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Twitter Karma

Posted by Michael Bloch in online world (Wednesday September 12, 2012 )

An Australian footballer incensed by distasteful remarks directed towards him on Twitter has had to eat a sizeable chunk of humble pie.

After having fallen victim to a Twitter troll and referring to that party as “scums” who need to be removed from Twitter; West Tigers captain Robbie Farah found himself in the embarrassing situation of it being revealed his own Twitter messages haven’t always been in good taste either according to the ABC.

To add to the embarrassment, the person he made a nasty comment in regard to was Australia’s Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

Mr. Farah has apologised to the Prime Minister. It seems he deleted the post quite a while ago; but once it’s out there, it’s out there forever in some form and the footballer was reminded of it.

I have a pretty dark sense of humour and I’m not the biggest fan of footballers or politicians generally – and while I may crack some rather off colour jokes about them (and just about everyone, including myself); I refrain from doing so in public posts. I’m *really* glad the web wasn’t really around during my drinking days as I would have gotten myself into all sorts of trouble; pathetic and acidic drunk that I was.

Aside from this sort of behaviour just being plain wrong, there’s always karma to think of – these posts we make can haunt us for many, many years afterwards; not only making us look like immature fools, but it can impact our careers and businesses.

There’s also the risk of being beaten senseless by the offended party. I’m sure whoever took a shot at Mr. Farah will be watching over his or her shoulder for a while; he doesn’t look like the type of guy to mess with :).

There have been a few high profile Twitter attacks in recent times; one that led to an Australian celebrity being hospitalised due to the trauma it caused.

This type of crap is nothing new and has been going on for ages; but there appears to be a change in mood and tolerance towards this sort of bile; which is a Very Good Thing.

It’s a trend that admins of forums and blogs should be taking note of. While the posters of such venom are ultimately to blame, admins who are aware of these comments and allow them to remain publicly viewable shoulder some of the responsibility. Running a forum is like owning a powerful weapon; it needs to be handled carefully and not allowed to be the plaything of idiots.

As I keep saying, too many people confuse freedom of speech with freedom from accountability, the latter being the worst form of anarchy.


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