The troll Grumpy Git who told me to commit suicide turns out to be an English Defense League member, adding #EDL hashtags to photographs declaring the EDL keep us safe while the army fights wars abroad.
The EDL are xenophobic thugs to the core. However, maybe the fact that they are only targeting a male, rather than a female, this is okay? I beg to differ. Telling people to commit suicide isn’t big and it isn’t clever. My guess is that twitter’s new abuse button will be hit by women who are told to commit suicide. I don’t know what twitter’s policy will be on this, but if the button comes in and this is a gray area I am going to register this as abuse and see what happens. I don’t want the EDL to get away with abuse of men they can’t get away with when they target women. My guess is that by the time the abuse button comes in, Grumpy Git will have deleted his tweet. We shall see.
If twitter says telling members to commit suicide isn’t acceptable when the target is a woman, I don’t think they could justify turning a blind eye when it is a man. I don’t think they’d even try. If, on the other hand, twitter decides that this does not break their rules, this could expose the problems with the abuse button. There is a real gray area here, and many of us would just rather block these trolls, rather than get them kicked off, when their vile behavior merely moves underground where we can’t see it, and they gain notoriety that will give them street cred with alienated youth needing to vent their legitimate anger at some target and the EDL’s scapegoats are all lined up, thanks to the Islamophobia dripping from every pour of broadcasters at the BBC and SKY News.