The debate of the social media will always be ongoing. Some love it, some hate it. Some people say it’s the transparency of it all; there’s no hiding behind it. Of course, there are also those ‘Twitter Trolls’ who deliberately hide behind the computer to bully various peers and celebrities, or just a stranger they have taken a dislike to.
But I’ve only just noticed Twitter can contradict itself.
Take these spoof accounts with the most recent being the @essexlion which was set up within minutes of news breaking that there was a big cat on the loose (turns out, it really was just a huge cat). It received over 36,000 followers in an instant, it was clever and witty. This is where social media really comes into its own, people expect spoof accounts when something major happens, but does this not contradict the ‘transparency’ of Twitter? There surely cannot be an actual lion tweeting behind a computer? Admittedly, it gets a bit boring after a while, there are so many jokes you can make about Essex people, and when does a joke cross the line?
It’s the issue of anonymity, anonymity allows people to say things they would never say in front of people they don’t know, let alone be published for the World Wide Web to see. Another perfect example is the film Ted, starring a teddy bear that walks, swears, drinks, smokes and has a Twitter account. It is a light-hearted film of course and you can’t take life too seriously, but some of its Tweets are really quite offensive and very crude. It’s laughable because on the face of it, it’s a teddy bear but behind that teddy bear, is a human being typing these thoughts.
From the media’s perspective, it’s gold. There is no better way of drumming up instant publicity than with a click of a Twitter button, literally. However as an audience, I am on the fence – one half of me is thinking this is just a bit of fun, but the other half thinks, what if this was a celebrity making these comments, and what if they had directed the Tweet to another person? This surely would not be acceptable. So where’s the fine line?