A brief post on tomorrow's #twittersilence, on the 4th August, and why I'm doing it.
So look it's not a HEAVY thing or an ANGRY thing. We don't need to argue over it, or pick teams, or have a go at anyone who doesn't want to do it. Everyone is free to do whatever they like with their Sunday. We should all be eeeeeeeeasy like Sunday morning. In towelling robes, eating toast, and reading the papers.
But August the 4th is International Friendship Day, and, personally, I wanted to do something symbolic on that day, in the spirit of international friendship. In the last few weeks, I've seen women on Twitter being run to exhaustion by the volume of anonymous rape and violence tweets they've received - so many that even just blocking them is a full time job. I've seen my friends' Twitter bomb-threats ON THE NEWS. I've seen the messages escalate even AFTER someone's been arrested. AFTER. And, obviously, it's not just women. In the wake of this, we're now talking about the problem of online abuse towards people for their religion, race, sexuality and physicality. Essentially the problems of the most nightmare playground ever have been given a jet-pack and a megaphone through the power of social networking.
And it made me sad that this was what people think Twitter is now. Because it's not. Most people on here aren't like this. Most people in the world aren't like this. Most people want to use Twitter like some fabulous, 24/7 on-line Cheers, where you can always walk in and have a couple of people shout 'Norm!' Most people don't think Twitter is a place to go around saying things you would never say at a party, or in an office, or to someone's face. For most people, Twitter is joyous: it's a little group of friends in your pocket; daily surprises; news from places you've never been; an overnight revolution; eyes in the place where tonight's news will be broadcast from. And people spamming www.nyan.cat. I love nyancat.
So yes. In the spirit of solidarity - to show what Twitter would be like if the trolls over-run this place, and drive anyone out who IS here in the spirit of glee - a 24 hour silence on Sunday 4th August. Midnight to midnight. The only thing we Tweet is the hashtag #twittersilence, which we leave like Zorro leaves his "Z" carved into the curtains. Or, more prosaically, like we leave a note for the milkman when we go on holiday. Do it if you want to. It's a thing you can do if you like the idea.
On the other hand, other people have said, "Why should we be silenced? Let's fill Twitter on that day with love and positivity, instead - spend all day Tweeting happy things." And that's a brilliant idea too. There's LOADS of brilliant ideas in the world. I'm in favour of ALL the ones that are about joy. Everyone can do their thing. This is just the thing I thought of. I just wanted to do a thing.
Longer piece I wrote about this here: http://caitlinmoran.co.uk/index.php/category/blog/