Hiding behind Twitter

Twitter is a wonderful thing. I was introduced to Twitter when I first joined Bastion. Straight out of university, I found a vehicle in which I could engage with friends and like-minded people about topics that were of interest to me. I could find out information and engage in friendly banter – it was exciting.

Twitter now has 140 million users. Twitter has changed. There is still the banter and information, which I find invaluable, but there is also the dark side. The side where people use their Twitter handle and keyboard to post hateful and inappropriate comments, so much so that the justice system in the UK is looking into changing the laws on social media activity.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. Trolls have been populating forums ever since the internet and online commenting began. But Twitter brings the facility to broadcast publicly to a huge global audience and distressingly it appears that some people can’t resist the temptation to offend.

We’ve become a cowardly race. If those who post hateful comments were put face to face with their victims or families, I’d put a decent proportion of my income on around 80 per cent not having the bottle to say the same thing.

Twitter and social media are fantastic at connecting people. When used in the right way it can do wonders, but it is that minority who use it in the wrong way that, as always, lets the rest of us down.

Ravi Vijh spent much of his time last weekend in IKEA and now is looking forward to spending some time in his newly decorated flat. Follow him on Twitter @ravivijh.

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