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Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
The knee-jerk reaction is a fool’s reaction. Let’s agree on that before we go any further. Nothing good can come from the knee-jerk reaction. The knee-jerk reaction is the favored tool of the tabloid media and governments around the world. It’s what started the War on Terror and it’s what killed Jesus.
The idea of a Report Abuse button on twitter is outlandish, if it was to have the kind of immediate effect needed to root out the scumbags threatening people with rape, it would create the ability to immediately report someone who said they think Pepsi is better than Coca Cola or that Catholics should be ashamed of themselves for letting Benedict walk free, you know the kind of thing. Opposing points of view offend the kind of person who would take offence to something like words. I have been on Twitter a while, and I like to think I have learned some things. I want to say this without fear of attack for being a chauvinist or any of that nonsense, but the idea that feminists would look for help in dealing with nasty words rather than just taking the bastards on by themselves is paradoxical, to me any way. But I am just a man.
I have dealt with death threats and, weirdly, a couple of rape threats, both on WorldNewsVine and Social Networks. I chose to deal with them by threatening back, or offering to meet and sort it out like the men these cretins claim to be, or belittling the swine as publicly as possible. Only last month, or the month before I had some illiterate mad man from Northern England tell me that me, my parents, any kids or siblings I may have should be “raped to death by a gang of Muslims” and that I should have been dead in the street in place of that soldier. I have been sent bullet-point emails listing ways that I should kill myself, from a serving US marine. I have had it quite hard at times in regard to abuse. But for some reason it never bothered me. I even sent the Marine an email back challenging him to a fist fight at the nearest possible opportunity. I never heard back.
Sticks and Stones, and all that. That would always help if someone said something nasty to you, but not this week or not any more. It is only words. Some words are inexcusable, but they are just words. To suggest that Twitter should introduce something that will only make matters worse for anyone trying to make a stand against anything and not just feminists, is madness. Utter madness. Threats like those made towards Caroline Criado-Perez are an act of cowardice by simpletons with no grasp of reality who should be punished severely, but Twitter is filled with that type. There is a block button. There is a block button for a reason, and the police are heavily involved in social networking, you can send the tweets to them and they will act accordingly. Yet this cry for help in the form of a report abuse button continues oblivious to everything that will come from it’s introduction. It would be impossible to monitor the sheer volume of people hitting it because they’ve been offended. Read the Daily Mail or any other tabloid aimed at the mentally unstable, there you will see what the true face of pandering to the offended looks like. No good can come of it.
Had people not been jailed for saying certain things online I would probably feel different, but they have, so I don’t. Rape threats are the act of a scumbag, we know that and if this story has done anything it has made people aware that this exists on the internet and, I hope, it will make people more vigilant and in that way we will deal with the problem, but if you support the idea of a Report Abuse button you are experiencing a knee-jerk reaction to media coverage, and think back to where that kind of reaction has taken us.