In May, when I graduated from high school, I decided it was time to assume the responsibilities of adulthood (okay, some of them). I opened my own bank account, applied for a job, and, most importantly, I cleaned up my iTunes library.
The remnants of my dubstep phase went first, then the entire Fall Out Boy discography, until finally, with a firm hand, every Chris Brown song I downloaded in middle school was tossed into an electronic abyss. Oh man, I thought, if only it was this easy to get rid of him in real life.
Apparently, I spoke too soon. Thanks to AUX Labs’ new plugin, Chris Brownout, it is that easy to delete Chris Brown from your life—or at least, your life online (which, let’s face it, are one and the same).
According to AUX Labs, the Google Chrome extension “makes the internet Chris Brown free” by censoring his name whenever it appears on Facebook, Tumblr, or any other site you’re visiting (we all know you’re on Perez Hilton, you can stop pretending).
Having downloaded and installed the app, I now feel proud to say that instead of scrolling down my newsfeed and seeing “omg Chris Brown is so hot” beneath a picture of an offensive neck tattoo, I now see “omg ***** ***** is so hot” beneath a picture of what is still a really, really offensive neck tattoo.
While the plugin is funny, it’s also kind of sad: it make it visually obvious just how much Chris Brown appears in the media, nearly four years after he physically abused his girlfriend at the time (and rumored current flame), Rihanna.
It would be one thing if we only heard his name in criticisms of his domestic violence and the ridiculous way that he responded to it, but that isn’t the case. Since the scandal in 2009, Brown has released two commercially successful albums, performed at the Grammys, and, just this past month, won two MTV Music Awards.
His name and his music continue to pervade our culture, despite the fact that he is a public figure whose actions the media should condemn rather than ignore. We can censor his name and delete his music from our iPods all we want, but until the public sees him for who he truly is, ***** ***** will still follow us wherever we go.
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