The Project host Waleed Aly has continued to cop a fair bit of backlash online after a heated on-air argument with Rachel Corbett over Chrissy Teigen’s apology on Wednesday night's program.
And now former Bachelor Matthew Agnew has weighed in on the debate, sharing a lengthy post directed at Waleed's argument that social media platforms were also to blame for online bullying.
"This absolutely does my head in," Matt said, alongside the video of clash on The Project, which he shared on his Instagram account.
"Yes, social media is dangerous and algorithmically encourages controversy and outrage as these things directly correlate with clicks," he continued.
"But anyone with a shred of empathy and human decency will not wade into the realm of making death threats or telling people to kill themselves."
He slammed Waleed for blaming "the machine", echoing Rachel Corbett's argument that people need to "take responsibility" for their own actions online.
"Despicable, abhorrent behaviour is irresponsible and further enables garbage behaviour as it allows the shifting of blame," Matt said.
"This makes me so mad that this is even being debated. If all it takes is opening Twitter, Instagram, or [insert social media of choice] for you to start spewing vile hatred and telling people to kill themselves then the problem is not the machine; the problem is you.
"Rachel Corbett is right. Cancel culture is dumb. Making mistakes is the quintessential learning tool for humans, and it’s important we don’t destroy people for making mistakes, and allow them an opportunity to learn and grow.
"Saying that, I also have a hard time fathoming how someone can make a mistake as repugnant as telling someone to kill themselves."
The Project hosts clash over cyber bullying
The clash on the program kicked off after the panel was discussing Chrissy Teigen's apology this week for her "awful, awful" old tweets directed at Courtney Stodden, which at the time she believed to be "crude, clever, harmless", though she now says, "I was a troll, full stop. And I am so sorry".
Rachel put full blame on Chrissy for her past actions trolling people on Twitter, particularly pointing out the death threats that were part of that.
Waleed instead argued the platforms on social media were also to blame, encouraging people to make awful comments.
"Let’s be honest, the line between death threats and bullying is shrinking and becoming fuzzier as a result of social media. That’s what the platform is. (Chrissy) was joining pile-ons," he said.
Rachel was clearly frustrated, saying: "You can’t say it’s a fault of the platform."
But Waleed stood firm on his opinion: "It’s not that you can say it’s not your responsibility but the platform absolutely does drag people into that and we see that time and time and time again. I don’t know why we don’t just be honest about that. The problem is the machine. You’ve got to blow up this machine."
Viewers hit out at The Project host Waleed
After the segment viewers took to social media to share their own thoughts on the matter, with many calling out Waleed for his argument.
On person on Twitter sarcastically said: "I agree with Waleed. Whenever I hit someone with a stick, I always blame the stick!"
While another pointed out The Project host "has never been active on Twitter, so he cannot opine authoritatively on it."
"I've been on this platform for some years now Waleed & I've yet to suggest someone kill themselves, no matter how abusive someone was to me," another said, agreeing with Rachel's points.
There were a few that agreed with Waleed though, with one person writing: "Waleed is right though, platforms *do* encourage it. The person attacked trends, those who join in on the attack get likes and are pushed to the top, and because of it they gain followers. It is absolutely a system that allows people to directly benefit from joining attacks."
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