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Twitter’s unstoppable humor police: We’re all hate-watchers now

Put aside, for a second, whether Oscars host Seth MacFarlane's comedy routine Sunday night revealed him as a sexist boor or just really, really unfunny. (Or both!) A more interesting question might be whether Twitter has evolved into a button-pushing comic's worst nightmare. Funny or not, you will get called out on Twitter whenever you step over what anybody considers a politically incorrect line. That's what we call a tough crowd. Maybe too tough.

A case in point: With the Twitter masses already on edge after several hours of jokes about eating disorders, domestic abuse and boobs, MacFarlane pissed off an entirely new swath of Oscar-watchers when he said, "Well, we have finally reached the point in the ceremony where either Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz or Salma Hayek comes onstage and we have no idea what they're saying -- but we don't care because they're so attractive."

My primary objection to this joke was that it was lame. If you're going to play the meta-commentary game you need to do better than that. If I made my own personal list of most offensive MacFarlane Oscar moments, I'm not sure it would crack the top 10. But a cross-section of Hispanics I follow on Twitter immediately labeled the "joke" borderline racist, and an angry mob well-primed to seize upon further outrages speedily retweeted their comments. For the rest of the night, "Latina accent joke" joined the litany of MacFarlane's assaults against his audience.

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