In the US Jimmy Kimmel has an excellent segment on his show where well known Americans read out incredibly nasty tweets that others have said about them. I thought it was quite a good way to shame some of the more awful abusers out there.
In the wake of the Charlotte Dawson suicide, TVNZ Breakfast did similar with various staff reading out incredibly horrible things that people have said about them. I recommend people look at the video and consider if any of those making those comments would dare to do so to their face.
This has led to quite a few other media staff tweeting or facebooking some of the more vile things said about them. Some are almost comical (Kerre Woodham being called a communist lesbian) to some that are so nasty that you wonder about the mental stability of the person saying them. The worst was the young journalist who had someone comment on her blog:
“If you ever get pregnant, I hope your husband shoves a coat hanger up your vagina and aborts it”
She actually knows where the person who said it works. If it was me, I’d expose them to the world.
It’s very easy to get worked up about people in politics or the media. I can do it myself. But there is no excuse for saying such vile things. It says far more about the person who says it, than the target.
If some good comes from Charlotte’s very sad death, it might be that people pause for a few seconds and don’t say anything online about someone that they would not be prepared to say under their own name, to their face.