Sunday, 28 July 2013

Careful what you wish for, Twitter

And it’s all hell let loose on Twitter. Again.

Yesterday’s events on Twitter have finally gone mainstream with Caroline Criado-Perez being bombarded with various threats ranging from rape to death via Twitter, resulting in the proposal by a few of Twitters high profile users (ie. those who earn a living from using twitter) for a boycott of the free service they willingly exploit every day to spread their opinions and climb the greasy pole of journalism. August 4th is set to become a #trolliday where nice people refrain from posting pictures of their lunch or trying to flog their books for 24 hours because they have no way to silence their critics.

For the sake of the terminally stupid, I’m going to try to explain the difference between a “troll” and someone who makes a threat of violence on a social network. As an avid twitter commentator and satirist, I am regularly accused of being an abusive troll – mainly based on the fact that someone decides to take offense at something I’ve written and can’t be bothered to argue. I’m currently on my 27th twitter account because with enough followers, you can simply target a twitter user and summon the twitter mob (your followers) to bombard them “block and spam” reports. The algorithms used by twitter then determine if your account survives – enough reports and out the door you go – silenced by your critics.

I receive death threats pretty much every day, as does my wife and family, employers, customers, the dog and anyone who knows me. We’ve all watched flame wars break out since the very first Compuserve account was launched – we all know there are idiots out there and we all know that making death threats is already illegal, so why the big fuss?

If we decide that Twitter is only for posting pictures of kittens and for celebrities to flog us more tat, we will have ruined one of the only free speech platforms we are still allowed to use. Yes, it can be ugly, like a loud row in a pub or fantastic as a method to interact socially and spread news and information and already has enough mechanisms built in to block abusive users or those who do not sing from your hymn sheet – anything further is simply a matter for the Police. Twitter is not a human right, free speech is.

Whilst Caitlin Moran struts around deciding what the rest of us can say on a free medium, Governments are itching to slap another level of moderation on what we can and cannot say to each other. Do we really want celebrities, backed up by arse licking Politicians to be the arbiters of free speech? Abusive, offensive, shocking and rude tweets are all perfectly legal. Death threats are not.

Careful what you wish for, Twitter users, you might just get it. Nothing would please our masters more than our obedient and compliant silence.


@jock_bastard said...

The government etc love the 'something must be done' brigade.

As I mentioned on Twitter yesterday, I wouldn't be surprised if the government has a 'troll' department somewhere in Whitehall which has been tasked with shit stirring to get exactly the kind of response the shrieking loons are providing them with now.

Or I could be just a bit over cynical....

tent101 said...

"Something MUST be done!!"
"The authorities will respond to our petition, naturally."
" If you're not WITH Moran, you're PRO-RAPE!!"

The greatest tool that the State has, is the willing and compliant idiocy of its citizens.

Anne Williams said...

Why'd you delete my comment, you fucking blurt? No moderation ever, eh?

Old Holborn said...

No idea. Something to do with IntenseDebate software. Post again

Sciatico said...

You're wasting your time, OH. GB is a country of thick mong emasculated whining sheeple who love to be ruled over by Big Brother and Nanny whiplash. Emigrate (but not to any english speaking country or Bulgaria).

Anonymous said...

You'd better shut your fucking mouth, Old Holborn, or I'm going to track you down in real life and split your rectum open with my big hard homosexual rapist's dick.

You've been warned!

Learn your fucking lesson!

tree consulting said...

Its a global platform to express your ideas and knowledge to world.Think twice before tweet.

Anonymous said...

You WILL NOT freely distribute anything the government doesn't like. THINK OF THE CHILDREN*

(*unless they live somewhere the US/UK gov & heroes are bombing/starving the shit out of)

Anonymous said...

(* also, TITS)

Anonymous said...


Boob Fucker

Anonymous said...

I'm sick to death of people whining about trolls. Ignoring couldn't be simpler, yet they call for 'something' to be done. Self appointed victims who pompously hog the moral high ground are more to blame than anyone. What the fucking fuck has happened to people in the last 15 years? It's all about them, the selfish who want it all their own way and foot-stomp until they wear everyone else down. The net would be a truly amazing place if they manned up and realised people are entitled to have opposing opinions.

How to spot a troll: they're the ones calling everyone else a troll and threatening to 'out' them or whatever. You only need to read the McCann # if you want to see real arseholes in action. Hint, if they're stifling debate, they're the ones who believe in the abduction story. There are grown people with children and grandchildren threatening people, posting pics of their kids, promising to picket their houses with rent-a-mob and placards, reporting them to the press and taking silly comments out of context and twisting them into actual death threats that make sensational front page headlines and then gloat at the poor sod who's just been humiliated to hell and back in the public eye for being naïve. They contact employers with tales of their employees being paedophiles and internet trolls and much more, even lure innocent parties into webcam sex and then blackmail them with the screenprints simply because they disagree with them. It sounds too far fetched to be true but it's sadly a daily occurrence from those who have sometimes dozens of accounts to appear even more intimidating.

Fucking morons. Anyone who calls for someone to be silenced is party to this whole shitstorm.

I'll find something else to do before someone calls for my disgusting comments to be deleted or I'll die. Oh well. If they're exercising their right to be offended, I'm fine with exercising my right to be offensive.

Oh, I agree with every word of this blog, these idiots will shape the future of the net and I don't like how that's beginning to look.

Susan GoodnightVienna said...

Well said, OH. I can't remember the last time I read such common sense about using twitter. Abuse from the terminally-offended happens every day and those of us who like to post newslinks or personal opinions are getting mightily fed up with their 'look-at-me, I'm-a-victim' interventions.

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