There are times when I seriously wonder why I stay on Twitter. The past week or so has demonstrated some of the crassest, vile behaviour I have seen in some considerable time.
My beloved (!) stalker has seen fit to hijack the Sepsis hashtag, and is now offering his support on the subject to anyone who’ll listen. He claims he is raising awareness. A road we’ve been down before, on more than one occasion. His shameless attempts at using charities to further his own public image is pretty low, by any standard.
Which brings me neatly to another of his “causes”. A supposed “charity”, who aren’t actually a charity at all, simply a CIC, which he has long supported were discovered to have copious amounts of hard-core pornography in their “likes”. When this was brought to his attention by another user, he, once again, distorted the facts, to appear as though the discovery had been made by him, and that I, and another user, could only have found the information by stalking his timeline. He offered an apology, which lasted all of five minutes, as shortly after he was bleating about “lies and misinformation”. Business as usual. As a side note, Google his name, if you know it. The third suggestion by Google is “stalker”. Says it all really!
Then there are the homeopaths and their advocates. Whilst Stalky is a pain in the arse, these people are vicious, cruel, sadistic, twisted lunatics. The details of the family I recently interviewed are well known, and yet they continue to target them.
The latest parasite to come crawling out of the woodwork is a pleasant character, who goes by the username @HomeoReikiDogs. I got into a heated exchange with her recently. Her tweets can speak for themselves…
Charming, isn’t it? The suggestion that a grieving family should be “over it by now”, as 18 months have passed (which they haven’t. it has been a year, so her ability to research is decidedly lacking, along with her compassion and dignity). Describing the loss of an infant is, quite frankly, utterly callous. It will come as no great surprise that she associates closely with Ms Hermann-Courtney, aka @BrownBagPantry, who has already featured in two blog posts for her targeted harassment of the aforementioned family.
Moving away from homeopathy, another user, and a person with whom I have an extremely close friendship recently discovered that someone she had been friends with online, had, for the entire duration of their friendship, been lying about their identity, right down to their gender and sexuality. I don’t propose to elaborate further, out of respect for the persons affected by this deceit, but it’s yet another example of the cruel, vicious way people are capable of conducting themselves online.
Twitter are supposed to be cracking down on harassment, and making it easier to report offending accounts. Time and again, they are in the news, telling us so. And yet, what have they done, in actuality? The answer to that is simple, and blunt. They have done precisely fuck all.
After @BrownBagPantry spent an entire day targeting one user, I, and four other friends, reported all of her offending tweets. To say they are an obvious case of targeted harassment is an understatement. Between us, we sent SIXTY reports to Twitter. Other users have told me that they have reported the tweets. And what have Twitter done with such an influx of complaints? Again, fuck all. Nothing. Jack shit. (Ironicallym, whilst in the middle of writing this post, she has, for reasons best known to absolutely no one, decided to follow me.. Enjoy your block Sandra!)
It makes me question why the hell I stay on twitter. But then I look back at the extraordinary people I have met in my six or so years. People with whom I have formed close friendships, many of which go beyond the confines of social media. I have been inspired by strength and dignity with which others have conducted themselves, whilst on the receiving end of some of the most vicious harassment I have seen. And I am constantly reminded that the good FAR outweighs the bad.
When I went through cancer, people on Twitter were there for me. When I had a nervous breakdown, again, there they were; there YOU were, lending support, offering friendship and asking nothing in return.
I am fortunate in that I have exceptionally broad shoulders. Very little of the behaviour exhibited by the cesspool of deviants and cranks affects me. It does, however, affect others; people about whom I care deeply. Only today, one has self-deleted his account temporarily, whilst he assesses how to manage the continual attacks from the homeopathic community.
I am glad I am on Twitter. I’ve met some remarkable people. I’ve also met some utter arseholes. I guess that’s the price of social media. The anonymity it affords allows people to behave in a manner that, one would hope, they would NEVER behave in, away from the confines of a computer keyboard. Some people will never change. Unfortunately, for them, at least, neither will I, or the many decent, kind people who put up with, and stand up against, their crap on a daily basis.
Perhaps, one day, Twitter will finally get their act together, and start treating harassment and stalking with the severity it deserves. Until then, we are all wading through a crystal clear river, with the occasional turd floating by. Keep swimming. Eventually, all turds sink without a trace. But the river… That keeps flowing…