I treated my ‘Hunting Cheerleader’ story like a social experiment– Internet hero Jay Branscomb blew it out of the water

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KendallTwo weeks ago, I wrote a story about Kendall Jones, the “endangered species slaughtering cheerleader” and how the media took advantage of the story, offering little to no background and vilifying her actions based on, “the lion is majestic, though.” Public outrage was so high you’d think there was a war going on… oh, wait.

Facebook, Twitter and every other realm of the Internet blew up with the story and the comments section of my own story became a battlefield. Some who supported Kendall threw facts of the industry around and some who vilified her talked about abortion and the value of life and how majestic animals are worth more than the animals they kill. To be completely honest, the discourse over this “issue” devolved so quickly that it was hard to really understand what anyone was talking about–it was more of an emotional hate-fest in which most participants proved pretty pro-violence, throwing murder threats at Kendall and hunters-at-large.

During the two weeks of heavy commentary, we here at TechnologyTell watched closely in fascination. Eventually it turned into a social experiment where it became obvious that just about nobody had any real observation on the matter, nor constructive arguments to offer. Aside from a few jewels, people defending Kendall didn’t even have their reasons straight. It was a great disappointment to me.

Then Jay Branscomb blew the matter to piecesBranscomb posted a 1993 photo of Steven Spielberg posing with a dinosaur prop from “Jurassic Park” with the caption “Disgraceful photo of recreational hunter happily posing next to a Triceratops he just slaughtered. Please share so the world can name and shame this despicable man.”

As you can probably guess, the public was happy to follow directions and shame Spielberg. And threaten him. And threaten all hunters. Obviously, nobody followed my flow chart:


Angry commenters called Spielberg “barbaric”, “disgraceful”, and “disappointing”. The battle only lasted about a day and, once the secret was out, the comments stuck to vilifying the vilifiers, calling them “stupid”, “retards” (come on now), and telling them not to reproduce. Apparently, people just like to bully each other on the internet.

32,700 shares, 10,000 likes and 6,000 comments later, Branscomb posted a 1970s photo of the director sitting atop a shark prop from the set of “Jaws”. He captioned the post, “Folks, we need your help identifying the vicious shark-killer shown posing with his illegal prey. Sharks are essential to the eco-system and their waters are protected off the coast of California. If you have any knowledge of this fiend’s identity or whereabouts, please contact authorities immediately.” Then the whole cycle started over again.

In conclusion, it’s safe to surmise based on this highly scientific data that humans are awful. The amount of cyber bullying that is born from supposed social justice is alarming and probably contributes to, I don’t know, global warming or something. Discuss.



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  • Liadan

    You do realize that many of those people were just going along with the joke and baiting the gun nuts to speak out in favor of hunting tris. right?

    • Keith Chadwick

      And you realize you miss the point entirely, right?

      • Liadan

        I know the creator. I know some of the commentators. It was a joke that didn’t quite go as planned. But still funny.