In case you’ve been too engrossed in the Olympics to notice, it was an interesting day on Twitter yesterday. A 17 year old boy from the Weymouth area, using the Twitter ID @rileyy_69, took it upon himself to insult Team GB’s Tom Daley. And his sadly deceased father.
He is a nasty little shit.
Twitter quite-rightly took umbrage and over the course of 6 hours while the abuse and ‘death threats’ continued, had found out who this individual was, where he was and had Dorset Police on his case, culminating this morning in his arrest at a Guest House in Weymouth. Job done, or so you’d think.
This morning Twitter is confused, the Guardian reading apologists are feeling guilty and distancing themselves from the troll-hunt worried that they won’t be welcome at the next Organic mother’s meeting in Surrey. Where they will feed Crispin and Agatha carrot sticks and tell them the world is a wonderful place where nobody is ever wrong, and it’s your circumstance that defines your behaviour. There is no such thing as personal choice or responsibility for your own actions and if you understand that, the planet will love you.
Which frankly, is bollocks.
This nasty little sod has a history of making such threats. Racism, homophobia, stabbing, raping and now drowning are all parts of his internet repertoire and provided the hand-wringers don’t get their way, he’ll learn, as will other similar little oiks, that this behaviour isn’t ok in modern Britain.
Circumstances or not it’s black and white, actions have consequences and we all have choice in how we behave. It’s time to stand up, put down the Guardian and turn the hand-wringing into hand-clapping for knowing the difference between right and wrong.
Then doing something about it.