And just as the printing press used to get blamed for the content of paperbacks and newspapers so now the World Wide Web gets blamed for the content of websites and social media platforms.
Scottish business entrepreneur and a panel-member of of the BBC program Dragons’ Den, Duncan Bannatyne, a few days back received a black-mail threat upon his daughter on Twitter. He in effect tweets back a bounty-offer to his followers offering cash for information leading to an arrest – and a bonus for anyone who finds and breaks their arms! – I follow him and only caught the latter part of this twitter-stream and was not sure whether it was serious or some running ruse – it turns out to be for real. One can understand his anger and that his emotions ran ahead of him – taking justice into his own hands and perhaps being in breach of a law or two in the process.
But on the online news sites and forums most of the comments were more keen to condemn Twitter and its users than condemn either the original blackmail threat or Duncan Bannatyne’s response to it. It being okay to make facile and troll like remarks on the Comments sections of News Sites just not within 140 characters on Twitter. Facebook got it in the neck too.
Twitter and Facebook may or may not be banal – that really depends on you and your friends, who you follow and in turn who follows you – the technology is not responsible for the foibles and imbecilities of any of its users. You can be foolish across all technologies, or you can forsake all technology and it won’t make you any more wiser or pleasant. No, that lies within you.
Also notable in such dismissals of social media sites are a number of pious posters incredulous that people use Twitter to communicate when they can use Email! I can but imagine that when Email started becoming wide-spread in the 1990’s these self-same people castigated Email users as idiots or other derogatory terms almost certainly mis-spelled – thundering abusively that why don’t they write a letter instead.
And so it goes – letter writers using keyboards chastised by letter writers using pen and ink – pen and ink scribes reviled by the users of the quill. They in turn ostracised for written communication by those who cannot and will not write because speaking was good enough for them and their parents before them without need for witchy hieroglyphics. So it goes back to the Neanderthal cave and those happy enough to grunt without any need for fancy progressive civilised wordy language.
Because for sure one day Facebook and Twitter will fade away ever more redundant and used only by the old of spirit ever oblivious to new developments – communication now literally a matter of thought with another bunch of Twitter Luddites decrying those that communicate telepathically – from companies with catchphrases like “Just Think of It’! – what’s the need when you can use Twitter they will rage, tweeting away their spleen thereafter.
- Dragon’s Den star offers reward as Twitter user threatens his daughter (thenextweb.com)
- Twitter threats against Duncan Bannatyne’s daughter investigated by police (mirror.co.uk)