Woman campaigns to get a woman’s head stuck on a five pound note. She succeeds in not only achieving this, but also in enraging pig-headed arseholes. The pig-headed arseholes then send her nasty offensive tweets, rape threats and that. Twitter as an organisation is decidedly pisspoor at policing such matters, but the police get involved, folk get arrested, they get told off by their mum, justice is served in the voice of Martin Sheen.
Then the ruddy Journos crawl out of the woodwork. Oh look, they think, columnist gold. But wait! Folk aren’t going to read another column where we make some sort of half-arsed link between the childish troll culture of the internet, the inherent sexism present in society and people making death and rape threats over the Internet, no, we need to sell more column inches, let’s start a twitter campaign. Let’s work this to our advantage, alienate the people who don’t agree with us (heck, let’s throw them into the same camp as the rape threat people, they’re all trolls, yeah) and let’s get all excited about the upcoming book deal about our victimisation and how our sassy attitudes get us through such mediocre shit.
Thus, #twittersilence or #trolliday (they couldn’t agree on one name) is born and publicised through twitter in such a way that even my mum knows about it.
A 24 hour dollop of not-tweeting, blowing lambrini-smelling raspberries in the face of every anti-bullying campaign ever invented. An ineffectual campaign fuelled in part by the egos of holier-than-thou hypocrites, confusing several inherently different issues into one mish mash of internet nannying and making me so angry I spill hot Bovril onto the kitchen floor and have to wipe it up with one of the decorative tea towels that I’m not supposed to use.
Of course, the twitter silence turned out to be the loudest silence ever heard, getting the publicity and praise the journos so desperately desire, but also filling twitter with fury, comedy and defiant tweets that would otherwise be left untweeted on a quiet news Sunday. In terms of getting mentioned and getting attention, the campaign is a success. In regards to drawing attention to the debate about trolls and twitter’s pisspoor offensive behaviour prevention, also a success. But in actually providing a solution, solving the problems inherent to twitter, that of people being able to say what they feel like, no matter how offensive, nothing has been gained, nothing changed.
And so, in protest of such ineffectual protests, fully acknowledging the irony, I invite you all to join me in partaking in a #twittersandwich this lunchtime. Eating a sandwich of your choice (or wrap. Or a custard cream, which is technically a sandwich) at around about lunchtime, and telling everyone about it. Because telling people what you’re having for dinner is what twitter is for. Not impotently campaigning for a better society, not nagging at people to read the sections of The Guardian that don’t actually have any news value to them, not providing a reason for a journo to appear on radio 2 so they can shout their mixed opinions on a phone in.
Just have a sandwich.
It’s only twitter after all.
Be excellent to each other.