For most Twitter is a fantastic communication tool. The way in which any one can follow anyone else and follow their stream of Tweets is exactly what makes Twitter the success that it is. Unfortunately this level of openness is not without it’s pit falls.
I’ve been following @KirstieMAllsopp for a while now, in case you don’t know who Kirstie is she is British TV presenter and property guru. After reading a few of her messages, it became clear that Kirstie and other famous celebrity tweeters are the victims of an Internet bullying campaign.
The bullies themselves don’t see that their words are bullying but by the very definition of what cyber bullying is, they are. Now I won’t link to any of their accounts here because it’ll just give them some sick perversion and draw attention to them directly.
However Kirstie was unable to block them at the time from the mobile website of Twitter and had to wait until she could, consequently a number of people replied to Kirstie offering kind words of support only to have the bullies turn on them and flood their @mentions feed with abuse.
I too have had these messages sent to me and I’ll post a few examples now (self censored so as not to offend)
@KirstieMAllsopp f***** block me will ya ya fat do goody scrubber. Yer programme is s*** and ur fat nd ugly lol
@twbrit u think u r so f****** clever e mailing that fat bird off telly well keep ur f***** thoughts to yerself bout my mates or Ill ave u
@richardhyland if u bad mouth @****** or @********* gin u 4 eyed gimp Ill f****** kick ur chav arse this will be ur only warning c***
And that was just three of around 30 tweets from one of these users in around 30 minutes!
@KirstieMAllsopp fat s*** (via @******) this one is trying to ban you all @****** She is a seriously obese dull bitch
@KirstieMAllsopp kirstie, where on your body is the perfect location for me to s***? your chest? your hair? your eyes?
I think any sane person will agree it’s pretty foul stuff and whilst most adults swear at some point, there is simply no excuse or point in their sad little tweets apart from upsetting normal people using a great service like Twitter.
Twitter do provide a method of feedback to harassment, yet a week after this came to my attention, every single one of the accounts is still active. Is Twitter unable or unwilling to do something about it?
Celebrities have often had to put up with a lot because of their fame, paparazzi, untrue stories, but no one deserves to be abused or bullied in this way whether it be online or in person.
Update: Since I posted this, one of the accounts has now gone, I don’t think it was suspended but the user either deleted it or changed his screen name
Update II: Two down now… hopefully more to come