The phenomenon of social media witch hunts
By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor
With Beyoncé’s newest multi-media release Lemonade fans have been in a tizzy, but for all the wrong reasons. The release is filled with references to various personal situations involving her daughter and family, as well as a few involving her hip-hop mogul husband, Jay-Z. One such reference is found in the track Sorry, with lyrics that include “Looking at my watch, he shoulda been home. Today I regret the night I put that ring on,” and “I see them boppers in the corner. They sneaking out the back door. He only want me when I’m not there. He better call Becky with the good hair,” are believed to be calling Jay-Z out on his repeated infidelity. Unfortunately, these vague allusions have sparked an all-out social media witch hunt as fans of the Destiny’s Child alumnus attempt to identify who this “Becky” is.
Rabid fans have been combing the Internet in search of any clue, and this has caused more than a few problems for a couple innocent bystanders.
The fans’ first target was fashion designer Rachel Roy, who was suspected of being a romantic interest of Jay-Z’s in the past. Shortly after Lemonade’s release, Roy posted a selfie to her Instagram with the caption “Good hair, don’t care”—which apparently solidified her as the top suspect. Unfortunately, angry, bloodthirsty Internet hordes don’t know how to spell, so this legion mistook Rachel Roy for Rachel Ray, the Food Network chef. This lead to countless harassing and vulgar messages being forwarded to Ray over all her social media accounts, all because of a random Instagram post that she didn’t even make, and may just have been the result of inconvenient timing on Roy’s part.
Speaking of inconvenient timing, the horde’s next target was Rita Ora. The singer snapped a picture of herself wearing a bra with lemons printed over the cups, while wearing what appeared to be a diamond “J” necklace. After posting this to Instagram, Beyoncé’s fans took this to be a declaration of her involvement with Jay-Z, and began to harass her until it was revealed that the bra was actually a part of a fruit themed lingerie line that she helped design, and that “J” necklace?—that was actually Ora’s signature “r” necklace, just flipped around.
Since the allegations against Ora and Ray were proved to be false, and Roy wasn’t bothering to make a public statement, the masses moved on—this time to Iggy Azalea.
Fans and even a few news websites including Entertainment Tonight mistook Azalea for the alleged mistress after the rapper tweeted, “Don’t ever call me a Becky.” What they didn’t realize is that the tweet was actually in response to a previous one made by Azalea’s former fiancé, basketball player Nick Young, which read “I love my Becky but she be tripping lol,” and was in no way directed at Beyoncé or the lyrics in question.
Examining this path of destruction, it becomes clear to me that the only person that has come out of this unscathed is the man whose fidelity was in question in the first place: Jay-Z.