The Daily Telegraph today published an exclusive piece on how “thousands of tax-payer dollars have been wasted” on a campaign which included Twitch and YouTube stars Elliott ‘Muselk’ Watkins and Alen ‘ChampChong’ Catek.
The piece cited previous tweets from the pair, which included sexism, racism, and references to rape by ChampChong, as well as references to rape and “flippant references to cancer” in videos by Muselk.
Now yes, the tweets in question are vile and inexcusable and in no way align with Trade Media’s own brand values, but they do date back as far as 2009, with the youngest tweet being referenced from 2015. Reminiscent of the recent firing of Guardian’s of the Galaxy director James Gunn – the only difference is that at 26 and 23 years old respectively, Champchong Muselk were much younger at the time of the comments, where earliest cited tweets by ChampChong were dated to when he was just 17 year’s old.
Fast forward to the modern day, and both Muselk and ChampChong’s Twitter feed read very differently to what The Daily Telegraph are alleging. ChampChong is an advocate for Australia’s growing esports scene, and Muselk latest tweet sees him calling out to his followers for help in deciding which charity they’d prefer to raise money for, given the success of their last charity stream.
In the same period, The Daily Telegraph themselves have also reported on reprehensible happenings through the ranks of the Australian Defence Force. This shocking behaviour took year’s to sort out, with the Defence Force and the AFP initially reluctant to act on the allegations.
Looking back on my own Facebook feed from the past five years, I’ve said some pretty questionable things, about topics that I wasn’t properly educated on, but through learning and personal growth, I can safely say that I’m not that person anymore and I imagine that both Elliott, and Alen are not those people anymore either.
I’m now left thinking; in an age where it’s common to send your every thought out onto the internet, where it will exist in perpetuity, can you responsibly judge a person’s character solely on how they acted Ten years ago? Even five years ago?!
Would it not be wiser to judge them on the growth and contributions they’ve made since then, and look at how much they’ve grown, and learned from those experiences to become the adored people they are now? That’s definitely how I’d like to be judged. How about yourself?