I joined twitter last August, so I’m a comparative newcomer to the whole 140 character, fast moving social media tool that seems to be becoming the default way for a number of businesses and activities to take place.
I love twitter and the very few people who know who I really am; also know that I’d say anything that I tweet directly to another person’s face, quite happily when it comes to some of the more public figures on here.
The scope for learning new things, interacting with people all around the world in near-real time is breathtaking; and I can honestly say that seeing hundreds of other people’s view of the world and current issues gives me a different and less jaded view of the world.
So far so good.
Twitter is also a handy refuge for people who send out messages of unrelenting hatred – political, racial, religious; you name it and somebody wants to force their strange views on you.
Dealing with these crazies is mostly OK, ignore them and they go away after a while (mostly). Block the real lunatics and look at The Lost Teddy Bear timeline to see some niceness again.
I’ve been threatened with violence, death and beheading and mostly laugh like a drain as I taunt these types a little bit more until they invariably give up.
You could call that last bit trolling by the way, because it is. To send a wannabe jihadist pictures of bacon and beer as your lunch while they send you death threats is quite liberating.
I’ve been blocked by people notoriously difficult to wind up, such as Anjem Choudary who didn’t like me teasing him about Madonna and others who are notoriously block-happy. The boy Owen blocked me and I’ve never engaged with him..
On to my point… A few weeks ago two idiots were jailed for threatening a well known feminist. Case closed. That’s it.
I had a first hand opportunity to observe something interesting at the weekend, the same feminist (who I followed at the time) accused another person that I follow of Stalking.
This was interesting to me, as I had just watched her retweet one of HIS posts earlier and then watched him take abuse from her supporters to the point that he was thinking of locking his account.
I asked her what he was supposed to have done as I only ever see polite and well mannered tweets from him and was told that he was a “prize prick” with an allusion to behaviour six months ago. I replied that from my point of view, it looked as if SHE had raided HIS timeline to retweet his article.
She’s now blocked by me and will remain that way for ever.
The incident has gone wider, with both sides getting more “heavyweight” support – but it’s made me think..
What’s the agenda here? Why accuse somebody of an actual crime with no proof? What sort of person does that?
The law is changing and mutating around us on a daily basis, “celebrities” are being wheeled into court for 50 year old “offences” that had no witnesses at the time. I can’t remember 50 days ago with the supposed clarity of some of these accusers.
We all need to be watchful – not that people aren’t wrongly accused – that we take two minutes to actually THINK about what’s being alleged and if there’s no proof that WE can see, keep an open mind.
It might be one of us next.