Playground Bullies

I had a rather unpleasant twitter experience last night. I received a series of unpleasant tweets from an account that seem to have been set up explicitly for the purpose of sending those unpleasant tweets. The account has now vanished, but I still have the information thanks to twitterfox.

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Not even going in to the blatant copyright abuse of the JISC logo and name, I think this type of behaviour is to be condemned. This was clearly somebody using a system with the intention of causing hurt. What upsets me the most is that this might of been, probably was given the focus of the attack, someone I know.

What is really annoying is that I work really hard to be careful with my tweets. I don’t swear, I don’t insult people. I may occasionally rant about things I don’t like, but nothing I wouldn’t say in any other medium. I also make no claims that my account is anything to do with my work – yes I may talk about work, but if I also want to talk about tea, cake, or indeed my son’s fascination with Ben 10 I most certainly will. That’s not inane, that’s real life.

Bullying is not condoned in schools, it is not condoned in the workplace and should certainly not be condoned in cyberspace. I don’t want to have to protect my tweets as I believe information should be freely and openly shared. Unfortunately, it will be misuse and abusive users like this and ruin the freedom of collaborative environments for everyone.

Whoever you are, I hope you are thoroughly ashamed of yourself.

2 thoughts on “Playground Bullies

  1. Paul Walk

    Strange, sad behaviour. With a little thought this individual could have made their point (whatever it is) in a way which didn’t make me immediately write them off as an inconsequential, cowardly ‘troll’.

    Please don’t let it put you off tweeting openly Nicole. There are plenty of us who know what a significant contribution you have made and continue to make in our sector!

    Cheers!

    Paul

  2. David Harrison

    Can only echo what Paul said. The “Joy of twitter” is that you can mix the banal and the serious within just a few minutes, but that’s what life is all about too, and why social networking in the enterprise is so essentially a part of the future workplace.

    If I hear anyone using the phrase “it’s destroying the meeting at the water fountain” again, I’ll probably throw-up. It’s the people using the technology, not the technology itself, that causes the problem. In my experience the use of IM and twitter in the University increases inter-personal face-to-face communication because it breaks down barriers and enables people who don’t each other that well to talk, and then agree to meet to discuss a problem – maybe by the water fountain!

    So … your experience is most definitely distressing, and you are right to draw it to our attention. There should be a way of finding out who your “friend” was and thereby naming and shaming them. have you thought of contacting twitter.com? I’d have thought they might be interested in your experience.

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