maandag 2 november 2009

When people on Twitter act like idiots

Twitter user blumplum was mildly critical towards writer Stephen Fry, but I can imagine he didn't intend to unleash such a fuzz on the web. A still unknown number of users joined in what became a large, text based riot on the internet. Of course it's Mr. bumplum's right to express his feelings and it's Mr. Fry's right as well to delete users who say things he doesn't want to hear. That's all okay with me and there has been written more than enough about that.

What's bothering me are the people who joined in in the discussion, especially the users who were absolutely too rude in saying whatever they said. This case isn't only interesting as an exemple of how fast and powerful Twitter is, to my opinion it's also a cry towards people who raise and educate children.

The main reason why kids spend time on the internet is communication. As interaction in the non-digital world has it's rules, obviously communication online has these same rules. But when people hide behind nicknames and avatars they can feel more free to do things they would never do when not on the web.

I really feel like a preacher when saying all this, but I mean it: if the future is to the youth, why not invest in teaching them how to behave online? Otherwise they may well grow into the same 'adults' who feel free to insult anyone who stick out their necks.

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