August 04, 2013

Why I Joined In With #TwitterSilence

Screen shot 2013-08-04 at 21.17.48

So, the latest campaign on Twitter (and there seem to be quite a few at the moment) is #TwitterSilence. I think Twitter is a brilliant platform for raising awareness, and bringing people together. But recently, and I think most people will agree; things have turned a bit sour.

Specifically, a few well-known female journalists have received horrific non-stop verbal abuse  (including bomb and sexual threats), to the extent that they were too afraid to stay in their own homes. Insensitive and desperate paparazzi reporters have also turned up at their houses late at night, hammering down their doors, just so they could get a comment on how vulnerable they are feeling. Ironic huh.

All because they thought it’d be nice to stick Jane Austen on a ten-bob note.

The #TwitterSilence campaign, spearheaded by Caitlin Moran has been purposely picked to make its mark on International Friendship Day (today, August 4th).

Regarding Twitter trolling, Tina Fey had the right idea, the video has been removed now, but she said: “You should have to have a license to use Twitter. I volunteer to be head of the licenses.”

BEST IDEA I’VE HEARD SO FAR.

Here are a few reasons why I decided to go Twitter-free today. Here you read the full story on how this little campaign started and what it means right here.

  • It’s a simple act to show respect (to victims of online abuse). Nothing more, nothing less.
  • It is a symbol of say ‘hey I’m not shackled to Twitter, I am not enslaved to the Internet, and I do not have to read or receive abusive tweets.’ I am free to do as I please and today I’m going to have a Sunday to read the papers and do nice things.
  • It’s getting a bit tedious reading a million people having 1000 miles-per-hour opinions on anything and everything, all day, every day.
  • It’s not about ‘waiting for things to calm down, or to blow over’ – it’s just about doing what you personally would like to do, to contribute (however small) in stopping the madness.
  • To be honest, it’s nice to step away from the drama for a day.
  • Because sometimes I think this is all getting a bit ridiculous.
  • Why don’t we leave Twitter (and our computers) and have an actual protest in the great outdoors? Or talk about it face to face? #ShoutingBack doesn’t have to be via hashtags. It can be offline too, ya know.
  • Ps. I think Caitlin Moran is brilliant (but that’s my opinion)
  • It’s also spurring on the conversation once again – who’s on what team? Hopefully everyone can just get it out of their systems once and for all. Then can we all just go back to talking about Dr Who and Downton Abbey and celebrity babies and whether Harry styles is boning his hairdresser? And share geeky infographics, and make friends and swap career advice?
  • It’s not meant to be ‘silencing women’ or ‘silencing the conversation’ – a woman came up with the idea! A proof point that people should stop over-analysing everything.
  • I quite liked the pun by Caitlin Moran about #TwitterSilence being about ‘going on trolliday.’
  • Twitter, right now, is exhausting.
  • It doesn’t mean we’re giving up.
  • It doesn’t mean we’re shutting up.
  • To me, it’s a sign of power to rise above and step away for a day.
  • It’s another way of drawing more attention to the problem.
  • It’s received some interesting divided opininon. Surprising abusive ones about the #TwitterSilence itself. But it’s not a competition, it’s about every individual choosing to do something for solidarity, whether you took part in #TwitterSilence or not.

Here’s what Caitlin Moran describes Twitter as: “For most people, Twitter is joyous: it’s a little group of friends in your pocket; daily surprises; news from places you’ve never been; an overnight revolution; eyes in the place where tonight’s news will be broadcast from.”

If it gets all creepy or troll-y again, I am thinking of boycotting Twitter for longer next time.

But then again, it’s only Twitter.

  • A very well written blog post, so interesting to read as well. *Bravo* !!

  • I quite like reading a post that will make people think.
    Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

My Book

“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”

– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE

"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"

– The Debrief

“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”

– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic