Hours after Kim Kardashian’s shiny butt challenged us to #BreaktheInternet, we maxed out. “Too much of everything is just enough,” The Grateful Dead sing in “I Need a Miracle”—and that appears to be Kardashian’s exact approach to her self-promotion campaign. Give the people more than what they want, she seems to shamelessly say with every belfie.
But a butt backlash began. Drunk and angry on Kardashian’s ass, folks began using the hashtag #FixTheInternet to reclaim the web from Mrs. West’s derriere. The hashtag took off even further after Comedy Central’s @Midnight encouraged viewers to tweet their suggestions.
Unfortunately, #FixTheInternet, does not, in fact, fix the Internet.
Some of the suggestions to #FixTheInternet are just as trolly, if not more so, than Kardashian’s butt cover. The hashtag has been used to label general rants about people getting naked for attention. The people behind these tweets seem to forget that folks have been taking off their clothes for a very long time to get fame and attention, well before the Internet existed. They also forget that they tend to sound irritatingly preachy and self-righteous when they tell people, especially women, to cover up.
In a similar but worse vein, there’s a fair bit of mom-bashing veiled as Kardashian critique:
Of course, it goes without saying in 2014 that once you have a baby, you’re not allowed to be sexual, love your body, or remind people you’re naked under your clothes.
Others #FixTheInternet fiends took it a step further, constructing thoughtful messages about what is wrong about content posted online. Tweets like “#FixTheInternet @Midnight If you insult someone else on the Internet, you actually have to be held accountable for it” or “Mock someone’s appearance? You must now wear the same haircut & clothes you sported in junior high…forever. #FixTheInternet @Midnight” are a mix of thoughtful and funny. They get at important truths about how utterly mean and ridiculous our online exchanges can be.
While tweeting under #FixTheInternet reflects a certain self-awareness about web interactions, it’s not quite all the way there. People are tired of Kardashian nonsense getting so much attention and driving so many of the stories even on legitimate news sites and channels. But coming up with news items that are more worthy of going viral than Mrs. West’s rear end doesn’t really fix things. They still just distract us from generally more substantive topics in need of our attention.
Let’s remember, the web is still powered by humans. Perhaps, the nation’s best neurological and psychological experts can examine why we devote so much mental and emotional energy to Kardashian’s rear end. We seem to devolve intellectually, but that’s a problem with people—not the web. And the so called answer that #FixTheInternet proves is that we have only ourselves to blame when it comes to driving total nonsense and bullshit into viral fame.
140 characters don’t do much to effect change on the Internet—or the world. The best way to fix the Internet would be to let the Kardashian butt hysteria die down. By specifically responding to whichever evil genius is trying to “break the Internet,” we are feeding right into their hands… or butts.