08/11/2015 02:55 EDT | Updated 08/11/2015 02:59 EDT

Inventor Of The Plastic Earring Disc Settles Viral Twitter Debate

The inventor has spoken.

Just last week, Twitter exploded into a heated debate over the tiny plastic backing on earrings.

The viral debate was started by Chelsea Smith, who posted a photo on Twitter showing that the plastics discs, which some find bothersome, could be removed.

"After my nineteen years of living I have now realized that you are supposed to take the plastic part off," she tweeted.

While some rejoiced at her discovery, removing the backings from their own earrings, others argued that the transparent plastic pieces were there to support the earring, and prevent it from drooping or sliding out of the piercing.

Well, the inventor of the plastic backing himself, 65-year-old entrepreneur Ira Carlin from Toronto, has broken his silence to put an end to the kerfuffle once and for all.

"You actually leave it on. Period. Categorically, emphatically, from the expert mouth, you leave it on," Carlin told the Toronto Star in an exclusive interview.

Carlin, the self-proclaimed "Earring Doctor," told the Star that he was inspired to invent the plastic backing in 1984, when he was working for a jewelry company and heard his wife complain that heavy earrings drooped in her earlobes.

The original design was a simple plastic disc that was worn sandwiched between the earlobe and the earring's metal backing. It was called "LeDisc." He later create another version with the plastic disc and metal backing attached called "LeDisc Plus." It is designed to "provide earring support and stability," and to "prevent sagging earrings." Both versions can be purchased on his website.

In the interview, Carlin, who is now based in Florida, said he found the Twitter debate amusing, but was surprised someone would believe you're supposed to discard the plastic backing.

"It's not part of packaging, it's part of functionality," he told the Star, thus bringing the trivial Twitter debate to an end. What will you come up with next, Twitter?

You can read the full story at the Toronto Star.

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