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Aug 31, 2012

Twit hospitalized after ‘Twitter attack’; Coalition demands action

May the fleas of a thousand jackals infest your genitals, and your arms be too short to
scratch them – Arabic curse.

The big news here in Oz is that model or celebrity for some reason or other, Charlotte Dawson has been admitted to hospital after a vicious Twitter attack. Anyone who has watched Alfred Hitchcock’s, “The Birds” or another incident like it in the original Avengers series, or was it James Bond, NCIS, CSI Miami, or perhaps The Simpsons, is on the wrong track here.

It all seems to have unfolded when Charlotte reported aggressive tweets by Tanya Heti, a ‘mentor’ at Monash University to her employer, who suspended her. There is no news what ‘mentoring’ Tanya did, but she has apparently been advising people to “go hang yourself,” so it is probably nothing to do with Lifeline, at least hopefully.

This has in turn whipped the Confederation of Angry Trolls, Tools And Lunatics, (CATTAL) into something of a frenzy, causing them to send Charlotte a series of tweets asking her respectfully to commit suicide and offering a variety of suggested methods. After sitting up for most of the night reading and responding to these, a poor, distraught Charlotte was hauled off and admitted to hospital.

Subsequent reports indicate her hurt feelings are mostly non-mortal and that she is recovering quite nicely in St Vincent’s Hospital.

The federal Coalition has now weighed in with a demand for; … now don’t get ahead of me here; … tougher laws to protect people from cyber bullying and harassment. LNP spin doctors have recommended this as the appropriate knee jerk reaction to nearly anything:
THE Federal Coalition is calling for changes to existing laws - or for new tougher laws - that would better protect people from cyber-bullying and harassment. It follows TV host Charlotte Dawson's hospitalisation after she was attacked by Twitter "trolls" for naming and shaming a user in News Ltd publications who had told her to hang herself.

Chair of the Coalition's online safety working group Paul Fletcher said the "online hate campaign" against Ms Dawson was "shocking." "No Australian should ever have to go through something like this," Mr Fletcher said. "Unfortunately, cyber bullying, including through social media services such as Twitter and Facebook is a growing social problem.
There are a number of questions to be asked here though:
  • Has Ms Dawson no ‘off’ or ‘delete’ button?
  • Why stay up for hours reading hate mail?
  • Why get upset about it?
  • Why not tell them to just piss off?
  • Why not just laugh them off?
Teenage kids are badly affected by actions of this nature, but Ms Dawson is reportedly 46 years old, and aught to have more sense. There are plenty of sickos out there and anyone going online quickly gets to know that. For someone who gets involved in the area of trolling, she seems incredibly thinned skinned and emotional.

For people who lack a decent reservoir of vitriol in their vocabulary, it is best to either stay out of it, learn some quickly, or purchase one of the many collections of insulting terms and quotes that are readily available on the web and bookstores.

RWL recommends insulting the recipient’s family back at least several generations, with special mentions of any incidents of cohabitation with mangy dogs, warthogs, snakes, or other unattractive animals that come to mind. A quick and simple one is “Seventh son, of a seventh son, of a seventh son, of a bastard.”

Given that on twitter there is a limitation on the number of characters to be used, “Seventh son of a bastard,” is acceptable.

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