Everything That Upset the Internet This Week

What is the web-o-sphere angry about this week? The Prince of England wants to outlaw a videogame, the Prince of Pop pulled a pregnancy prank and Rihanna, Princess of All Things, is selling a Geisha chic highlighter. Here’s everything you need to know.

Prince Harry Wants to Ban Fortnite in the UK

THE STORY: At an event at the YMCA last week, Prince Harry took a public stance against social media and videogames—specifically calling out Fortnite, the viral free-to-play videogame with over 250 million global players.  “That game shouldn’t be allowed,” he said, “Where is the benefit of having it in your household? It’s created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It’s so irresponsible. It’s like waiting for the damage to be done and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down.” He later added that social media was “more addictive than alcohol and drugs.”

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: I’m not a fan of Fortnite, but I’m not supporting Prince Harry on this one. Video games, like movies, music and books, are entertainment: banning them is censorship. Jennifer Senior, author of the book All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood, responded to the Duke of Sussex’s extreme anti-gaming stance in a New York Times op-ed, writing: “Fortnite is its own social network. It’s Facebook for a new generation of adults — and tweens, like my son. In a cage match between Facebook and Fortnite, I’ll choose Fortnite, thanks, where people actually talk to one another in real time.”

The entire internet—Twitter, Netflix, YouTube, Instagram—fuels addiction. Screen time is unavoidable, and in all forms requires careful self-regulation. Parent’s can’t shield their children from it forever, they can only teach them to control their consumption impulses. It’s all about balance. If Prince Harry felt so strongly, maybe he shouldn’t have launched his own Instagram page days prior to making these comments.

Justin Bieber Pulls a Pregnancy April Fool’s Joke

THE STORY: On April 1, Justin Bieber posted a caption-less image of a sonogram on his Instagram. Responding to skeptics, he followed up the first post with a series of photos of his wife, Hailey Baldwin, seemingly in a doctor’s office, her hands cupping her stomach.

Mere minutes later, having already caused a stir across the web, he added a photoshopped picture of a pup inside the sonogram to his feed, writing, “Wait omg is that a,,, APRIL FOOLS.”

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: The pregnancy announcement is an unoriginal April Fool’s Day joke that you personally may have pulled in the past. The reason being: it gets a big reaction. The only difference between you texting your mom a sonogram and the Biebers posting one on social media is that his prank receives frantic international news coverage. And later, frantic international backlash.

The backlash, however, isn’t Bieber specific. Just last year, Bachelor Nation’s Arie Luyendyk and Lauren Burnham made the very same joke on social media and received a similarly scathing reaction from the internet. In both celebrity cases, I don’t believe that the intent of this prank is malicious; it’s simply a matter of ignorance. Hopefully, the conversations it’s sparked will inform a larger audience of its insensitivity.

Bieber has since apologized in an additional Instagram post: “There’s always gonna be people offended, there’s also people who don’t take jokes very well, I am a prankster and it was APRIL FOOLS. I didn’t at all mean to be insensitive to people who can’t have children,” wrote the singer.

“A lot of people I know, their first go to prank on April fools is telling their parents they are pregnant to get a big reaction. But I will apologize anyway and take responsibility and say sorry to people who were offended. I truly don’t want anyone to be hurt by a prank.. it’s like when I shoved cake in my little sisters face for her birthday expecting her to laugh but she cried. You sometimes just don’t know what will hurt someone’s feelings not to compare pregnancy with cake in the face but it’s just to paint the picture of not knowing what will offend. Some might have laughed but some were offended .. I think With pranks u sometimes have to roll that dice.”

Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty is Selling a “Geisha Chic” Highlighter

THE STORY: Fenty Beauty, Rihanna’s $260 million makeup empire, recently announced three new Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter shades: Afternoon Snack/Mo’ Hunny, #PENNY4UTHOTS and Geisha Chic Hunny.

THE REACTION:

RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE RAGE: Regardless of whether or not backlash is warranted, brands need to listen to the feedback of their consumers and respond accordingly. Fenty Beauty gave a lesson in woke PR when responding to their “Geisha Chic Hunny” critics: Twitter user The Tea shared that the brand privately messaged her soon after her tweet, saying, “We hear you, we have pulled the product until it can be renamed. We wanted to personally apologize. Than you so much for educating us.”