Is Twitter a safe haven for hip-hop haters?

OPINION - Hide your passwords, hide your hashtags, they hacking everybody on Twitter these days...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Twitter ain’t safe no more. Hide your passwords, hide your hashtags, they hacking everybody on Twitter these days.

It used to be that a Twitter hacking was most often celeb PR-speak for “I got drunk/sad/depressed and said some things no one needed to hear.” But nowadays mere civilians are hacking into the Twitter accounts of the hip-hop elite, angering celebrities and riling up fans with fake tweets. Twitter hacking — it’s the new forum for hip-hop beefs.

Gone are the days of yore when hip-hop beef comprised two heavyweight rappers battling it out over mixtapes and radio singles. Regular people are hitting their most-hated rappers where it counts the most, hacking their personal Twitter accounts and making outrageous statements in their person.

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One of the first victims was 50 Cent (and maybe Rick Ross a bit too?), when a politically motivated detractor hacked Rick Ross’ account, changing the name and background to pretend as if it was now 50 Cent’s account. He then proceeded to tweet about his goal to feed a billion people in Africa in the next five years, and interacted with fans for two hours.

Finally the hijacking tweeter revealed that his wasn’t in fact 50 Cent, that the followers and fans that had interacted with him had been duped, and that they should “Go outside, read a book, hell watch an educational channel or two.” So I guess the joke’s on everyone in this case? No word from 50 or ‘Ricky Rozay’ yet on how they feel being a part of this anonymous hacker’s political agenda.

Bow Wow became the target of this latest Twitter hijacking, when a popular tweeter created a fake “re-tweet” (that’s means quote for those of you who are unfamiliar) of Bow Wow, saying “Haters can say wut they want. I bet u can’t name another rapper-turned-actor better than me!”

Naturally, the Internets went wild. The trending topic #rappersturnedactorsbetterthanbowwow after became a number one trending topic worldwide, and pretty much any rapper who had attempted to repeat a scripted line from memory in front of a camera got props over Bow Wow in the acting profession.

But Bow Wow ain’t nothing to mess with. In response to the hijacking and subsequent trending topic, Bow Wow said via his Twitter account, “Since maf**as wanna be pu**y’s and fake tweet fake statements how bout I just shut down my twitter. You can thank the dumb f**ks for it!”

As of publishing, Bow Wow has not made good on this threat.

I guess the funny/interesting aspect about Twitter hacking and hijacking is that it allows any average person with some computer skills the opportunity to start some real beef with the celebrity of choice. Whereas rappers used to be able to ignore “the haters,” now haters are hacking into their accounts, causing serious damage to their professional reputations, and making them the laughing stock of an audience of millions.

And a celebrity is very limit in his method of response. Sure, he could get mad at said hacker and start a public back and forth, but in the end, they look petty — it is, after all, just Twitter. Haters are everywhere in this business, can you really afford to attack some web savvy kid who just had a good time at your expense?

But civilian hackers and Twitter celebrity haters be ‘ye forewarned — not every celebrity Twitter beef ends in an empty promise. Take Maino. He and Ed Lover were on trip to the mall last year when the rapper was alerted to a disparaging tweet from a fellow mall-goer, a tweet which alluded something along the lines of no one wanting Maino’s autograph. A very minor insult, in most books. But not to be punked in a public forum, Maino somehow tracked down the young “hater” at the mall, and recorded the whole confrontation so it could later be broadcast online.

It’s an awkward showdown where the punishment doesn’t seem to fit the crime, and a cautionary tale to all internet wise-a**es who believe internet anonymity can truly protect them from the real world.

But props to the young tweeter who defended herself in the face of a known-to-be-violent rapper. “It’s Twitter,” she says in the video, “it’s just entertainment.” Or it used to be. It’s all fun and games until someone gets their reputation damaged.