Something that I left out of my post "Unrelated Thoughts" was the subject of bullying. It seemed to me that topic deserved more than a paragraph or two. I'm seeing a lot more bullying in Twitter than I used to. There was an attempt by someone to do it to me. Fortunately I'm not an influential Twitter user. The attempt fell short of it's mark simply because I wasn't worth wasting time over. I blocked the person trying it and they didn't create a new identity to continue the attack. Had I any influence, the story might have had a different ending.
I have seen bully attacks on some of the women I read regularly. Two of them were so threatening that the women became fearful for their safety. That was when we found out that the policy towards bullying created by the owners of Twitter would be no protection against it. The Twitter bullying policy is: A...Don't do it. B...If someone is doing it to you, block that person. C...If the bullying episode is that bad, involve your local authorities. However, Twitter doesn't guarantee that it will give requested information regarding the identity of the bully to said authorities.
There is, I suppose, an option D. That would be to close your own account and leave Twitter. That definitely would solve the problem, but is that fair? Isn't that rewarding the bully and punishing the victim? Sort of a mixed message there isn't it? Does that mixed message exist because of online anonymity? I've wondered if the anonymous aspect of the internet gives people the idea that anything goes?
Why is it considered to be all in fun and those who are on the receiving end should get over themselves and get a sense of humor? What about adults bullying kids? There have been criminal proceedings brought against two such women. The incident at Myspace caused the suicide of a 13 year old. The Facebook incident is appalling in that it targeted the family of a dying child.
The internet is the information highway and as such it is also the misinformation highway. One person can post a lie about someone and in a flash that lie can begin to roll down the mountain and like a snowball can become larger and larger until it totally obliterates it's intended target. What is there about the internet that creates these kind of monsters? The idea that because they're anonymous they won't get caught? Maybe it's caused by a society that sends a very mixed message regarding bullying.
We have become a society where the word compromise is equated with caving in or being the weaker opponent. There is no argument that cannot be solved through open discussion and compromise, but that means that some concessions must be made. Depending upon what side of the issue we stand on, somehow we think those concessions have to happen from the other side. All of them. How do we achieve that desired end? From what I read, it appears we're supposed to bully the other side into caving.
In a world where young people kill themselves because they're being bullied, some adults expect the President of the United States to use the White House as a bully pulpit to force the other side of the issue into capitulation. Now that right there is a fine example for our young people to look up to, isn't it? It's OK for adults, especially politicians to bully other politicians. Or for Conservatives to bully Liberals and vice versa. I'm thinking that if we really want to stop bullying and the pain it causes our young people, maybe we ought to look at our own behavior?