Social media has that level of anonymity that makes cyber bullying and trolling all the more easier to engage in. People can basically say whatever they want to whomever they choose, whether that be an innocent little kid or a person of celebrity status. And most of the time people aren’t getting caught out for it. It is this somewhat false pretense that people assume where they can become someone else online and don’t have to take any responsibility for it.
For instance, Charlotte Dawson was one woman often represented in the media for her outlandish personality. She often asserted her opinions and in return suffered from misogynistic abuse. Her twitter page was a medium where people so-called ‘trolled’ her until her death. This repellent behavior is not something new, cyber bulling has been evident for quiet some time, however it seems as if it’s more prominent today because of the emergence of numerous participatory social media platforms.
It is not just people like Charlotte Dawson but women collectively who have been subject to invective abuse. Women in the media, commentators and columnists have been reluctant in publishing their opinions because of the drastic cyber abuse. As a result women across the political spectrum have joined together to try and put a stop to anonymous name-calling (Roger and Thorpe, 2011)
With participatory culture comes significant backlash. Social media platforms will continue to attract trolls and misogynistic maniacs because of the inherent anonymous nature of such outlets.
Thorpe, V & Richards R, 2011, Women bloggers call for a stop to hateful trolling by misogynist men, the guardian, viewed 15 May 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/nov/05/women-bloggers-hateful-trolling