Social Conscience

Last night on Twitter I was reposting information on the protest in London using the hastags ‪#‎LondonStays‬ and ‪#‎WeloveEu‬. Within moments of this I started receiving tweets from ‘new’ accounts deriding me and using sarcastic and abusive language. I checked out the profiles on these accounts. They were new accounts set up, had few followers and all the tweets were aimed at ‘Remain’ voters.
I generally retweet stuff that is humorous, that promotes a cause I’m interested in or supports an author. For example I do a lot of tweeting about ‪#‎JFT96‬ and ‪#‎DontBuytheSun‬ because I support the Hillsborough campaign, I also tweet regarding ‪#‎banfoxhunting‬ ‪#‎endfoxhunting‬ and ‪#‎stopthecull‬ ‪#‎endthebadgercull‬. I have posted tweets to Boris Johnson using the wonderful hashtag ‪#‎ShameonyouBoris‬, Nigel Farage and even David Cameron.
I very rarely enter into discussions with people and aside from posting information and retweeting things about the remain campaign I have not engaged with Leave campaigners.
Twitter remains the home of bullies. People who post spite in 140 characters or less. Who’s first language seems to be sarcasm. Most believe they are funny. Those who get retweeted see this as a validation of their personal cause or gripe against others or society.
I was brought up with manners, not just saying please and thank you but appreciating other people’s feelings. I’ve been targeted by bullies in the past and I see so many resemblances of the same behaviour patterns repeated ad nuseum on Twitter. People seem to think that no matter what they say on social media it doesn’t matter in real life.
People assume that the anonymity they have behind the screen can protect them from the consequences of their actions. Since they cannot police themselves into acting like decent human beings laws are being enacted to ensure that this behaviour isn’t tolerated. (Some of them even come from the EU!). But here is what we can do:
Report, block, do not engage.
Don’t give them the satisfaction of providing a platform for their five minutes of fame.
Use hashtags ‪#‎Nohatehere‬ ‪#‎stopbullying‬ ‪#‎notinmyname‬ if you see something you don’t agree with.
And lastly, move on. Go and do something else, focus on good or positive stuff.
No one person can police the internet to make it a kinder ‘playground’ for everyone but we can join together and not give those who want to use it to propagandise their cause or spite.
Last night I reported and blocked five people on twitter. Most of them new accounts set up to torment ‘remainers’.


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