Revealed: The real cause of the great Twitter row, bomb threats and insults
THERE is currently mass outrage at how people are acting on Twitter. How could these gormless oiks be so rude and crude as to scream obscenities at Mary Beard and that bird who won the banknote thing?
And there’s an answer to this, one that’s really not all that flattering about us as a people but true all the same.
You might guess, then, that the current furore over Twitter doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Before Twitter got rid of the ability to watch the public Twitter timeline, I’d often sit and gaze the world’s tweets in real time. It’s no wonder they disabled that function because it didn’t take long before you would see how truly bestial we are as a species. I don’t even mean that small percentage of people who are, for want of a better word, ‘bad’. I mean huge segments of our population who demonstrated how illiteracy and stupidity prevail. I began using Twitter believing it a novel way to confine language, encourage pithy expression. I grew to realise that it’s actually the perfect way of expressing our piggish grunts, our infantile nature, our utter slavery to branding, marketing, and celebrity. Reading Twitter’s public timeline was like being trapped inside the mind of one enormous planet-sized imbecile.
My comparison here is with the rise of blogging and the comments pages in the online newspapers those few years ago, around 8 or 9 of them.
This was the first time that the people who write the newspapers had ever really had direct interaction with the people who read them. And the results were really rather shocking to those who wrote. For the massed readership did not in fact hang on every word of theirs, did not carefully consider each beautifully crafted pearl of wisdom. Rather, they told the commie swine to fuck off, the fascist trolls to go hang themselves and in short, really were not quite ready for prime time media exposure.
There was much moaning over this: perhaps it was the new online anonymity that allowed people to act in such manner? Which is I think the wrong end of the stick entirely. Some significant portion of the world is like this all the time: angry stupid and rude. The new tools didn’t cause any of this, they just exposed it.
So it is with Twitter and all the misogyny and so on being complained about today. I don’t say that things ought to be this way, I don’t even like that things are this way. But it is still true: some significant part of the population are simply ignorant little twats. Twitter just allows them to show it.