A few weeks back #twittersilence was trending on twitter. The irony right?
But yes, it was. Because tweeters were making a silent protest against online abuse.
The idea was that 24 hours without the “good folk” on twitter, would show the “bad folk” how dull they are making it by driving people with their abusive. Or something like that.
And when I first read about it I thought “yeah I might take part in that”. Not because I deem myself to be SO interesting that my tweets would be sorely missed. I mean I regularly don’t tweet for days, just because I’m getting on with other stuff, real life I guess.
But I don’t agree with online abuse, I just find it pathetic. So I’m all for not just talking about I and doing something.
However, when the “day” came around I had logged on and tweeted without a second thought.
I guess I didn’t have enough head space to remember about the #twittersilence. Maybe because my head was still full and trying to come with the news that a 5 year old boy had been abused and tortured to death by his own parents.
Which kind of puts the word ‘abuse’ into context right?
No, I haven’t been abused online. So I can’t comment how horrible it is. I expect i wouldn’t like it; I reckon it would make me feel a bit shit. And honestly, I think being threatened with rape or a bomb outside my house would be terrifying. And the fact that this is happening, to famous people or the non-famous, sickens me.
But I have been verbally abused by scumbags in real life.
Just this spring i was called a cunt in front of my kids by a 13 year old because i asked him not to vandalise the swings.
When i was pregnant with my first son I challenged a young man in the Sainsbury’s checkout queue for boasting very loudly to his mates about sticking phallic vegetables up his girlfriend’s sexual organs. He unleashed a torrent of verbal abuse at me (mainly about being fat, because I was you know, 8 months pregnant).
So I guess the abuse in real life is more prominent for me. I still see online abuse as a knock on effect of this. I think the lack of respect for life, which is bubbling inside our society, is something that is challenged less and less. There is a type of person who will abuse people in the street and a type of person who will abuse people online. They are not that different. They share the same goal. To inflict their own misery onto others.
But when they are not challenged, they continue. They grow, they spread, they pollute.
But, I don’t think keeping quiet about it, ‘being silent’, is the way forward. Even if it is like, ironic, or something.
So one person with a few too many followers on twitter, whose friend got a nasty tweet, instigating that we should all not tweet for a day, because she’s one of the “good folk” and it’s ruining twitter. Well, that just wasn’t big enough for me.
It wasn’t even something I remembered just 12 hours later when I logged on.
I guess I didn’t have enough head space.
Probably too busy wondering if I would get called a cunt at the park.
Or if I would need to do some feminist outreach work in Sainsbos
Too busy getting on with real life, I guess.