Why I don’t believe in Twitter silence
Sunday (bloody Sunday), and I can’t let #TwitterSilence slip by (ironically) without saying something.
If you don’t know what I’m on about, then you can read the pro-Twitter Silence side here which is a well-written but wordy piece by Caitlin Moran.
I’m torn by this. On one hand, I am definitely against the nasty “I will find you and rape you” trolls that seem to be on Twitter. That’s not to say that I’m against all trolls, though. Some trolling on Twitter can be quite funny, especially if it’s done in a gentle way.
But I can’t be alone in thinking that not using Twitter for a day will do little to rectify things. It’ll be noticed because it’s a big united stand, but being noticed doesn’t mean you’ll have an impact, and all of the hundreds (thousands? tens of thousands?) taking a stand today will return to their smartphones and laptops tomorrow to join in tweeting nonsense and nothing will have changed.
To me, #TwitterSilence feels like a strop. A well-intentioned strop, I’m sure, but a strop nonetheless. I was going to equate it to “it’s my ball and if you don’t want to play my game then I’m taking it home with me” but in reality it’s not “their” ball. It’s theirs, ours and even belongs to the trolls.
If you want something done about the horrible side of Twitter, then do something positive. Propose a solution (and I know that many have), explain why the reason works, show what it brings to the table. Don’t flounce off, it’s not a good look.
Twitter will be a little quieter today, but you won’t notice. Had certain people with many followers not made such a big thing over it, you’d barely realise that a tiny percentage of tweeters were away. Even though they’re away, surely that is a battle-win for the trolls? (Though let’s not declare the war over just yet.)
My hope for today is that the sanctimonious lot choose to stay off Twitter for a day, the trolls have no-one to troll, so they stay away and Twitter reverts back to what it used to be - and what is primarily is for the majority of us still - a nice interactive forum for people to shoot the shit about everything and nothing in bite sized chunks.
Edit: I’m putting this edit in above the wise words of @jamiesont simply because Jamie makes a succinct point and it ends the blog nicely. However, since I published this ten minutes ago my good friend Kip has written this blog post on the same theme and it may well be the best thing he has written to date. Well worth a read. End of edit.
I’ll save the last word for @jamiesont who puts it so much better than I can: