Every so often the subject of internet abuse comes up here at Louder Than War towers as occasionally we get doofus’s dropping nasty, vile comments at the end of pieces our contributors have spent hours writing. Nick Wood has recently been the victim of virtual abuse (albeit not on these pages) & here are his thoughts on the matter.
A few weeks ago we had a bit of a clear out. Small house, tons of records and cd’s etc. mean we have one every now and then. One item we put on Ebay was a remote control for my old Marantz amp, which had expired months previously. Someone bought it for a tenner and we gaily skipped to the post office to send it off to Swindon.
A few days later, the good lady came into the kitchen looking quite upset. A message had come from the buyer of the 10.00 remote control. The nature of the email was unlike anything I had seen before. The complaint was legit, the new owner could not get the remote to work. The mail however is produced below:
“Well you know that it is broken. I am an electronics engineer you fucking prick, or a fucking bitch. not know who you are. I know one thing. You’re a pain in the ass of English society. You margins. You are the worst. You are a living example of a defect in the English system of values.”Â
When did hate become necessary for the sake of a tenner? When did people begin to think it’s OK to talk to someone like this? Is it racist? I wouldn’t use someone’s origin as a derogatory term! It’s without doubt offensive. The good lady was quite upset. There is a threatening tone to the message as well.
For a tenner.
Has this become acceptable in day to day life to talk to people like this because you can hide behind the internet. Rarely a tragic death is reported without so called “trolls”Â leaving unnecessary comments on Facebook pages. People are openly abused on Twitter due to their parents passing away or because of the colour of their skin or the fact they missed a penalty.
Are we really so angry that we just accept this as part of our lives. I hope not. I currently work in the construction industry after 17 years on the railway and I am shocked at how grown people still snigger at “Woofters”Â. One person had noticed I followed the Pride page on Facebook and thought it was hilarious. Oh Ha ha. It’s 2012 for Christ’s sake.
I’m of the opinion we all need a good kick up the arse to recognize that it’s not on anymore. Music has told us for many years that we are all the same and that prejudices are wrong, and music hasn’t been as popular as it is now since the 70’s, so who acts like this? Pissed students? People like me? People you or I work with?
I’d love for an article like this to make a difference, but if it made one person stop and think about what they’re saying before posting it or messaging it to someone then I feel it would make a difference. Please everyone, BE NICE. We’re not here for long.
All words by Nick Wood. More Louder Than War articles by Nick can be found here.