My mum always used to say “if you haven’t got anything nice to say, then keep your gob shut”. She was a wise lady who taught me well & I’m pretty sure other folk got told the same. Yet a good chunk of the general public didn’t listen to their mamas.
Enter the Internet Troll. That cretin whose sole purpose in life is to seek out victims online and fight with/yell at them about pointless things. Or, as I prefer to call them, a colossal dick.
You’d be mistaken for thinking that this only happens to kids or demented 1 Direction/Bieber fans*, yet you’d be wrong. Fully grown humans are doing the same from the safety of their keyboards. Someone always has to get their opinion heard yet they don’t care if it might directly affect others.
And I never, ever thought I’d have to include a police Twitter account on this but let’s start high up on the ol’ ‘you shouldn’t be a nugget’ scale.
Now, before I have folk yelling at me that this account is quite light hearted in general, it’s still a pretty bizarre thing to say especially when you’re supposed to be taking Internet bullying seriously. They are, after all, a verified account and a representative of the police force.
— Manchester News MEN (@MENnewsdesk) February 8, 2014
you are the ‘police’ aren’t you? isn’t that your ‘job’? or are you actually being PAID to blame the victims of crimes now? @GMPSalfordCen
— Lex (@lexcanroar) February 6, 2014
And if your car is being vandalised, sell it, @GMPSalfordCen? What a bonkers tweet. Why not try tackling online harassment instead?
— Michael Morrison (@MikeMorrisonLT) February 7, 2014
Whilst we’re on the topic of people with a good chunk of power, here’s the Home Office’s take on how to do social media:
— The Home Office (@ukhomeoffice) July 3, 2013
Genuinely no idea what was going through their heads that day. *Insert dick-move klaxon here*
Next up, the small business account. Yes, this happened ages ago but it still baffles me how it got so out of control. Say hello to The Secret Plumber:
Now he could have stayed quiet when his driving was called out on Twitter. He could have apologised (even if he didn’t give a hootenanny about what happened) and it might have been the end of it. But no. He went on a bizarre two day verbal assault on anyone who dared question his skills which, in turn, turned into a mini witch hunt.
He later did a huuuuge back-pedal and claimed his phone had been hacked/stolen by a mate who conveniently left the geolocation on. A geolocation which plonked him in his work space. If you wanna read the whole thing, head over here.
His (or his mates… who knows) dick moves may have cost him a good chunk of cash this winter. And I can guarantee that Edinburgh folk do not forget. We’re a small city who hold grudges.
So here’s some basic guidelines to follow:
• Much like crossing the road, look both ways. Ok, so that was awful but at least think about how your 140 characters might affect that person who’s had a really, really crap day.
• Is what you’re about to type too risky? Are you actually considering not tweeting it? Then for the sake of all joyous stuff do not post it. I’ve just saved you that awkward meeting with your boss – you’re welcome. And yes, that applies to personal accounts as well. You acting like a dick on Twitter may boost your ego, but being an utter nugget could bring negative attention to the company you work for which may lead to getting your P45. Have fun explaining that in your next interview.
• Don’t like what they do? Ignore it. By all means have your say but keep it civilised. Plus I guarantee you’ll get super worked up because of the arguments. I’ve just helped your stress levels. Again, you’re welcome.
• Lastly (and this is my fave) – don’t be a dick. Just be bloody nice to each other. Actually… be awesome to each other. Step down from your soap box and talk about something else. You never know, you might actually get on with them.
*I couldn’t not include this Tweet. Angry 1 Directioners are a prime example of how to be dicks.
GQ MAGAZINE CAN GO FUCK THEMSELVES WITH A CHAINSAW UP THEIR ASSHOLE TILL IT MUTILATES THEIR INSIDES
— pearl (@XVIIBLK) July 29, 2013