Australia has recently experienced a very strange situation, that if you tried to think about it, you might actually hurt your brain…
Robbie Farah, a football player from NSW, recently had some nerds on twitter call him nasty names, described as an “attack” by the media. The Murdoch press launched a campaign to crack down on free speech. Murdoch media have been very active against any form of media enquiry as they try to pretend it would breach their rights to free speech. ALP politicians have jumped on the censorship bandwagon and are talking up the Murdoch media campaign to push Australia even more totalitarian with greater restrictions on free speech than before. To protect a football player from being called names on twitter.
Follow all that so far? Good, here is where is suddenly gets bizarre.
That same football player, the one who politicians want to remove our rights to free speech to protect from being called names on twitter, himself told the Prime Minister to get a “noose” for her birthday. Yep, another implied death threat to a female politician from a high-profile man. This is the man the nation has decided needs protecting.
These recent events have pushed the word “troll” into the nations consciousness. (Troll someone who posts deliberately abusing tweets designed to get a reaction, although some celebrities think a troll is someone who disagrees with them).
We don’t need to change the laws in this country, there are already existing laws about abuse, death threats, harassment, regardless of the medium. What is needed is to teach celebrities how to block or log out or ignore, rather than rush laws through parliament that remove what little rights to free speech we have.
I am a big fan of twitter, more so than Farcebook or any other social networks, it is a curious little world, and am not sure why celebrities have such a hard time hitting block, instead they prefer to retweet every abuse, perhaps designed to encourage their fans to then go troll the person who made the original comments.
Retweeting abusing comments only inflicts that abuse on our own followers, and not everyone’s idea of fun.
I recently attracted a fan on twitter… maybe “fan” in not exactly accurate. I’m not sure what word is. He would never retweet me, or talk to me – except to correct my spelling, grammar or other inferred flaw, or use of statistics. His twitter bio said Leftish, so I let it slide.
Finally after correcting my maths (which was not wrong) I asked him, what exactly he got out of constantly correcting me, did it make him feel important, did he think his constant criticism and correction would endear me to him, or make thrilling reading for his followers, did he wake up of a morning and decide his day was not complete without harassing me over inconsequential things.
I never did get answers to these questions.
So, as a harmless little thing, I decided to tweet the following:
grammer and spelling nazis, your really starting to annoy me now – but go on correct me, cos people really enjoy that, really
Grammar was deliberately spelled wrong, and you’re was also deliberately spelled wrong, and absolutely no one appreciates random people they’ve never talked to correcting them.
Wow. The response.
The response to that tweet provoked more trolling and hate than any political tweet I have ever tweeted – Including suggestions of nationalising all Australian mining or forcing everyone to go vegan to protect the environment. Nope, apparently what drives this nation the most crazy of all is misspelling “you’re”.
Suddenly people I didn’t follow or follow me were correcting my spelling, including their own spelling mistakes in the correction (‘because’ spelled becauae in one correction, ‘precious’ spelled previous by another troll).
I even had one random stranger give me a mark out of 10 for that tweet and marked it a fail.
The reaction to spelling, grammar or maths and statistics errors is out of all proportion.
Do we make ourselves bigger by pointing out other people’s mistakes – ok, with maths errors, might not be a bad thing, but “you’re” and “your”? Has anyone, ever, anywhere, said “oh thank you for correcting me, my life is now complete”.
In case these people haven’t noticed – thousands of public servants have seen their jobs disappear in Queensland, an environment that has become open-slather for property developers and Coal Seam Gas in Victoria and New South Wales, education budgets reduced by billions in those states – none of these things seems to bother anyone the same way a spelling mistake does.
Which all brings me to the point of this post:
The Right wing politicians and supporters in this country have been fighting the 2013 election since the day TeaParty Tony Abbott failed to sell his arse to the Independents. They are fighting dirty and fighting hard, and they are fighting relentlessly.
The Left are trolling for grammar and spelling mistakes.
You would think the Left have the 2013 Federal election in the bag, a done-deal, a sure-thing – cruising all the way to another term of government, the way the Left-wing finds more important things to worry about.
But here is the deal – Left-wing trolls might as well be Right-wing, if they are distracting. Every minute defending ourselves from trolling by the Left is one less minute spent fighting for the future of this country. Left-wing trolls that harass Left-wing people act as Right-wing collaborators.
Left-wing or Right-wing, a troll is a troll and the best way to deal is to block.