Twitter Silence - Why I changed my mind
Twitter Silence – Silence on Twitter. How would I cope? I mean it was for a good cause right? In my mind it WAS the same as walking away from the trolls. You remove yourself, therefore removing their incentive to troll. They would have nothing to instigate their vile rape and bomb threats; therefore we were taking the upper hand…weren’t we? And it was to show peaceful support for all the women that had suffered at the hands of said trolls. Except that when someone threatens to rape, murder or bomb someone online, this isn’t trolling or bullying. This IS criminal behaviour. [Check the law if you don’t believe me] So I wanted to show my support. And for the record, no one ‘told’ me to be silent, as some people are stating. I’m seeing many ‘I won’t be told to be silent’ tweets at the moment, and I can tell you now…no one forced me, told me, put pressure on me to do it. It was my choice and my choice alone.
Two hours in, and I’m beginning to falter, I’m seeing many good reasons for not doing it too. I’m seeing too many brilliant pieces of writing by women and men that need sharing. After all, I am just a mere voice in the ether; I am just 140 characters on the internet. I am just a writer, blogger, ambassador with not much of a following. Would my absence from Twitter cause waves? Of course not. Also take into account one of my biggest character flaws some would say - Fighting back. To not shout back at these idiot trolls was against my nature. Against whom I was as a person. While I’ve never been at the hands of a troll yet [I say yet…because I have no doubt it will happen] I have been bullied of line for most of my younger years. Cerebral Palsy is a bugger frankly, and people have always assumed because the left side of my body didn’t work as it should…my brain didn’t work either. I’ve had every slur thrown at me. The most ‘lovely’ ahem…being ‘You’re abnormal and a retard, you should have been aborted before birth’ I had always done ‘the right thing’ walked away from them, head held high. But it kept on coming. Then I became angry. Very angry, and I fought back one day. I shouted back, I pushed back…I FOUGHT back. I haven’t stopped fighting since. A little voice kept saying – ‘shout – for god’s sake – shout. Don’t be passive in the face of these misogynists. Do what you are good at – fight’
We are all arrogant in the assumption that our presence on Twitter matters, myself included…it isn’t just the journalists and celebrities that should be pinpointed on this subject. We all do it. 140 characters, thousands of times a day, by millions of people, each with a voice. Twitter has given people a voice that perhaps never had one. This is a good thing in many cases. At the end of the day Twitter is about communication, that is all. It also turns Joe Blogg’s into a Twitter God….an anonymous Twitter god that can abuse people on line and this does need to stop. What Twitter Silence has done is add to the much needed dialogue that needs to be taking place about abuse on line..and is. I have no problem with the people doing it…nor will I speak up against them. This is a silent protest, it is harming no one.
But you will have to forgive me for breaking my Twitter Silence. There is too much going on in this world that I need to share and communicate with people. If you really want to piss the trolls off, follow a hashtag called #inspiringwomen. It’s enough to make any anti feminist foam at the mouth. I have a brain, and I intend to use it. I will not stay silent. I refuse to give people that satisfaction.
Image - Break The Silence by Shutte