Fight the trolls (but not each other)

In the red corner: the #twittersilence-ers

In the blue corner: the Twitter trolls

And in the other red corner: those not involved in the twitter silence but who support the cause

It’s a natural fight, for people to stand up for what they believe in and to battle against the angry trolls of the internet. There’s been a lot of unrest lately, regarding abuse online (particularly on Twitter) and the way certain people have been behaving when faced with feminist ideasl.

(Feminist ideals are about equality, not sexism against men, for the record.)

But something else is happening today, on this day of #twittersilence.

(No, I’m not participating. I have a busy day and I’d rather keep hold of my Twitter feed to help relieve any stress, etc.)

I’ve noticed a number of things since midnight:

People stating their intention to join in with the #twittersilence.

People stating their intention to not join in with the #twittersilence.

That’s great. It’s all about personal preference.

I, myself, suggested that just because someone isn’t taking part, it doesn’t mean they don’t care.

But naturally there will be people at the far extremes of participation. As always, there are those who just take part and those who just don’t (for various reasons, such as a) not caring *enough* and b) not knowing the whole thing exists). There are, however, also a small number of people who are doing what this whole #twittersilence project is fighting against.

Judgement.

The general concept may be to fight Twitter trolls, but let’s face it, as with any quest against bigots/misogyny/racism/sexism/homophobia, it’s really about wanting others to respect you instead of judge you.

I’m all for this ideal and I fully support it.

But since midnight struck I have noticed a small number of people – people who are supposed to be against Twitter trolls – arguing amongst themselves over the #twittersilence.

The #twittersilence is not there to pass judgement on those who take part, or those who don’t.

It should be about accepting that some people want to take part in order to feel like they’re fighting back. Whilst others don’t necessarily believe it will do any good at all.

That’s fine.

But when someone purposefully goes out of their way to bash those who are fighting, well, they’re behaving like the more subtle trolls out there. (I’m certainly not comparing them to the rape threats and extreme misogyny that we’ve seen this week. Just those who make silly comments which are half opinion/half judgement passed off as ‘it’s my opinion and you can’t argue it’.)

Instead of this in-fighting, which quite frankly, is counterproductive, we should be accepting our fellow Twitter followers’ right to freedom of speech (or lack, thereof).

Of course, this will probably be a small minority who are behaving this way. But then again, the original incidents with the trolls of Twitter were only a small minority.

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