A funny thing happened to me today. I got bullied on tweeter.
It came out of the blue. I have no idea what I said to provoke it. It all started when Francis Awartefe, football player, media commentator and Director of football at Melbourne Victory made a comment about an article in today’s paper.
(cont) edited to ‘Soccer’. Clearly the message hasn’t got through to Melbourne media that the official name for our sport is ‘Football’.
So I tweeted:
@FrancisAwartefe Welcome to Melbourne. The AFL is king. Won’t tolerate anyone else using ‘football’ except them.
People may agree or disagree, but it is hardly controversial stuff.
A few hours later I got this tweet:
Guido you ate a tosser [sic] mate. No idea about the game, do keep ur comments to yourself.
I was a bit taken aback.
The thing that irritated me more is not being called a tosser. But the fact that this individual was basically telling me to stay silent. This is typical bullying behaviour. “I know more, I am better than you so you shut up’. A typical power play. This was increased by the fact that I am actually very careful in not try to talk about football in the technical sense. Because it’s true. I don’t know much about the game in regards to systems, what players should play in which positions etc. My enjoyment of the game is more personal. It’s bound in my past, my childhood, and the link it produces to the present. So for instance in the Melbourne Victory Forum I stay clear from discussions amongst people who really know their stuff (which I enjoy reading BTW). So I thought this was totally unwarrented.
The other thing is that unlike a football forum, tweeter is a free for all. Anybody can say anything they like, and that’s what I said in my response:
And you are? Get stuffed. It’s twitter. Not a football forum. I can say what I like when I like. Wanker.
OK, perhaps calling him a wanker wasn’t wise or warranted. However I thought that by calling me a ‘tosser’ we were sort of even. I then expected a reaction, which I got:
Wanker ha! You got a head like a busted fart mate! Go kill yourself, dickhead #icansaywhatiwantitstwitter
While the killing and dickhead references weren’t nice, I must admit that the comment about my head was actually quite funny. My wife was in stiches when I showed to her, ranking almost to the level of ‘unflushable turd’. A term referring to John Howard by a left leaning journalist.
I wasn’t going to play insult ping pong. Not only it’s unpleasant and doesn’t get you anywhere, I am also bad at it.
So I responded:
Good on ya ..whoever you are. I will block you. And if you don’t like my tweets do the same. That is if you are capable.
And that was it.
Still it gave me a sour taste in my mouth. I can see how Mia Freedman can feel when instead of a nasty tweet she gets hundreds after she expressed an opinion that she didn’t think Australia should make that much fuss about Cadel Evans. And even more so when it comes to teenagers or young people. I am 50, have gone through a lot of life and I don’t really care about this person. But what about a young person where bullying comments are being made by schoolmates?