3 thoughts on “If we’re cracking down on Twitter abuse, can we include Richard Dawkins and the atheist trolls?

  1. Yes. Interesting. I have to say that I was a little shocked to hear about the mysoginistic threats and other hate that the campaigner for females on bank notes recieved the other day, and most of it couldn’t be broadcast because it was too graphic for the radio. Well done to the author for encouraging people to exercise their right to free speech! I guess it is brave to stick your head over the parapet. I don’t really get these pious atheists – if you don’t believe in a God, fine. Why do you have to ridicule those that do? There are so many things I don’t believe in I wouldn’t have time to criticise all those that do even if I wanted to. I do see some of the arguments, such as the Condoms in Africa issue, but surely there is a more effective way of making your point without alienating people?

    I think that society increasingly thinks it’s OK to be intolerant towards Christians. That isn’t to say that there isn’t a lot of people who hide behind what they see as the relative anonymous Internet to spew out Islamophobic crap, but I think that most right-thinking people would denounce this. As far as I am aware, there isn’t even a word for intolerance towards Christians. I don’t think it will be long before Christians are persecuted in this country, despite the good charity work that many do. On the other hand they don’t do good PR and this article is a little whiney and hysterical; it was bound to draw fire.

    I had a friend who used to post offensive cartoons and pictures of the Pope, about him being a closet homosexual etc. When I started to point out how offensive this would be to millions of Roman Catholics, and how she could have made her point more effectively, she unfriended me which is a shame really because I liked a lot of her other posts. So much for free speech!

    P.S On an unrelated point, I love the banner pictures at the top of this blog.

  2. I find the whole issue of using Twitter to remotely insult people you’ve never met and are never likely to meet fascinating. I have no idea what motivates someone to hurl abuse at a person who is merely campaigning for women to be included on bank notes or, as happened at lunchtime, just because they’ve come on radio to explain how offensive they find the whole thing (see this link).


    I still have the email address of my old psychology tutor. I’d love to know what she thinks of it all.

  3. I should imagine she would think it is similar to road rage. As it happens a funny thing happened to me today. A guy was pretty rude to me because he thought I had stood too close to him at the cash machine (I hadn’t). Later when he saw that I worked in the office where he was working temporarily he asked to be let in to my room and apologised profusely and explained how he was having a bad day. He was so embarassed but I saw the funny side and actually thought it was an interesting insight into human nature even before this thread. To be fair, I hadn’t seen him in the office so he could have just ignored me, unlike the trolls on the Internet who had the opportunity to apologise but didn’t. But it shows how people behave differently in different circumstances. He wouldn’t have taken out his problems on me in a work situation I doubt.

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