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Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Do you get Abused or Bullied on Twitter?

If you are not a 'celebrity' you will probably answer no, to that question, unless of course you've got someone who is going out of their way  to be horrible and mean to you for some inexplicable reason !

I have only been abused once, completely out of the blue and unexpectedly, by someone who did not even follow me.  It was last year, some football manager had committed suicide and it seemed that that was all the British TV and press could talk about and of course every other tweet was on about it as well.  I, in my naivety, posted a tweet asking who was this guy as I had never heard of him.  Not totally unsurprising really, as I do not follow football as a matter of course and I didn't / don't watch football shows on telly, so I genuinely had no idea who he was and all I asked was, "Who was (insert name of choice cos I can't even remember who it was) he?"

Suddenly I get a tweet popping up in ,my timeline with the dead guys name hash tagged from some loony and all it said was, "Arsehole get a fucking life" I think there was a comma and an exclamation mark missing from the comment, but then I suppose grammar and punctuation were never high on a bully's list of learning skills while attending the local educational establishment for wayward inbred dickheads....

So, what did I do? Well, if memory serves, I totally ignored it and blocked the guy so that he would not be able to send any more tweets on to my timeline. I did think about sending a witty riposte, but then I thought there was probably no point to that because even with my limited formal educational skills and abilities, anything with more than a few syllables would probably just have confused the poor chap, so,  I simply blocked it and have given no more thought to it, until now.

The reason I mention it is this. While sitting having my coffee before leaving for work this morning I was watching BBC Breakfast and there was an item on bullying on Twitter and they had two studio guests, one Lizzie Cundy and Dr Chris Brauer, the former complaining of twitter abuse and the latter, I think to give a different perspective on it (although if you are able to access the clip he did not make a very good job of that), so see the clip here.

Anyway, Lizzie Cundy's gripe is that apparently as a celebrity (and I have to point out I have never heard of her, but again I am not a big celebrity follower either but she does make the point that she was brought up in a footballing family  don't know what that means, but if you know me, the word footballing probably explains why I have never heard of her) says that she has had some really bad personal attacks on her through twitter and that she thinks it should be monitored!

I also discover that other celebrities have also suffered from personal attacks on twitter and some have thought about giving up their accounts to protect themselves from these attacks....

Come on people, we know that every one inhabiting this big bad planet is not nice.  There are some idiots out there, idiots who go through life being complete and utter dick heads.  Idiots who can barely string a complete sentence together that makes any sense to anyone else but themselves and who through their own twisted reasoning think that it is cool to bait people, whether it is celebrities they are doing it to or their so called friends or acquaintances or in my case, a complete stranger.

But the thing about twitter, and Facebook is that YOU have the ability to get rid of these people.  OK, you can't get rid of them completely.  They are still there, still signed on and still posting the crap that they post. But, you, the attacked, the offended don't need to see it, worry about it or respond to it..... all you need do is block it, report it for spam, spam doesn't necessarily mean they are trying to sell you something or point you to porn, it means abusiveness or bully as well .  And you can do all that and get rid of them.  And if you are a celebrity and you don't want to see this spiteful rubbish, I suppose, and I am only thinking as I type here, but you probably have an agent or  a publicist or both.  Speak to them, speak to the police.  I'm sure your agent or publicist can set up a system whereby the offending tweeter can be monitored, without you seeing them and if the cyber bully is tweeting untruths about you and or your family, you can always instruct your lawyers to take the appropriate action against them.  I am all for free speech but there does come a point, where you at least have to be accountable to answer for what you say if it is malicious or untrue, don't you think?

But, and finally, if you are being pestered on Twitter or Facebook ... use the BLOCK button people, it's so easy to do.....


3 comments:

  1. Hi Tom! I have had a couple of folks send me rude, snarky tweets. One, I unfollowed in a heartbeat (and she's an author...never good to piss off a reviewer when you're an author, eh?).....and another stranger who sent me a hilarious rude tweet about Top Chef! Never engage! That's the important rule. Even if you want to. Even if you think up an awesome snappy come-back. Just unfollow and never look back.

    (Sometimes I am DYING to fix their grammar and send back a corrected tweet....hee hee)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Penny, thanks for stopping by.
    Yea, I'm with you, just don't see the point. Of course the other problem is that when you are engaging with someone you normally engage with and you respond in your (my) humorous way and someone else has got in on the conversation, as sometimes happens on Twitter, and you still respond in your usual way that the first person is used to, the second person, takes it the wrong way and thinks you have been abusive - if any of that makes sense- as happened recently and then the other person sends you a tweet saying how rude you were, so it can get quite complicated.

    In that instance as well I just blocked as there was no point in trying to explain

    ReplyDelete
  3. Here! Here! Report 'em for spam! That's what I do!
    And yes, Penny ALWAYS wants to correct their grammar!
    Me? I couldna give a shit!

    ReplyDelete

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