Sunday, 9 September 2012

When Tweeting Goes Wrong by @zeiton_7

The recent furore regarding certain articles and tweets directed at Steven Moffat (specifically it seems about his portrayal of ladies within Doctor Who being sexist) Has got me thinking about the whole issue of what makes a tweeter into a hater. Indeed, what "crosses the line" from fair critical blog or comments to hate filled bullying or "trolling"

It's not an easy area. A recent article by @cluemark discusses this very point. I would suggest the line is drawn at different points depending on the users own individual morals and state of mind. But clearly there are certain areas (such as personal abuse) that are always out of order.

Interesting to me as, after my less than glowing personal review of "Dinosaurs on a spaceship" and tweets stating I hated it, that I recieved some less than constructive comments. My approach has always been to welcome and listen to opinions that dont always agree with my own but to still reserve the right to hold my own opinion.

Twitter can be an odd place to spend any amount of time, especially when Doctor Who fans, and I include myself, are very clear on what they do and don't like and will say so very loudly. As showrunner and experienced writer Moffat is well used to criticism and has in the past been on the end of some very nasty hate campaigns. He has also got a huge amount of support from fans and always seems to take the "idiots" with a pinch of salt. 

I seriously dont believe for a second that his decision to suspend his account on Twitter had anything to do with "the lunatic fringe" who hate all that he does without exception. More likely that he is a very busy man and feels duty bound to defend his work if it comes under attack. If Twitter, as his wife, Sue Vertue, tweeted earlier, has become "too much of a distraction" then it is just a break or hyatus he is taking and the tweets in support of him while well meant are probably pointless.

I, like all bloggers, reserve the right to review any episode fairly and honestly. Hopefully, stating my opinion in a clear and  concise manner without fear of personal reprisal. Moffat, and any other artiste or writer should have the same rights. 

An example, if you like coffee you have a great deal of choice as to where you get your fix from. Is it Costas? Starbucks or one of the other brands that gets your money. I opt for Costas, it's my choice my taste and my money. To argue that this choice is wrong and that I should change is not a right that anyone has. Nor would I wish to "convert" a Starbucks fan to Costas. This may seem an odd example but isn't that what you do when you reply to someones tweet of an opinion on an episode and ridicule what they have to say?

The beauty of the program we love so much is that all opinions are valid. Some people absolutely raved about last nights story. While others expressed disappointment and hatred of it. It is the passion that Doctor Who garners in all of us that brings forth this voice. If we feel let down by an episode the feelings will be negative if we love it then the opposite.

Lets all remember we dont have to like the same thing. How boring would that be?

But lets be as supportive to those who arent as famous as Moffat and have a zero tollerance to people that tweet abuse at ANYONE we converse with. It has no place in Doctor Who fandom.

Some of the comments that I have read in support of Moffat and angry at his apparent abuse have, ironically, ended up being just as offensive as those they complain about

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