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Twitter and bisted

Tony Schumacher can't keep out of the online jungle - despite some venomous attacks

Written by . Published on May 26th 2011.

Twitter and bisted

SO much am I in the grip of Twitter that I was tempted to write this piece in one hundred and forty characters or fewer.

Twitter has, quite literally, changed my life. It’s brought me work, raised my profile, and, most importantly, given me something else to do when I should be working.

 If black is the new grey, or whatever, then Twitter is the new staring out of the window.

I expected the Thatcher piece to
generate discussion and I looked
forward to reasoned debate. What
I didn’t expect was to be told:
'I hope you get cancer you tw**'

Not everyone loves it; a few mates have told me they can’t see the point, I’ve tried explaining that it doesn’t have to have a point, unless you want it too. It’s the 21st century version of chatting in the pub to strangers, shooting the breeze and passing the time. Without the modern day pub problem of “Are you looking at me?”.

And it’s not all trivia. As someone who occasionally performs stand-up, I’ve watched as people write gags that would grace any stage, a whole new generation of comedians are on the rise learning a craft while sitting in work, for instance: @dullardcostner wrote the other day: “My window cleaner knocked on my door effing and blinding. I thought, 'fuck me he's lost his rag!'”

Bang, pure and simple a belting one liner that any comic would be proud of, and as far as I can tell, the writer sells insurance for a living.

Many comics I know are nervously looking over their shoulder at Twitter, while others are rapidly making a name for themselves, lifted out of the doldrums by a medium that offers a worldwide audience of millions; Like Live Aid, but with more swearing.

sundayherald.jpgAs poor old Ryan Giggs will tell you, it's not all laughs. This week Twitter blew the best part of a week’s wages in legal bills for him. He could hold back the country’s press, but like a modern day Canute the tide of twitter swept him away, in a wave of 70,000 snide remarks and jokes his alleged indiscretions were outed. Celebrities no longer fear the News of the World, they fear the views of the world (wide web).

But it wasn’t just Giggsy who had a bit of twitter stick; I came in for some as well. 

My problems arose from a piece I wrote last week asking should Liverpool forgive and forget Thatcher. Now I’d like to make clear I’m no fan of Maggie, but I wanted to explore whether it was still relevant for a city to hate a doddery old woman who, by all accounts, is nearing the end and who last had a say in how my city has fared 20 years ago.

I expected the piece to generate discussion and I looked forward to reasoned debate, what I didn’t expect was to be told: “I hope you get cancer you tw**” and “If I ever meet you I’m going to punch you in the face”.

I received those well wishes from two separate twitter accounts on the day the article was published. I don’t know the people involved - neither of them chose to let me know more about themselves other than they hated me with a passion.

Wayne-Rooney-001.jpgI chose not to act on these hateful tweets and to rise above them, unlike Wayne Rooney who told one follower: “I’ll put you to sleep in ten seconds” (presumably by reading from his autobiography).

I decided that they were sad loners who sat in front of their keyboards throwing their weight around in a way the real world wouldn’t allow.

In the old days they would have had to find a green ink pen, remember where they had put their writing pad, dig out the magazines address, walk down to the post office, queue behind some pensioners, buy a stamp and then send their hate mail. And let’s be honest, who is going to do that? Even the saddest of the sad wouldn’t do that; they’d just draw a Hitler moustache on my picture, black out a few teeth and move on.

But now a simmering loony can spit out some venom at the click of a mouse at anyone who catches his eye, but unlike Mr Giggs I chose to remember what my dear old mother once told me: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but tweets can never hurt me.”

At least I think that is what she said, I was looking out of the window at the time.

*Follow Tony Schumacher on Twitter if you like. But play nice.

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6 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Prof ChucklebuttyMay 26th 2011.

We do love our bogeymen and bogeywomen don't we. Holding one individual to blame for a class based political ideology. It helps keep the masses happy and stops them getting too radical. Focus their anger and fear in such a way as to never really challenge the status quo.

All we needed to do was to get Maggie Maggie Maggie Out Out Out. We did. Or rather the Tories did themselves. But that changed nothing, we now find ourselves in an even worse situation, where we are told, You aint seen nothin' yet. Mrs T was a wicked woman. And yet the most often quoted attack is not the order to sink the Belgrano, the destruction of industry, the crusade to crush the miners, it is Thatcher the milk snatcher, which was when she was Education Secretary under Heath.

That pretty much sums up the level of political consciousness.

Why are we not waiting with excitement for Geoffrey Howe to pop his clogs, he wanted a policy of managed decline for Liverpool rather than the investment that came with Hesseltine's one and only reasonably good involvement in the city.

Anyone with any sense must surely see now that government figureheads are the tools of the international bankers and can do little to curb them. They call the shots and the main policies of each government are dictated according to their power over the world markets. Time to move on from Mrs T. have a party if it makes you feel better but her passing changes nothing.

By the way I drew a Hitler moustache on your photo and I hope you get custard, you twitterer.

Tim TaplingMay 27th 2011.

Well said Tony ; The most disturbing side to this is that the people who choose to attack anyone with anything intelligent to add to the conversation that is 'life', are displaying the least likeable trait of 'social media interaction' .. which is, in my opinion .. spouting hatred and expressing opinions that demonstrate their total lack of education, political savvy and most obviously their lack of control over their total failure to empower themselves .

Rhetoric is cheap and slander wihout consequence is easy, especially when you have cyber anonimity to hide behind. My personal favourite is "here here" ... a spelling mistake or an expression of a childish desire to be listened to ??

I for one liked the article and reposted it .. and had probably the same people who launched their tirades at you .. attack my position. Twitter and bisted .. absolutely !!

And it was me who drew the glasses on your picture
and I hope you get hobnobbed !!

"What can you do against the lunatic who is thinks they're more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy ?"
George Orwell

Jan PrinceMay 27th 2011.

I wish these two postings had "like" buttons on them because they are two of the most insightful things I have read on a forum ever.

Darth FormbyJune 3rd 2011.

You're right there prof. Hitler, Genghis Khan, Stalin, Pol Pot are all convenient hangers for our own ability to do evil. Nobody in Liverpool voted for Thatcher though. See you at the casa.

Nicholas Van HoogstratenOctober 14th 2011.

What about the most evil man who ever lived, Mike 'horror' Storey? The more he does the more elevated he gets - he's a flipping lord now!

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