‘Dead tree’ columnist stereotypes bloggers as “articulate, intelligent … socially awkward misfits with zero personality”

Allison Morris’ column in Wednesday’s Irish News [paywall] starts with the observation that Twitter and Facebook now give “misogynists, racists, bigots, stalkers and lunatics … a potential global audience”, before taking a pop at bloggers who last got lightly toasted in her February 2012 column.

irish news bannerBloggers and those with a large ‘online presence’ can come across as articulate, intelligent and well informed when reading a post they have spent days obsessing over. However, when you meet them in the real world they are socially awkward misfits with zero personality or limited skills. People who in life would have little chance of success due to their obvious limitations can go online and attract large followings of like minded groupies.

Well that’s us told. [Ed – suspect it’s a little more pointed than that.]

Allison then returns to Twitter and Facebook and the “marked difference between what offends right thinking people and what could be successfully prosecuted”.

People such as [George] Seawright, murdered in 1987 by the IPLO, had to rely on public gatherings, bars, protests, parades, commemorations and possibly the odd TV interview to spread their hateful mantra. Now crazies, obsessives and bigots can reach a much larger audience without having to leave their bedrooms or remove their tin foil hats.

Overall, Allison argues that to police the internet is “all but impossible”.

The only effective way of not polluting your mind with the rants of others is by simply not looking in the first place. Most sites have a block button for use when the posters, almost always male, get out of hand.

Post complete, I can now safely remove my tin foil hat and go back to working on my people skills. Be careful how you comment – maybe her next column will pick up the sinister parallels between tweeting and commenting on blogs!

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.

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