Apparently Twitter sells books. I know it must be true because someone posted it on Twitter. Leaving aside the snide references about proof of something being true because you read it in the book / publication / whatever being queried: the author John Niven has taken an interesting idea and put it into practice for the promotion of his new book Straight White Male. Rather than just posting all the positive comments from Twitter:
and a few people have decided to live up to expectations!
Abuse takes many different forms: mild through to vicious and obscene; mental through to physical. To invite abuse in normal circumstances is not something many people would consider, and they’d be right. This, however, is a different situation: all press is good press, all publicity is good publicity.
And there are a few positive comments appearing on his timeline, perhaps even a few – in both directions – which he hasn’t managed to catch because the person Tweeting wasn’t brave enough, or intelligent, as you will – to link their comment direct to his Tweeter name.
You have to remember, he has invited these comments, so perhaps a few are made up too just to get a link, a reTweet or even a rise from him. The latter isn’t likely to happen, Niven has remained remarkably calm and, clearly, has gained a little bit of pleasure from the whole thing.
Imagine, though, what it is like for your average Joe / Jolene or even for those celebrities out there with Twitter accounts who haven’t invited such comments, who come across them completely unprepared? I mentioned it a few days ago – in Nastiness – and the fact that I’d seen four videos on YouTube where the celebrities actually read out one or more abusive Tweets people had sent them. This is people that they don’t know, people they probably will never want to know either. Ordinary people from all walks of life abusing someone else because they feel they have a certain Right to do so, a certain level of anonymity.
And then there are those who cannot restrict themselves just to the Internet; those who are personally abusive in a more intimate way. Those who know where a person lives, or are prepared to take advantage of a group thing and attack a youngster of twelve or fifteen years. Yes, those people. We’ve all heard about it, we’ve all seen it at some time or another, perhaps just on the television, perhaps personally, direct at us. At you and me.
Some people can’t take it as being just humor, can’t turn it to their best advantage. Some people really do take it personally and it does much more than just ruin their day.
Good on John Niven for his stance, for his maturity. I wish many more people could see the other side of the coin though, and help to stop such abuses.
Love & Kisses, Viki.