But look at the stupid Polly Gillespie pile-on recently. Her dumb comment about the danger for foreign tourists of NZ beaches was stripped of its context (the Piha Rescue TV show) and people went nuts about.
Even with the context, it was an unfortunate tweet, and she didn't help her cause in her responses to her critics. But suddenly it was like the rotational New Zealand twitter feed had become the New Zealand Herald or the TVNZ evening news, and Gillespie a powerful and influential media commentator who deserved to be taken down. It was a bizarre spectacle.
that point can be made without slighting references to his weight or appearance, calling him a fag or wishing a painful and violent death upon his head.
That's several steps beyond "rude".
I want to preserve my right to be rude to the deserving
Stephen Judd, the one who nails it.
Yes, this. Which is why I've been quite surprised to see it rationalised away here.
We must still discriminate among our behaviours, though, surely. You had pretty strong words for Willie and JT after their Amy interview last year. A lot of other people did afterwards. At what point did it become a pile-on? What made it okay, if it was okay? Or the DHC column. Was it okay to be among those who pointed out early on that it was, at the very least, in very poor form? Does the fact that people piled on in the evening, turning the dribble of criticism into a progressively more abusive avalanche, mean that the original tweeters were bullies? Should the content and form of our criticism matter regardless of who else is piling on?
I think it's not a matter of explaining things away so much as teasing out behaviours that aren't alike. Critique is critique. Abuse is abuse. One can turn into the other by sheer force of numbers, but I think it would be dangerous to limit the former for fear of the latter.
Quick poll: is it bullying of me to periodically remind people - including his handle in my tweets - that John Pagani writes on behalf of the oil and gas industry on Twitter for money but makes no disclosure of it?
That's still what their website says, and no one seems to really care about it anyone.
How or why would you suggest that people care about it, until such time as the company makes its revised intentions public?
And I know she makes those points in that column, but she goes on calling it "intersectionality".
The attacks on intersectionality for what it never was - including from my political corner - are increasing at an alarming rate.
Some of the responses to Goldberg's essay really did prove her point too. She was immediately vilified and demonised.
Really don't want to reopen the whole discussion on Golberg's piece, which I found very poor, but the reaction proves no such thing, insofar as a lot of people felt vilified and demonised by her framing of the issue, and were entitled to say so. We should be careful not to excise the right of criticism when expressing our distaste for pile-ons, nor to lump all reactions to the lowest trolling denominator.
Remember a couple of weeks ago when everyone was angry that Air NZ were asking for people to write for their blog without payment? There were heaps of tweets and blog posts and commentary and Air NZ said they'd offer something to their writers, then a couple of days later everyone forgot about it. Oh.
Hang on a minute: that was a highly justified response to what was an outrageous attempt at exploitation by a major corporation. It was successful, too, as Air NZ backtracked. So people moved on. What's wrong with this picture exactly?
Another thing about Twitter is how it instantly turns you into a celebrity so you can then become fair game for the kind of criticism that is traditionally reserved to people in a position of power. By the time I caught up with the Justine Sacco thing, mid-pile on, I figured she must be some sort of high-powered individual, the way everyone seemed to know who she was. And obviously, her tweet was awful. But then people were going through her timeline, looking for past indiscretions, and when I cottoned on she was just a PR person I really couldn't quite figure out what the point of the whole thing was. It seems to me that the punishment for a racist tweet - the whole world suddenly hates you - didn't fit the crime.
Along similar lines, I've unfollowed people for taking pleasure in making fun of Liz Shaw, once I figured out she was just this woman who wanted to be a star.