Monday, 12 August 2013
Despite writing a blog for over 7 years, I'm definitely a 'late adopter' when it comes to social media. I freely admit I don't really understand what Twitter is for, and I'm still ambivalent about Facebook, although I'm using it more now than I used to.
The current media storm around trolling and cyber-bullying is also something of a mystery. Personally, if I were receiving abusive messages via the internet I would take steps to stop it by whatever means possible. If that meant blocking access, or closing a FB or Twitter account, or any other social media platform I wouldn't give it a second thought. I can see that vulnerable young people (or adults) might be seriously affected by it, but allowing anonymous low-lifes to ruin your life only adds fuel to the fire.
I'm not sure when this cultural shift came about. When did it become 'acceptable' to systematically target people online and harass and bully them, sometimes to death?
It's also a mystery why the various platform providers, such as Twitter and FB don't take more responsibility for the abuse which happens on their sites. I heard someone on the radio the other day saying that prosecuting them would be akin to suing Basildon Bond for someone sending poison pen letters. Fair point, but it can't be beyond the wit of man (or Twitter, et al) to be able to identify the people who are misbehaving, or alternatively provide users with the tools to deter them.
Mind you, I've been on the receiving end of some random cyber activity, which is why I now moderate all comments on this blog rather than just allowing assorted eejits to post whatever rubbish they want. Similarly, poor, beleaguered Small Dog has had to disable comments on her FB page timeline, after people with way too much time on their hands and a complete lack of empathy, took it upon themselves to disparage her spelling, then have a go at me for allowing it in the first place.
What people should ALWAYS remember though, is that the internet, for all its good points, is a palace of deception, mostly made up of smoke and mirrors and people pretending to be something they're not.
You all THINK I'm a diminutive, mild-mannered, Small Dog-loving, female toymaker living in St. Leonards on Sea. While in reality I'm a 6' 2" hairy-arsed plumber from Widnes.
Smoke and mirrors my friends, smoke and mirrors.......