There seems currently to be a debate about whether we should all have one identity online (as Mark Zuckerberg would prefer) or whether we should be able to protect ourselves with a certain anonymity.
Perhaps rapper and headphone creator and salesman 50 Cent might be in the former camp. For he seems to have concealed nothing of himself on his Twitter feed when he heard about the Japanese earthquake.
First, he offered: "Wave will hit 8am them crazy white boys gonna try to go surfing."
Not content with that amusement he followed up with: "Look this is very serious people I had to evacuate all my hoe's from LA, Hawaii and Japan. I had to do it. Lol."
While you continue to lol, might I tell you that he then thought about this humor and tweeted: "Nah this is nuts but what can anyone do about it. Let's pray for anyone who has lost someone."
So that's alright then. Or perhaps not. For then he felt compelled to tweet a further explanation of his state of mind: "Some of my tweets are ignorant I do it for shock value. Hate it or love it. I'm cool either way 50cent."
Are you cool either way? Or is it a little too Kenneth Cool for you? I mean, Kenneth Cole. The famed shoe store owner, on hearing about the uprising in Egypt, tweeted that Egypt must be in uproar about his new collection.
Cole later apologized and removed the tweet. 50 Cent, not so much. It's just lil' ole' Fitty having a little fun, he wants you to believe. And perhaps he knows his audience well. Perhaps he understands just how much his followers enjoy a little shock value.
But 50 Cent is not the only person who believes the Japanese earthquake is funny. ESPN reports that Cappie Pondexter, a WNBA player for the New York Liberty. has already apologized for offering this tweeted observation about the Japanese disaster: "What if God was tired of the way they treated their own people in there own country! Idk guys he makes no mistakes."
Before her more than 9,000 followers could respond with their own philosophy of life, Pondexter reportedly posted another tweet: "u just never knw! They did pearl harbor so u can't expect anything less."
Personally, I expect nothing at all. However, Pondexter removed the tweets. In explanation, she reportedly offered: "I didn't realize that my words could be interpreted in the manner which they were."
Realization is often a difficult thing. In Pondexter's case, her tweets might cost her some money (her team reportedly has had a conversation with her on the subject of her posts.) 50 Cent's tweets still stand proud, unremoved. He seems to feel this is water off a rapper's back.
Some will, no doubt, find nothing wrong with these tweets. Some will condemn what they see as the manifest ignorance these posts demonstrate. Others, though, might at least feel that, thanks to the very public spontaneity of Twitter, they have come a little closer to the essence of their beloved celebrities.
(Oh, and this just in, comedian Gilbert Gottfriend has been fired as the voice of the AFLAC duck for, yes, tweeting jokes about the Japanese quake.)