You disappoint me, Twitter and Alec Sulkin (@thesulk)

Posted on July 30, 2011

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The offensive tweet

I absolutely hate when people use “retarded” or “retard” as a derogatory term. And Twitter has a tweet highlighted on their search page right now that does just that. It’s unacceptable. The use of the word as an insult completely disgusts me. And this has nothing to do with the politics of the tweet.

The tweet was sent by Alec Sulkin, a television writer, who’s contributed to shows like Family Guy. As I was searching Google to figure out who he is, I learned that insensitive tweets aren’t new for this guy. When the recent earthquake took place in Japan, he tweeted: “If you wanna feel better about this earthquake in Japan, google ‘Pearl Harbor death toll.” He apologized for his earthquake-related tweet the next day.

I think it’s time for him to apologize again for the insensitive tweet he sent tonight, using the word “retarded.” It’s offensive and hurtful to people with intellectual disabilities, and it needs to be removed from our vocabulary. Take a look at R-word.org for more on why if it’s not obvious.

And whoever curates those tweets that get highlighted on the Twitter app’s search page, what were you thinking? Or if it’s somehow automated, remove that one quickly. And if it is automated, what are you doing still letting Alec Sulkin’s tweets show up there unfiltered after his Japan tweet?

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