Talking internet trolls in The Saturday Paper

The Saturday Paper mastheadI’ve appeared in The Saturday Paper for the first time today, in a story by journalist Martin McKenzie-Murray with the headline Web of abuse grows as online bullies spread malice. In my very first quoted sentence in this august journal, I drop the c-word.

It’s a talent.

McKenzie-Murray’s story is great. It explores the same issue as we discussed on ABC TV’s Lateline the other night, namely the hideous violent and sexually-explicit abuse women face online, and the rather disappointing response from the police. Once more, it’s based around the experiences of Caitlin Roper.

McKenzie-Murray goes further, though, and speaks to Roper’s key abuser.

“I disagreed with some of her [Roper’s] statements [about Ched Evans]. I used the word ‘rape’ only for effect however she took it personally. I’ve said many times before that logic would explain the fact that nobody intended on raping her and nobody wishes rape upon her. I did get carried away and did use some obscene language… however, they took a joke out of context and began a witch-hunt of sorts by posting my picture and personal information.”

“Logic,” eh? “Joke.”

It’s worth reading the article in full. Despite my presence in it.

On Twitter, the Silly Season, and a certain list

Twitter logo with Christmas hat“It really does seem that it’s now that time of the year on Twitter when I could admit to raping a nun no one would notice,” I tweeted in the early hours of New Year’s Eve. “Or even fucking a pig, for that matter.”

The traditional media Silly Season seems to apply to all these new-fangled media operations as well. On and on about the goddam cricket, they tweet.

Meanwhile the traffic levels, and hence the potential audience for any tweets you might tweet, are way down. Hence my coenobitic considerations and porcine ponderings.

“Maybe I should just tweet about all of the things that you shouldn’t fuck until it turns 2013,” I tweeted, despite what Charlie Brooker might think.

And so I did. For the next hour and forty minutes.

Here’s the list. I reckon that just reading it here, without the real-time performance aspect, diminishes it. Nevertheless, enjoy.

Continue reading “On Twitter, the Silly Season, and a certain list”

Look, about that damn topless gnome…

“The greatest challenge to implementing social media within any organisation is the willingness for that organisation to accept the cultural change that will ultimately occur. And occur dramatically and at a rapid pace. Social media holds a mirror up to an organization from the external customers/clients/constituents that shows an authentic, and sometimes unexpected, face.”Nick Hodge

“I’d add that that face is almost always unexpected.”Mark Pesce (in private conversation)

Topless gnome Gnaomi, standing near the book The State of Africa by Martin Meredith, from the opening to Stilgherrian Live episode 48

Clearly I’m not going to get anything else written until I respond to The Gnome Situation. I’ve been reading the comments and mulling possible responses for days. It’s getting in the way of actual, productive work. So here we go.

No. I will not be removing Gnaomi from my desk.

Discussing an issue as important as rape through the proxy of an anthropomorphised piece of clay seems, to me, a poor tactic. Nor will I compromise the actual or perceived independence of my media output, no matter how worthy the cause.

There’ll probably be people at ActionAid who won’t like or understand that outcome, so here’s the long explanation…

Continue reading “Look, about that damn topless gnome…”

Clothe the Gnome?

Photograph of Gnaomi the topless garden gnome

There have been objections to the presence in my video diary of Gnaomi the Gnome.

Gnaomi is topless and, it is alleged, this is symbolic of the degradation of women — inappropriate given what ActionAid stands for.

I will consider my response and post it in due course. However you may wish to join the fascinating discussion, as opinions differ.

Please post your comments over on the original thread so everything’s in the one place.

[Update 28 May 2008: I have now responded, in a post called Look, about that damn topless gnome… Do feel free to continue the conversation.]

Crikey: Who supports compulsory Internet filtering, exactly?

Crikey logo

“The field trials of the Rudd government’s compulsory Internet filters, which were completed just before Christmas… no, they started before Christmas… no, that’s not right either… when do they start? Senator Conroy? Anyone? Can’t say? Fat kid on the far right? Okay, The Australian says they’re ‘imminent’. So another Christmas then.”

So starts my piece in Crikey today on… yes, you guessed it… the Rudd government’s plan for compulsory censorship of the Internet. There’s some interesting background on where this push for censorship comes from, and links to a new survey of one ISP’s customers — who don’t like the idea at all.

The article is not behind Crikey‘s paywall, so it’s free for all to read.

Jim Wallace’s pro-censorship lies and distortions

The Australian Christian Lobby’s Jim Wallace is on the Fairfax news sites today, telling the same old lies to support compulsory Internet filtering. Sigh.

Since Wallace promotes himself as a representative of good Christian values, I’ll allow that he may just be ignorant rather than a deliberate liar. Ignorance is no sin: it can be cured with knowledge. But he does use the familiar fraudulent propaganda techniques: misrepresenting his opponents; cherry-picking numbers; failing to explore the implications of those numbers; citing the same suspect Australia Institute report; and wrapping it up in the same old “protect the children” cant.

Those of us who’ve been covering this issue for more than a year now are getting sick of responding to the same easily-rebutted debating tricks. But, as I keep saying, politics is a marathon event. So if Jim’s rolling out the same material, we’ll point out the same flaws.

Again.

Continue reading “Jim Wallace’s pro-censorship lies and distortions”