The Brief: The hashtag #IStandWithLesbianBabadook is trending on Twitter after a meme about class warfare was interpreted as a threat.

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#IStandWithLesbianBabadook is trending on Twitter as supporters rally behind a Twitter user who faced backlash for posting a meme about “killing the rich.”

On April 8, 2020, Twitter user @lesbianbabadook replied to a tweet from @Heyparadiamonds with “when the class war starts and I gotta put the voice of she-ra in a guillotine” with a picture of a boy holding a gun and crying:

This meme was partially in reference to a tweet that Aimee Carrero, the actress who plays the voice of She-Ra in the Netflix animated series She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, made alluding to support for Joe Biden’s presidential run the day Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign.

Aimee Carrero responded by quote tweeting @lesbianbabadook’s tweet with the caption “Death threats from ‘fans’ are super fun! #She-Ra” followed by a screenshot of @lesbianbabadook’s tweet with the caption “She’s so brave to block me. Here’s the tweet in case she deletes it:”

https://twitter.com/aimeecarrero/status/1248090623153827840

Carrero screenshotted these tweets and shared them with her 245,000 Instagram followers on her story:

After Aimee Carrero put @lesibanbabadook on blast, many twitter users defended @lesibanbabadook, explaining that her tweet was a joke about class war rather than a serious threat against Carrero.

The hashtag #IStandWithLesbianBabadook started trending on Twitter as many people rallied behind @lesibanbabadook, scolding Carrero for sharing what was meant as a joke to her thousands of followers as if it were a death threat. Some tweets have been circulating of photoshopped images that make it appear that Aimee Carrero tweeted offensive comments including homophobic slurs against lesbians as retribution for @lesbiannbabadook’s meme.

@lesbianbabadook’s tweet follows the same line of humor of others about “eating the rich” in a class war or building guillotines for a revolution. While these comments are common in some leftist online circles, they are still jokes about killing people, which can understandably be upsetting, especially for people who are specifically mentioned. @lesbianbabadook’s twitter account is now set to private.

The #IStandWithLesbianBabadook controversy represents how people on the internet can argue about pretty much anything and how layers of jokes and irony don’t always translate well. It also highlights how memes and seemingly petty arguments on social media can be about deeper issues, in this case, the 2020 presidential race.

Memes & Reactions

This thread summarizes the series of events that caused #IStandWithLesbianBabadook to trend on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/almostaquatic/status/1248158454168117249

Pro skater Tony Hawk’s response to a tweet joking about how someone would hesitate to kill him in a “race war” demonstrates how some celebrities are able to appear in-on-the joke even when it comes to references to their deaths.

https://twitter.com/kekryn/status/1248212946368573442