Lately, it feels like the whole world is involved in a giant social media feud.
Far be it for celebrities to miss out, people in the spotlight are picking fights online and the latest spat has seen outspoken rapper Azealia Banks take on Rihanna.
Calling President Trump ‘an immoral pig’, Rihanna expressed her distress and devastation at the recent political climate – as she has every right to do – on Twitter.
Disgusted! The news is devastating! America is being ruined right before our eyes! What an immoral pig you have to be to implement such BS!!
— Rihanna (@rihanna) January 29, 2017
Banks was quick to encourage the damaging ‘us’ and ‘them’ dynamic that drives these racially-aggravated debates online.
She targeted Rihanna in a now-deleted social post that read:
As far as Rihanna (who isn’t a citizen and can’t vote) and all the rest of the celebrities who are using their influence to stir the public [are concerned], you lot really, REALLY need to shut up and sit down.
Stop chastising the president. It’s stupid and pathetic to watch. All of these confused people confuse other confused people. Hoping the president fails is like getting on an airplane and hoping the pilot crashes.
Not one to back down, Rihanna responded with an Instagram post, proudly declaring her status as an immigrant to the United States.
The powerful black and white portrait was captioned, ‘The face you make when you a immigrant’ before hash-tagging a sly dig at Banks, who has previously spoken out about slaughtering chickens in ritualistic killings.
Banks seemed pretty un-phased by Rihanna’s critique and herself took to Instagram – because apparently a photo is worth a thousand words or a valid, well-expressed opinion nowadays.
Banks’ smiling selfie stuck two fingers up to Rihanna, captioned as it was with the knife and chicken emojis.
As things heated up, the feud returned to Twitter and began to get personal.
Rihanna changed her Twitter picture to a screengrab of a text from Banks, claiming that Rihanna had been overshadowed by Beyoncé.
While you might think that was just a continuation of the playground tactics we’ve witnessed thus far in the futile feud, things got real when Rihanna didn’t bother to cut out her enemy’s personal phone number, sharing it for her millions of followers.
In response – shock horror – Banks shared Rihanna’s phone number proving once and for all that revenge is a dish best served regurgitated.
While political debate online is key to a functioning democracy, at some point this particular feud became less about politics and more personal.
I think it happened around the time the fist selfie was shared.
Give me strength.
A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.