t.