Secrets and lies (and cowards)

The car slows down. A head pops out the window.

"You F*cking C*nt," shouts the primitive idiot at the pedestrian.

The car pulls away.

We've all seen it. We all think it's lousy and stupid, but nevertheless an unfortunate sign of our times.

Now, thanks to the exciting world of the internet, you can be a gutless thug online. The practice of writing anonymous comments to slag people off is a strange one. Because clearly there are some people out there who are as bitter as they are cowardly. What on earth could you possibly gain as a human being by attempting to smear someone's good name while sniggering from beneath the cloak of anonymity?

This week has, in many ways, been a great one for the Welsh blogosphere. Not only were blogs used to break big news stories, but they also became a major melting pot for debate. Unfortunately, there is a side effect to that culture. And when it came to the controversy over the alleged homophobic remarks made by a Conservative candidate, some people could not resist. Indeed, there are certain sites where you can, if you wish, continue to defame and deride in equal measure. These sites are almost entirely sustained by comments of this kind, many of them penned by the authors themselves.

Anonymity makes you feel powerful. Bullying can give you a real kick. And what we're seeing in certain corners of the internet is the online equivalent of the Jade Goody Big Brother saga. It's fun to feel part of the club, isn't it? Well, it's no fun if you're on the receiving end.

Personally, I have no time for slurs about the sexuality or appearance of our politicians. Their private lives should remain private unless there is an overwhelming public interest to the contrary.

Yes, Dave, I've got my zing back. Blogs have already given this election campaign a new dimension - we've certainly showed Scotland a thing or two. And I have no doubt that blogging will do (and is already doing) great things for the worlds of politics and journalism.

But it absolutely must be about opening this business up, about reaching more people and not imploding into a closed world where the best we can do is laugh about who has called who a big gay c*nt today. It might feel like a hoot if you're sitting in the car doing the shouting. But outside on the street you just end up looking like a moron.

UPDATE: Need ideas for a leisurely Sunday activity? Blamerbell suggests taking in a sock puppet show. I've only been awake an hour and already they're everywhere. Enjoy!

Labels: , , ,

posted by Blamerbell @ 12:35 am,

17 Comments:

At 1:02 am, Blogger Ordovicius said...

Glad you've got your "zing" back. Personally I think anonymous insults lack any sting.

 
At 4:43 am, Blogger Alwyn ap Huw said...

This sounds a bit like a discussion I had with Sir Robert Williems-Vaughan (Tory party candidate) back in the 1850's. Secret ballots lead to duplicity said Sir R. Not at all I retorted, people have the right to express their views in confidence without fear of recrimination

I am happy to stick my name in big bold letters onto any comment I make, but I appreciate that some people, whose views are valid, fear doing so.

 
At 6:43 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's more like it!
DR

 
At 7:06 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As an anonymous poster I'd like everyone to know that the rumours about Blammer and the corgi are almost certainly true but the bit involcing the handcuffs and Rosemary Butler is probably made-up.

 
At 7:35 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The real qustion is why the Welsh media didn't investigate an incident that occurred in the assembly and which was witnessed by a female member of staff.

 
At 8:15 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't worry people, if ciaran wont post your funny comments about politicians - arsembly will.

 
At 9:03 am, Blogger Valleys Mam said...

Definition of: sock puppet

A phoney name made up by a user in order to masquerade as someone else on the Internet. Sock puppets can make controversial comments or vote for or against a cause without revealing their identity. They may respond to their own Usenet or blog posts praising the articles they wrote themselves or disagree with comments criticizing them on other sites.

The term comes from a pretend person made by placing a sock over one's hand.

Well you live and learn - but may be I naive but what’s the point I am new to the world of blogging but quite enjoying the debate. I thought that you could get rid of comments that were not acceptable -although again I am not sure how to do that yet
Anonymity may be the only way for many to express views because of their professional position or the effect it may have on funded organisations they are connected with. Wales is still a small pool to paddle in.
Those who hide behind anonymous just to be nasty or vindictive deserve pity and a free session with a good shrink

 
At 9:58 am, Blogger Blamerbell said...

lol! in the light of this post, comments 0815 and 0903 are juxtaposed perfectly:)

thanks Valleys Mam

"I am happy to stick my name in big bold letters onto any comment I make, but I appreciate that some people, whose views are valid, fear doing so"

Yes, Alwyn, this is always the other side of the coin. And it's the reason why I allow anonymous comments.

But, in principle, I'm willing to put my name to what I write, as are you. I'd prefer it if we all did.

 
At 10:22 am, Blogger Penddu said...

Cant see the point of anon comments - It is not as if Penddu is my real name.....

 
At 11:19 am, Anonymous abu ben adhem said...

alwyn ap huw? That ain't your real name. it's very likely just alwyn hughes, so stop posing.

 
At 12:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry - some of us have to stick to it because of our jobs. Otherwise, you, the media, will write up negative stories about us.

I get what you are saying about poltician's private lives, but there is a fairly clear point, I think, where hypocrisy needs to be challenged.

The media (new and old) should not focus on outing politicians or writing up extra marital affairs that all the 'village' know about. However, they need to challenge our politicians on points of principle.

If someone is having an affair and bangs on about family values, they should be held up to criticism. If someone is gay and does not want to talk about it, that is more than OK.

But this story did cross the hypocrisy boundary. We all know it, but no one in the media wants to be the first to write about it. What does that say about the relationship between politicians and the media in Wales? If you are in with the right crowd, you are OK? If you leak stuff to the WM, Shipton won't write bad stuff about you, and if you don't, you are fair game? If you have given a blogger a heads up on something, you will be let off?

This story was a dreadful shame. A shame that representative politicians can still be so prejudiced, a shame the Tories really have not changed a great deal, a shame that they don't feel able to defend their hypocritical positions, a shame the small and small-minded media in Wales can't challenge each other.

 
At 12:09 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i reckon it'd be hard to type with a sock on your hand. I'm sure it comes in handy though if you start looking at other websites

 
At 12:25 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

"Sorry - some of us have to stick to it because of our jobs. Otherwise, you, the media, will write up negative stories about us."

As I said to Alwyn, I take that point. Which is why I allow anonymous comments.

"...a shame the small and small-minded media in Wales can't challenge each other."

I'll challenge anything if it's newsworthy. But that is a different debate.

I'm talking about smearing people anonymously.

If you are going to make hugely damaging remarks about a public figure, then it should be absolutely clear who YOU are so we can subject YOUR comments to proper scrutiny.

That is the only way the story can have any legitimacy. How do we know the people making these comments aren't (slightly twisted) supporters of a competing political party?

 
At 1:47 pm, Anonymous sanddef's sockpuppet said...

alwyn ap huw? That ain't your real name

Yes it is.

 
At 2:54 pm, Anonymous ap-onymous said...

Were you the unamed "female member of staff" who saw the alleged incident? Thought not. You heard a rumour. So did everyone else. Every hack in Wales tried to stack the story. They failed. That maybe because they are useless...or it could be because the story in simply untrue.

 
At 4:20 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it the same rumour as university grades for friends that was doing the rounds a few years back?

 
At 5:43 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blamerbell said:
Anonymity makes you feel powerful. Bullying can give you a real kick. And what we're seeing in certain corners of the internet is the online equivalent of the Jade Goody Big Brother saga. It's fun to feel part of the club, isn't it? Well, it's no fun if you're on the receiving end.



Good for you for saying this.
I'm sure you have the knowledge and experience to tell what is for real and what is mischief.

However politics has more than its share of narcissism and very often what you get to see in person is not what you get. I never take anything at face value when I hear it from a so called politician.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home