I’m part of a generation that follows television shows via social media. Whether it’s an awards show, a reality programme (not so much these days, tbh) or a sporting event, I’m highly likely to have Twitter on hand whilst I’m watching them. But in recent months, I’ve grown tired of doing so, namely because of the sheer amount of negativity it can generate.
Last week saw the return of The Great British Bake Off; one of the few shows on television worth watching at the moment. It’s always been a ‘Twitter event’ type of programme; people have their favourite contestants and let’s face it, many of us just like cake. But there is a downside to its popularity: those pesky trolls.
Claire Goodwin, the first contestant eliminated on this year’s GBBO, faced a barrage of online abuse from users who thought it was appropriate to make nasty comments about her weight.
In a recent blog post, Claire has been talking about social media and set up a Twitter account just before the first GBBO show broadcast, saying ‘it is indulgent and silly, fun and fast and also a little bit exciting.’
However, she probably wasn’t expecting the level of nastiness directed at her - I won’t be giving any of the trolls publicity here but it’s safe to say many of the comments are vile.
Claire makes some great points about what possesses (often faceless) people to act so badly online:
'I know if I tweeted/wrote/said something as nasty as this (not that I would, I'd like to think I’m a little more human) my Mum and Dad and all of my family and friends would be so angry with me, and they would make me feel so very very ashamed.
'If we cannot as human beings monitor our own social conduct, then we must look to our companions to guide us. So maybe that is the answer. These so called trolls don't have any significant social contact to help them monitor their own behaviour. No one cares enough or is close enough to guide them. I'd rather be fat.'
And that’s the key: online trolls really are just sad cases who should be ignored at all times - and they definitely don’t deserve a piece of a cake.
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