A few weeks ago, we, here at _Paul_And_Land_, did a bit of spring cleaning on the ol’ Twitter front. Gone were the Followers who didn’t actually exist, gone were the Followers who’d dipped their toes and then scarpered and gone were the vast majority of politicians. Several survived the cull, for some reason, but for the vast majority of Party lackeys it was defenestration of the Twitter variety.
So what of those retained on the “yeah, you’re okay” list? Well the local MP was obviously saved as he’s, err, the local one. And he was found to be the eighth worst Tweeting MP. Goes without saying that he was a keeper. Kerry MP, Jamie Reed and Sharon Hodgson got the sign of approval because they answer questions, even from non-constituents and on the strangest of subjects. And Stella Creasy. Hmm, yes, Stella Creasy.
Surprisingly, we had a sneaking respect for Ms Creasy. She goes in with both guns squirting water and bats off opposition with both humour and consummate ease. Yeah, she was cool. She, and indeed no-one, should ever be subjected to the hateful abuse which has followed on from the Moran and Criado-Perez beginnings.
Yet whilst in many ways we agreed with the Ms’s Creasy, Moran and Criado-Perez, we could not agree with their Modus Operandi. All three are in somewhat privileged positions and are in a situation where they can raise their voices. The vast majority of women are not so fortunate and rely on the support of friends in many different ways and through multiple media merely to get through the day.
So, this is the crux: our three feisty campaigners called for a boycott of Twitter as a means of highlighting on-line abusers. Reasonable enough. Except for the fact that Twitter, like the telephone, like paper, like the Post Office, is just the medium. We don’t recall anyone ever asking for the head of Alexander Graham Bell because the phone begat the kind of calls that no woman ever wanted to receive and likewise Twitter is not the cause of the abuse to which women are subjected every single day. Nah, that’s something just a little deeper. Get to the heart off that one, Stella, and our former respect for you will be returned but for the moment you’re looking at our Twitter window and we don’t really want to have to push you out.