After selfies at funerals and selfies with homeless people, it seemed like the potential for teens taking horrible self-shot photos had finally bottomed out. But that was before someone took a smiling selfie at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, a site where one million Jews (at a conservative estimate) were experimented on and executed, and then punctuated it with a cheerful emoji, because 2014.
The Twitter backlash against @PrincessBMM, identified by the Daily Mail as Breanna Mitchell, has been loud and furious. She's (unfortunately) far from the first to take a selfie at a concentration camp, but the insouciance of that smiley struck people as especially galling.
Mitchell claimed on Twitter that those attacking her have it all wrong: She wasn't ignorant of the history of Auschwitz. In fact, she said she had studied it with her father, who has since died, and they had hoped to go there together. She says she was smiling because she finally made that trip and the image and emoji were taken out of context when it went viral.
"He died a year ago, so that trip actually meant something to me and I was happy about it," she tweeted.
But she also retweeted hundreds of her supporters who didn't understand why the image would upset anyone (even when they really didn't help her case):
And although she initially asked people to stop sharing and commenting on the photo, she hasn't taken it down. Instead, she's shifted to tweeting about how hugely viral her hugely virulent photo has become:
It appears her supposedly respectful study of World War II history has mutated into an exercise in unexpected infamy. She could be the bigger person and apologize, maybe even salvage a learning experience from this sad situation. But, in the words of the great poet Lil Jon, "Turn down for what?!"