The self-own is a burgeoning genre in the world of Twitter art. While social media – and indeed the wider internet – has focused more on the concept of the ‘own’ for most of its history, this new form is very much its own breed of hilarity. It springs from the marked increase in confrontational behavior that has occurred on Twitter in recent years, coupled with the fact that many of these people who are committing vast swathes of their time to arguing online just aren’t actually good at it. From this comes the self-own: a tweet, often abusive or arrogant, sent out by an agitator with all the confidence and pride they can muster, who very quickly discovers that the only person they’ve managed to successfully insult is themselves. A good self-own is like a fine wine. Savor it.
15 Rita Ora's Album Launch
By the way my Twitter got hacked somebody is threatening to release new music I've worked really hard on. Nothing comes out until I'm ready.— Rita Ora (@RitaOra) October 31, 2014
British singer Rita Ora, a few years back, decided to big up her marketing game by announcing to Twitter that she’d drop her new album if that particular tweet received 100,000 retweets. Before the tweet was unceremoniously deleted, it topped out at about 2,000 RTs. Ridicule swiftly followed, with some eyebrows being raised at how Ora’s 3.9 million definitely real and not fake at all no sir followers only managed to garner her the same number of RTs many people manage to get for cute pictures of their pets. In the end, she claimed – to even more derision from Twitter – that she had been made the post after being hacked. For the record, yes, many celebs do buy Twitter followers, but nowhere was it ever more obvious than with this fiasco.
14 Piers Morgan Accidentally Arguing With Himself
British TV non-celebrity Piers Morgan isn’t exactly short on great examples of self-owns from over the years, but this is by far the best. A while ago, a cataclysmic fight erupted over Twitter between him and JK Rowling (you know the one), which eventually devolved into little more than Rowling repeatedly and almost cruelly destroying every single argument Morgan could muster. This culminated with Rowling posting an image of some serious praise she’d once received in an article, which claimed that she “definitely matters” and has a “great impact on the world”, while listing her many achievements and awards. Morgan then criticized Rowling for humblebragging, directly contradicted the praise she had been given and called her “abusive” and “ruthless” to boot. Naturally, it didn’t take long for people to point out to Morgan that he himself had written the article in question.
13 Social Scientists Admitting They're Brainless
Not all self-owns come from a mean-spirited place, of course, and it’s always nice to see a more innocent mistake being made from time to time. Enter Rebecca Hannagan, PhD. Rebecca's Twitter argument about social science and culture came to a rather satisfying end with her proud admission that, for social scientists (including herself), brains are irrelevant. The really unfortunate thing is that you can totally see the point she was making, especially if you go back and read the conversation in full, but all it takes is some poor choice of language and the wrong turn of phrase and suddenly you're admitting that you're literally brainless. Moments like these are lovely reminders that beyond all the politicians and media personalities and CEOs, there are dozens and dozens of ordinary folks mercilessly owning themselves into oblivion every single day.
12 The Conservative Party Rebuking Themselves
For too many people in Britain today, life is simply much harder than many seem to think or realise.— Conservatives (@Conservatives) May 18, 2017
Britain’s Conservative Party is currently in the midst of an election campaign which, over the last few weeks, has become something of a disaster. Prime Minister Theresa May, whose party began with a lead in the polls of almost 20 points but is now only five or so ahead, has faced criticism from all sides regarding her handling of the election. While many things can be attributed to her or her team, however, this remarkable self-own from the party’s Twitter account is probably more the fault of some put-upon social media manager. At first glance, it seems like a pretty standard campaign message: too many people have it too tough in Britain today and things need to change; simple, right? Well, it would be, if the Conservative Party themselves hadn’t been in power for the last seven years, meaning this tweet is pretty much a scathing rebuke of the party’s own policies. The response from Twitter users was exactly what you’d expect it to be.
11 Katie Hopkins Admitting To Being Ignorant
Katie Hopkins is a Daily Mail columnist and disgraced radio host whose more colorful and controversial opinions we need not go into here. Her contribution to the self-own hall of fame came after the Brexit vote in 2016 which saw the UK leave the European Union. Hopkins, who had been a staunch campaigner for the ‘leave’ vote, posted a celebratory message congratulating all the other “racist, thick idiots who didn’t know what we were voting for”. You can sort of see what Hopkins was getting at – attempting to use insinuation to attack the people who had claimed that the leave vote occurred off the back of racially charged rhetoric and ignorance, but it really just comes across like she’s actually congratulating racists and idiots while admitting to be one herself. Bit of a backfire.
10 Paul Joseph Watson Confessing To Never Going Outside
he deleted it but dont worry i grabbed a screenshot pic.twitter.com/b2UejjvJL8— holli (@sa_da_tay) February 22, 2017
If you don’t know who Paul Joseph Watson is, get used to seeing his face, because the sheer magnitude of his self-ownage means we’re having to dedicate an entire section of this article to him. Watson, who goes by the handle of @prisonplanet on Twitter, is an alt-right YouTube personality and editor at Alex Jones’ controversial right-wing platform InfoWars, who’s known for his inflammatory tweets on issues such as immigration and feminism. After a spate of ‘doxxing’ attacks on alt-right personalities earlier this year, Watson admitted via Twitter that he was at particular risk of suffering from these attacks because he never leaves his apartment. Twitter responded with gusto, and the sheer momentum of the running joke that Watson lives in his mother’s apartment has yet to let up. He claimed the initial tweet was a joke - but not before deleting it, of course.
9 Paul Joseph Watson Eating Sushi And Milk
I'm eating Asian food, drinking milk, not looking you in the eye AND doing the OK sign.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) May 1, 2017
TRIGGERING INTENSIFIES. 😄👌🏻 pic.twitter.com/eIX8fWn3a6
Not too long ago, a series of articles appeared in the left-wing press, each independently claiming that various things – such as milk and the ‘OK’ finger symbol – were either being co-opted by white supremacist movements, or were themselves inherently linked with racism, such as Asian food. Like much of the alt-right movement, our dear Watson was quick to jump in with his criticism. While other personalities and commentators used their words to attack the left, however, Watson decided to post an image of himself grinning maniacally while giving an ‘OK’ sign and eating sushi with milk, then claiming that he was “triggering” the left. Most people, however, were less ‘triggered’ and more ‘highly amused that a man’s hatred of certain political circles can actually drive him to eating sushi with milk’, perhaps one of the most disgusting food and drink combinations on the planet.
8 Paul Joseph Watson Being Tricked Into Smoking
Smoking is cool and far less of a cancer risk than feminism. pic.twitter.com/uOl8i42bqz— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) May 30, 2016
Another classic from Paul Joseph Watson here, who took the alt-right’s tendency to equate movements such as feminism with cancer a little too literally when he posted this image of himself smoking, while insisting that smoking is not only cool but also less of a cancer risk than feminism. Mockery came from all quarters: first you had the classic ‘mother’s basement’ jokes, before the personal insults that just come with posting on Twitter in the first place. Then people began to point out that Watson was slowly killing himself for no other reason than because he thought feminists would hate it. Cue a small army of feminists telling him that they also get triggered by lead-based paints, asbestos insulation, holidays to Chernobyl and ingesting high doses of fentanyl – as well as encouraging him to carry on smoking.
7 Paul Joseph Watson Throwing Stones In Glass Echo Chambers
Twitter is a tiny echo chamber. I'm not sure the left understands the monumental ass-whupping being dished out to them on YouTube.— Paul Joseph Watson (@PrisonPlanet) March 14, 2017
Last one from Watson, we swear. This one is pretty self-explanatory, if you take a second to think about it. Attempting to point out that Twitter is very much an echo chamber for the left (which, frankly, it often is) PJW claimed that left-wing views were being given an “ass-whupping” on YouTube as evidence, thus managing to inadvertently expose his ignorance of his own echo chamber. The worst thing is that YouTube is arguably more of an echo chamber than Twitter, because all of your recommended videos are tailored to you personally based on an algorithm, meaning you’re never exposed to things unrelated to what you’re watching. Nice try, Paul. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, then yes - people also piled in with the jokes about his mother’s basement. Natch.
6 'DM'd An Ex In Paris'
DM'd an ex in Paris, "What the fuck have you idiots done?" She said this, pic.twitter.com/84TpR9bxzn— Gavin McInnes (@Gavin_McInnes) May 9, 2017
To continue a simile: if good self-owns are fine wines, then this is a high quality, vintage Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Gavin McInnes is the co-founder of Vice Media and a self-professed libertarian and conservative. During the French elections which took place earlier in 2017, it began to look like the far-right candidate Marine le Pen wasn’t going to storm her way to victory after all. McInnes posted the above work of art – a message to his ex-girlfriend, who lived in Paris, graphically chastising France and his ex for voting in Emmanuel Macron, a centrist politician, rather than the far more controversial le Pen. Presumably, he was looking for some sympathy from Twitter’s citizens, whom he probably expected to mock his ex for her views. Sadly, that didn’t happen, and pretty much all of Twitter turned around and began to severely mock him. Oh well.
5 Just Creepy
Jealous?— Michael Cohen (@MichaelCohen212) May 15, 2017
Michael Cohen is the personal attorney to the president, who, if you haven’t heard of him, is that guy in charge of that country. Earlier in May 2017, Cohen tweeted out a risqué photo of his daughter in lingerie to his 224,000 followers, praising her “brains and beauty”. Pretty creepy, but that’s not the whole story. Twitter user @bonibrat responded in horror, suggesting that “DJT’s attorney posts spank-bank material of his daughter”. Cohen’s reply was the above – we think (and hope) that Cohen was attempting to imply that @bonibrat was simply jealous of his daughter’s looks, but let’s not pretend it came off as anything other than him gleefully gloating over being more than a little creepy towards his daughter. Twitter: the magical place where a single misjudged word turns indignation into incest.
4 Mick Huckabee Failing At Acronyms
CNN now stands for Cardiac Care Network because their ppl are having heart attacks over Trump doing what Dems once demanded-fire Comey.— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) May 10, 2017
Mike Huckabee was the Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007, who still, through his Twitter account, enjoys delivering a running commentary on contemporary politics. Now, we’re not here to criticize Mike for his conservative leanings, nor are we going to lambast his views on certain cultural and ethical issues. What we are going to point out, however, is that the guy tends to think he’s just a tad funnier than he actually is. But it’s not even the conspicuous lack of any humor that makes this tweet, in which he claims that CNN are so flustered over the president's firing of FBI chief James Comey that they’ve been renamed to the “Cardiac Care Network”. Hopefully you’ve already figured out the problem. Come on, Mick, if you’re not going to be funny, you might as well have your humorlessness make sense.
3 Mark Dice Proving Nobody Cares
lmao this might be the biggest self own ever on this web site now. congrats to mark pic.twitter.com/tT8NKqXDbQ— leon (@leyawn) April 2, 2016
Mark Dice is a Twitter user who claims to be a media analyst, YouTuber and conservative whose profile says that if he's banned from Twitter he's going to sue for discrimination. Good start. Well, back during the U.S. election campaign in 2016, a musician named Abdel Ibrahim released a controversial song which caused significant consternation among the would-be president's supporters. Dice, horrified, rang up the Baltimore Police Department to report the song - who promptly told him they don't care and hung up on him. Being the successful media professional that he is, Mr. Dice decided to post this story on his own Twitter page. Desired outcome: outrage at the police so callously throwing aside such a serious threat. Actual outcome: people laughing at you for being put in your place. Social media is a tough game, Mark.
2 Steven Crowder Proving Freud Right
It wouldn’t be Twitter if it wasn’t pervaded by its fair share of cruel personal insults, but that doesn’t mean those insults necessarily always land. Steven Crowder is a Canadian-American political commentator, podcaster and ex-Fox News contributor who was drawn into an argument with a Twitter user last year that resulted in him attempting to abuse said user based on her looks. After being told that “no one cares where you want to stick your dick, Steve”, Crowder responded by posting the above tweet. While the aim might have been to demonstrate his severe lack of sexual attraction to the woman he was arguing with, pretty much everyone else picked it up as an accidental admission by Crowder that he was, to put it bluntly, a mother******.
1 The Deplorables
The self-owns we’ve seen thus far have been impressive, but none so magnificent as to become the basis of an entire movement. Anyone who’s been anywhere near the internet over the last year is bound to have come across somebody who self-identifies as a ‘deplorable’, the phrase that was reclaimed by many of the president's supporters after Clinton used it against them in the election campaign. Things like this happen all the time – many British EU supporters, for example, have taken on the identity of ‘citizens of nowhere’, after Theresa May stated that “if you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere” in 2016. Problem with the deplorable thing is, however, that Clinton wasn’t referring to all his voters when she used the term ‘deplorable’ – she was referring to the half which she claimed were racist, sexist and homophobic. So, rather than disputing Clinton and her tenuous statistic, they simply adopted the term and inadvertently admitted to being bigots. Nice.