the verdict has just come in the "ear-flicking" case - the jury has just found returned a guilty verdict on the charge of jimmy mason punching his son in the face and flicking his ear. this would be one of the cases brought up by bob mcroskie and the pro-smacking crowd as an example of how terrible the new s59 was. but somehow it was always described as a flick-on-the-ear and not a punch-to-the-face. it'll be interesting to see how they describe this incident from here on in.
it's been a difficult few days fighting trolls over at the hand mirror. i also had one here last week, but since i moderate comments, he was pretty easy to deal with. i just ignored him and he went away. it's really just attention that they seem to be looking for, and when you deny it to them, they go looking for it elsewhere.
however the hand mirror trolls were something worse. when they couldn't get through our moderation, they'd send very nasty and threatening messages fulling of as much foul language as they could fit in. i'd delete them after reading the first couple of words, so spare myself from the worst of the nastiness.
i just don't understand the mentality of these people who have no other purpose but to destroy. and the rage they directed towards us when they failed to achieve that purpose was supposed to achieve what? it makes me wonder what kind of upbringing these people have had, that they don't have even the basic grounding of treating others with respect, of being able to argue an issue without disparaging the people they are arguing with, and of being able to withdraw in good grace.
that particular type of trolling seems to be nothing more than effort to silence a point of view they cannot agree with. i've seen a concerted troll attack on another blog, much more organised, much more vitriolic and seeming to be very calculated. maybe it's because i tend to read women's blogs more, but it appears to me that the nastiness is much more strongly directed at women. and it was no coincidence that the nastiest trolling at the hand mirror started when we put up a post about matthew johns.
that culture of intimidation and aggressiveness that is the hallmark of the current scandal in rugby league transfers itself directly to the internet, and we see online behaviour that is a direct translation of the physical violence in real life.
until we're prepared to recognise that violence for what it is, until we can stop apologising for it, until we can stop blaming victims for the violence, until we're prepared to change the culture, cyberbullying will be a major issue on the internet.
luckily we have a strong team at the hand mirror. as anna pointed out, we're activists and not so easily put off. and for now, it seems we have our blog back. no doubt the trolls will be back in the future, if we dare to challenge another of their icons. which is all the more reason to continue speaking out.