Internet bullying is of course a recent phenomena and a rather unpleasant one. There is absolutely no excuse for terrorising people per se but doing it behind a computer screen; making threats, being abusive and vile makes it somehow more subversive and sinister. I freely admit that I have taken part in 'forum wars' before. (I don't need to make the point that I lead a pointless and tragic existence - if you're reading this, chances are you've read my previous blogs so you already know this;-)) I got on the wrong side of someone a few years ago who took it upon herself to stalk me via my hubby's blog, find a VERY unflattering pic of me and post it on the Digital Spy forums. To say I was shocked and upset is an understatement. In hindsight, getting into spats with her online and deliberately baiting her prior to this wasn't my finest hour and I am very careful these days about who I interact with online and what I tell them.
Internet bullying is the subject of the delightful Jan Moir's latest column. If you are unfamiliar with Jan Moir or her work, consider yourself blessed. Moir is a bitter, spiteful, old hack who is a regular writer for the Daily Mail (nuff said). Her most spectacular work in recent years was her attack on Stephen Gately when the poor guy was hardly cold in his grave. I'm not a Stephen Gately fan and I loathe Boyzone; just so you know - I have no personal agenda here.... Prior to his death he didn't impinge on my consciousness on any level. He died in 2009 in his sleep with a previously undiagnosed heart condition. He was also gay and in a civil partnership. A few days after his death, Moir took it upon herself to more or less accuse of him being a junkie alcoholic who died a seedy death. Moreover, Moir made the startling assertion that civil partnerships per se are doomed to failure because Gately died AND SO DID MATT LUCAS'S EX HUSBAND. Yes, you read that correctly. 2 tragic instances and Moir makes this crass and repulsive claim. Furthermore, the coroner's report was not yet available and Moir took it upon herself to wax lyrical on Gately's supposed squalid existence; suggestions of orgies, drugs etc. Beyond upsetting for his partner, family and friends. Following the rightful outcry of this piece, Moir made a half hearted apology that bleated the usual bollocks about freedom of speech and morality. Ugh.
Today, Moir writes about a poor young rape victim who was bullied online. An absolutely awful story. Moir is correct that there is no excuse for such vileness. However, what Moir conveniently then forgets is that there is no excuse for her version of cyber bullying either. She goes on to make the astonishing assertion that SHE is regularly the victim of cyber bullies:
This triggered a cyber blunderbuss of death threats and picaresque abuse that became almost comic in its intensity. I have never complained about this and do not do so now, feeling only that I cannot write about online bullying without briefly mentioning my own experience. My home address was wilfully repeatedly posted on Twitter, a passive incitement to violence which the police did not take lightly.
That same week, I was stopped on my street by four men who wanted to know which house was mine. All I can say is that if they were vigilantes, they weren’t very observant ones.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2099110/A-girl-bullied-raped-cowardice-cyber-trolls.html#ixzz1lztRvnXB
A young rape victim being bullied online is NOWHERE near equatable for a backlash following a vicious attack on a dead homosexual. Yes, no excuse for the small minority who took it too far and tried to find her home address etc, but I suspect she has exaggerated that aspect of this for her own ends anyway - (sue me if I'm wrong) but Moir dear, it wasn't a minority who found your article homophbic, it was a decent majority. You are of course crassly comparing your own self induced publicity to this poor innocent girl - absolutely DISGUSTING. You are a journalist who writes offensive things for money and as such should expect a backlash (& no I'm not talking vigilantism, I'm talking people commenting on your idiocy). She uses the usual bollocks about women being bullied online - no, there are plenty of fantastic female journalists who arfen't bullied because they have brain cells and aren't deliberately provocative and defensive. Hang your head in shame you despicable troll.