Of all the great, crazy, fun, fascinating aspects of being on Twitter and following the Olympics, there are also some startlingly obnoxious, irrelevant, and degrading aspects to the medium as well.

It is shocking that the triumphant and dazzling 16-year-old Gabby Douglas’ success has prompted a fierce Twitter debate on her hair. Apparently some feel so entitled that they have taken to the Twittersphere to snipe that Douglas hair is unkempt.

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I know that for African-American women, the issue of hair is a sensitive and expensive issue. Now that debate has spilled into cyberspace.

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The issue of being judged on appearance is also not limited to high profile African-American women, but to all women in the public eye. (Just check out some of the back-biting Internet comments on Hillary Clinton’s hair).

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But somehow the focus on the charismatic and extraordinary Douglas is especially grating. It seems social media, for all its potential to bring people together, can also provide a platform for the very worst in all of us.

Esme Murphy