Such was the case with 18-year-old Kyle Griswold, of Michigan, who faced a shifting social media reaction after posting about her relationship on Twitter.
According to her viral tweet Griswold discovered that her boyfriend was cheating on her and took revenge by posting two images to his Snapchat story: One shaming him as a cheater, and one advertising herself as newly single.
The first snap, written from her ex-boyfriend’s point of view, read “We were so good together before I decided to stick my dick in someone else” while the second contained a sultry photo of Griswold with the text: “Ya’ll can hit her up now, she’s single.”
Public revenge posts, especially from jilted lovers, are a staple of social media and people generally eat them up, cheering for the aggrieved and booing the liars, cheaters, and villains of the story.
That initially proved to be the case here, with droves of people chiming in with supportive comments for Griswold while often insulting her ex-boyfriend.
bruh he was LUCKY to have you
— ky (@KylieArsenault) June 2, 2019
But that’s where the tale took a turn when Griswold apparently forgave her ex and decided to get back together with him.
Griswold told BuzzFeed that her ex’s drinking “played a factor” in the incident and that she wanted to be there for him, however the bored online masses had sided with her in her time of grief and felt betrayed by her change of heart. After all they’d just joined the young woman in digitally crapping all over this guy so they couldn’t exactly celebrate the pairing now, could they?
A slew of clown memes and “We were rooting for you!” reaction GIFs soon followed.
Griswold told BuzzFeed News that she was chastened by the experience, saying her 15 minutes of viral fame had taught her “how fast posts can spread” online, for better or worse.
She also said she posted her update to defend her now boyfriend (again) because she “was tired of seeing him dragged for his appearance” by the angry virtual horde she had called into existence.
— stephie (@rosecolordsteph) June 7, 2019
— Nov 9 (@scorpiobxbyy) June 7, 2019
— Mrs. Wong (@Bumblebree28) June 7, 2019
It’s an instructive story but it also makes you wonder how many of these social media narratives are real and how many are purely self-promotional. As Griswold told BuzzFeed, her number of Twitter followers has grown from 200 to over 9,000 in the wake of the incident.