It’s that time of year when random SNP politicians are wheeled out to condemn Cybernats for any and every abusive comment made online – as if the SNP is somehow responsible for everyone who supports Scottish Independence.
As usual the media run with the headlines complaining about Cybernats and even though the comments from SNP politicians state that the abuse also comes from BritNats, this is often downplayed or simply ignored.
There is an issue with some of the language used online. Mainly it’s from people who feel safe to use threatening and abusive language while sitting behind a screen and typing away on a keyboard but are too cowardly to say these words to anyone’s face. There seems to be a disconnect that some people feel being online gives them the freedom to say what they want without any comeback. Then again, many ‘journalists’ also feel free to write any nonsense they like knowing that few people can afford to take them to court to get a retraction, so it’s a bit much listening to ‘journalists’ moaning about online comments when their day job is to write something to get a reaction.
However, when can we expect the media to start door-stepping BritNat politicians and getting them to complain about the online abuse from their side? Why hasn’t Ruth Davidson been interviewed to explain the comments made by ‘Brian Spanner’ (notorious BritNat online troll who many suspect is a relatively well known BritNat ‘journalist’)? If you want to find out more about his abuse go online and check his social media but pay particular attention to who has links with him – it reads like a who’s who of the BritNat establishment in Scotland, from politicians to journalists – yet I can’t remember a national newspaper or the BBC running a story outing this guy? They all know who he is but they ignore his abuse – why?
Another example of BritNat abuse was former Labour councillor, Terry Kelly, who’s blog was full of abuse but he refrained from saying it to anyone’s face because he was worried about their reaction. In other words he was an online troll and a coward. Despite reports to both the Labour party and the Standards Commission, nothing was ever done about his online rants.
I’m sure the recent footage from the Glasgow Indy March will have Ruth Davidson, Richard Leonard and Willie Rennie demanding to appear on the BBC and in the national media condemning the comments from the BritNat protesters at George Square! Nah, didn’t think so – as usual they’ll keep their mouths shut and pretend it never happens from their side.
It would be nice if everyone could be civil and polite to one another but that’s never going to happen. It doesn’t happen in real life so why should it happen online. It may be the price we have to pay for having access to free speech online. Of course, anything that breaks the law – such as threats to people can be dealt with anyway and should be condemned – but if you want an internet of free expression then we’ll have to put up with some voices that some consider abusive. The best way to treat a troll – abusive or not – is to simply ignore them, nothing winds them up more than no one listening to or reacting to their comments.