This horrible turn of events with Charlotte Dawson proves that bullying isn’t just in the schoolyard.

Just like the playground bully, except social media follows you home

Bullying can happen in all walks of life, in classrooms, offices, on the streets, in pubs.

And now, bullying follows you home through the internet. It’s very real problem for adults and it’s a problem to which we have not yet found a solution.

So how can we expect our children to take seriously the various cyber bullying programs that have been tried, tested and failed.

When the furore began with Charlotte Dawson a few days ago, I knew that it wouldn’t end well. Of course I couldn’t have predicted that it would end so horribly, but I couldn’t help but feel so much abuse would affect her.

I felt sick inside.

Every time I see the bullies use cyberspace to gang up on a person, that thing we all love about the internet dies a little. That thing that makes it seem like a more free, more creative space than anywhere offline.
Every time someone tries to get control over the social media sphere, the campaign that follows is more hateful than the one before it.

I’m fascinated by online culture. And I’d like to believe that at its best social media can be a source for good. But then something like this happens and it encourages the kind of crackdown and privacy violations envisioned in books like in George Orwell’s 1984.

If you want the internet to be a place that is self governing, then pull your bloody socks up and stop behaving like animals.

As I write this, I am the subject of a Reddit campaign that is designed to “to bring me down”, whatever that means, for tweeting that one of the publications I write for was looking for people who knew the identity of the trolls that harassed Dawson. There are horrible things being written about me on 4Chan, and it’s not pretty.

This isn’t the first time I’ve been public enemy #1 on the internet. When my last trolling story was published, I was the subject of hate mail, even death threats. I too had more than one person suggest I take my own life.

There is an abusive Encyclopaedia Dramatic entry in my honour, calling me a “whore”, “incompetent” and a meme that compares my face to a clown’s anus.

When I tried to have this page shut down, I was unsuccessful. The site’s rules and policies say the founders take no responsibility for the content of the site. They claim to be based in Russia, and that Russian authorities do not recognise defamation as a legal concern.

The site require users to get in touch with the person who posted the page, and that’s a whole other kettle of fish I’d rather not get into. You don’t know who these people are, and what other information they have on you. And then of course you risk drawing more attention to yourself by trying to have these pages removed.

And you wonder why authorities want more control over the online sphere.

The only solution to bullying in the online or offline world is to move away from it. Whether you move away from it or try to have the other person moved is entirely up to you.

So what can you do?

Well, I know you hated it when your parents told you to ignore the kid at school that was picking on you, but in my honest opinion that is the only effective option on offer.

Blocking can be effective too. Try not to give into paranoia. There is virtue in not being able to see what people are saying about you.

When speaking to a leading psychiatrist yesterday for an upcoming news feature he said to me “we truly need to be the change we see in the world.” I know it’s cheesy but it resonated with me.

Because if we don’t want privacy laws introduced that could restrict our online freedom through government monitoring our every move online, we need to pull our thumb out and govern ourselves better.

But if we keep proving time and time again that we are incapable of controlling our behaviour online, law enforcement and government will come and do it for us.

The only thing we can control is our reaction to things, and I’d rather have the go button under my thumb than under the government’s.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEST.

Most commented


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    • cheap white trash says:

      06:49am | 31/08/12

      Sorry i dont get it?
      Cyber Bullying ,sorry but if you put it out there you are only asking for trouble. As in Twitter,god you ppl should get a life,sitting there playing with your phone tweeting what you are going to have for lunch,or what ever ,what a wank.

    • davo of thorneside says:

      07:59am | 31/08/12

      Precisely, switch the stupid thing off and act sensibly, for once.

    • Alfie says:

      08:07am | 31/08/12

      Agreed. If you put it out there, don’t expect everyone to like or agree with it. If you ask me, anyone who would *admit* to being cyber bullied is as weak as piss.

    • Anne71 says:

      08:16am | 31/08/12

      Trash, you obviously have never been on Twitter if you really think it’s only “tweeting what you are going to have for lunch”.  You also seem to have missed the irony of using one online forum to describe another as a “wank”.

    • Matt says:

      08:18am | 31/08/12

      The online world is no different to the real one.  If you make yourself a target, people will attack.. If I stuck a $100 bill to my forehead and walk around kings cross, how long do you think it would take for me to get bashed and robbed?  Charlotte painted a target on herself, by publicly naming and shaming the woman from Monash.  She basically bullied her right back, by having her stood down.  None of this would have happened if she hadn’t gone public with it.  And I have to say, I’m starting to think this is a publicity stunt.  I hadn’t even heard of her before yesterday, now she’s headline news..

    • Danielle says:

      01:14pm | 31/08/12

      Most of these replies must be jokes. It’s the only thing I can tell myself, because the alternative is that fewer and fewer people have any sense of reason or empathy. That, or the trolls are here trying to defend themselves.

      Alfic, the only people I judge as ‘weak as piss’ are those who write hateful comments under pseudonyms.

      Matt, the woman wasn’t ‘bullied into standing down’ - a mirror was held to her revolting behaviour and she reaped the consequences. It’s called accountability.

    • Bruno says:

      02:07pm | 31/08/12

      @CWT You don’t get it because under a veil of anonymity you don’t have to deal with your name being dragged through the mud. I am 100% sure if you had to use your real will get it.

      @Alfie: a troll couldn’t have said it any better. How about you expose your real name and I gather a few trolls to be nasty towards you and your family and anyone that knows you. I bet hilarity will ensure at the outcome and you too will then be reduced too one of those weak as piss victims.

      @Matt: really? You actually believe what you wrote?

      The above replies, apart from Danielle, is proof why there needs to be a crackdown on idiots who are just running wild on the lawless internet. Ironic considering the article.

    • Alfie says:

      05:10pm | 31/08/12

      Okay, my real name is Alfred. Happy now?? How about you brave souls(Dannielle/Bruno) put your money where your mouht is and publish your full names….no? thought not.

    • BMJ says:

      06:51am | 31/08/12

      Get over it people seriously. The net is full of trolls and its not real.

      Never never never get cut about the internet. Thats the golden rule. If part or all of life is about the net get a life.

    • Johno says:

      10:26am | 31/08/12

      Thats probably the best attitude to have.

    • acotrel says:

      06:55am | 31/08/12

      I wonder where this ‘dawg eat dawg’ , ‘cult of the individual’, ‘whatever it takes’, short term mentality came from ?  It really seems to appeal to psychopaths !  Haven’t most people heard the story of the young bull and the old bull ?
      The two bulls were standing on the top of a hill overlooking a valley.  The young bull said ‘lets run down and root a cow ?’.  The old bull said ‘No, let’s stroll down and root them all ! ’

    • Tubesteak says:

      09:48am | 31/08/12

      “I wonder where this ‘dawg eat dawg’ , ‘cult of the individual’, ‘whatever it takes’, short term mentality came from ?”

      From the dawn of time. It’s the fundamental basis for existence and underpins the interrelationship of all life on this planet.

      Some call it the survival instinct. Some call it Darwinism.

    • James1 says:

      11:39am | 31/08/12

      The people who call it Darwinism do so incorrectly.  Darwin talked about survival of the fittest, not survival of the strongest.  In this context, fittest actually refers to a species’ ability to survive in a particular environment, and doesn’t really relate to whether an individual in that species is stronger than others or dominant over them.  In many cases, the fittest species is that which puts aside the survival or advancement of the individual for that of the species, and many cases of this can be observed.

      To attribute that type of indidivualism to the selective pressures on species identified by Darwin is a common mistake made by Christians and others who don’t understand his theory.  That idea relates more the social Darwinism, which is a thoroughly discredited offshoot of Darwin’s theory.

      None of which is to say that I think you made this mistake, Tubesteak.  I assume you do not number yourself among the some who call it Darwinism.

    • craig2 says:

      06:59am | 31/08/12

      Then I ask the author, why bother writing such articles? Why bother twittering or blogging or emailing? You choose to be part of this media and therefore you can choose to walk away. I don’t Facebook, twitter or blog and this is the only forum I express public views openly. If it goes badly, I’ll just walk away, no issue, not sure how Aco keeps coming back day after day thou!

    • John F says:

      07:05am | 31/08/12

      I’ve always noticed that it’s women who make personal attacks, men instigate arguments.

    • marley says:

      08:09am | 31/08/12

      Umm, you don’t read the Punch much, do you?  Plenty of personal attacks here, and believe me, they aren’t all between women.

    • Anne71 says:

      08:18am | 31/08/12

      Not so, John F. Some of the most vicious trolling I’ve seen on Twitter comes from men.

    • John F says:

      08:49am | 31/08/12

      So I gather that Charlotte Dawson has a large male twitter following ? I have seen a distinct difference between male attacks and female attacks. That’s a fact like it or not !
      Someone finf me the proof please, I’m at work so I can’t do the investigating.

    • MartinX says:

      09:02am | 31/08/12

      They’re not real men.

    • GigaStar says:

      09:04am | 31/08/12

      Oh please John F - stop with your hate of women. Just about every topic that comes up on this forum is men = good, women = bad to you. It’s just comes down to a very biased opinion based on bad personal experiences that you are pushing. I’ve been called alot of names on forums by men especially by men like you that hate women and especially about my appearance (which is quite funny when they’ve never seen you before). On the other side of the coin I’ve had some slam-em down fights with females.

    • Tim says:

      09:07am | 31/08/12

      you’re completely wrong. No personal attacks ever come from men.
      ps. you’re stupid.

    • GigaStar says:

      09:53am | 31/08/12

      John F - I don’t care if you’re at work (you have time to make comments though). The onus is on you to provide the proof for the statements you’re making not the other way around.

      Your biased opinions against women which you promote regularly on this forum taint what you would see as facts. It taints how you see the comments on this forum and they also taints how you perceive people.

    • John F says:

      10:17am | 31/08/12

      There you go, Gigastar is having a personal attack at me, “I hate all women” sorry Gigastar but I love women but I’m completly over the bullshit about protecting women by denying they CAN be REALLY bad.

    • JS says:

      10:28am | 31/08/12

      have you read the comments to Charlotte? they are all from men.

    • Tim says:

      10:51am | 31/08/12

      except for the one that started it.
      And you do realise that if a twitter user has a picture of an African American man, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the user is an African American?

      I know, shocking, isn’t it?

    • John F says:

      10:59am | 31/08/12

      Are we on the attack GigaStar ? I rest my case !

    • Jip says:

      10:59am | 31/08/12

      Men are far worse. They go to the pub and abuse each other and the punch each others lights out over one little comment but then go after women online and tell them what weaklings they are not being able to deal with day after day of abuse they dish out.

    • GigaStar says:

      03:42pm | 31/08/12

      No John F - it’s not an attack. The topic is actually on cyber-bullying, not protecting women who are in denial that they are bad. Where is the BS? Why are you going off topic? Your mind is so preoccupied with hating women that you see bad women everywhere.

      By your way of thinking your opening statement could be interpreted as an attack against all women.

      You are not being attacked - your opinion is being challenged - there is a difference. You are twisting the posts and going off topic to fulfil your personal agenda.

      Your argument was crushed by JS who has said the posts to Charlotte Dawson are mostly from men - so much for your argument that women are the ones who make personal attacks. So its not “That’s a fact like it or not !” Maybe you should do more research next time before mispresenting your opinions as facts.

    • Steve says:

      07:11am | 31/08/12

      The biggest problem with online discussion is anonymity.  People say things they would never say in a face to face discussion.  I can’t help feeling that posters who resort to bullying comments do not have much else going on in their lives.  I struggle to understand why people care so much about what is said about them online by trolls.  However if your identity is significantly about your online presence then perhaps it has a big impact.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:13am | 31/08/12

      Anonymity is also the best thing about the Internet. It’s an empowering thing as the recent uprisings in the middle east showed. It also allows people to be more honest.

    • John L says:

      02:16pm | 31/08/12

      @Steve: Anonymity is a myth, there is always a trail that can be followed back to you.

      @Anonymous: and the honesty about the people who trolled Charlotte Dawson is? In fact what does that honestly show about any troll? It shows me that they’re not as smart as they believe themselves to be.

      The internet was created to help facilitate to distrbution of knowledge, it was decided early on that this would be a benefit for all humanity. I would bet that if the idea of individuals would use this gift to solely wallow in their own putrecence, not adding anything of any value, for their own sadistic pleasure, those who created the internet might just have kept it to themselves.

      As you can probably tell, I hate trolls; they’re a boil on the arse of humanity.

    • Anonymous says:

      04:00pm | 31/08/12

      Well, I wouldn’t need anonymity to be honest with my thoughts on you John. I’ll just remain anonymous because it irks you, and your delicateness amuses me. The people who created the Internet were smart people. I’m sure if they knew there’d be a fraction of users who used it for trolling, they’d shrug and think “oh well, maybe people should just harden up. Small price to pay for the greatest invention in the past century.”

    • Leopold says:

      07:32am | 31/08/12

      I don’t condone trolling by any means, but the biggest rule of the internet is never feed a troll. Just because someone says something nasty on the internet (or anywhere) doesn’t mean you have to take it seriously… the delete button is quite conveniently located under the little finger on your right hand.

      I think Ms Dawson called down the thunder by making this so public and she, much the same as anyone else,  wasn’t prepared to take the consequences.

    • Matt says:

      08:30am | 31/08/12

      Exactly.. Claire made the point that she’s had it done to her.. Did she make a big deal about it? No.  If you have any common sense, you just laugh it off and move on.  If I had thousands of people telling me to kill myself, I would personally find it quite funny.

    • marley says:

      09:00am | 31/08/12

      @DocBud - I think the thing that bothered me was the tweet to the woman whose boyfriend had killed himself, telling her to do the same thing.  That was beyond the pale, and for that, the troll deserved being outed.

      For the rest, I think common sense would suggest that if you out a troll, as Dawson did, you ignore the trollbites that follow.

    • DocBud says:

      10:21am | 31/08/12

      I agree with you on that, marley, the reply was insensitive though I’d say that the original comment was an irrelevant contribution as “go hang yourself” is in common usage as a means of saying get lost so people should not get sensitive over its use. It is not a phrase I use myself but I’ve heard it used on a few occasions, especially by younger generations. There are plenty of other similar phrases that imply harm but which are clearly non-threatening, e.g. take a long walk off a short pier, go boil your head, go play in the traffic.

      Conservation is a little difficult when the mods delete published comments for no apparent reason.

    • Ally says:

      10:54am | 31/08/12

      @Marley - I agree that second tweet was beyond the pale, but surely a better course of action would be to privately deal with her by contacting her employer or reporting her? Surely trolls can be dealt with on the side to deny them to notoriety they obviously want?

    • Michael says:

      07:37am | 31/08/12

      Interesting topic, i think you have to remeber that the internet follows you home about as much as prank callers do, doesn’t happen. The old prank caller has the opportunity to dial your number but you don’t have to answer or stay connected if you do answer, the internet is exactly the same in that the users decide on how much exposure they have.

      Bullying is not the polite thing to do, there are no two ways about it, the downside to achieving blogging celebrity and feeding into that attention industry is that not all of the attention you get will be what you were looking for. Attention seeking takes it’s many forms.

      That’s life amongst humans at the current level of collective enlightenment.

    • KH says:

      07:40am | 31/08/12

      There is a reason the KKK all wear those masks and headgear - its easier to be a thug under a veil of anonymity, and this is the problem.  There is only one answer to that really isn’t there, and thanks to jerks like the trolls you mention, the future may be an internet made up of pockets of ‘gated communities’ where your identity is known, at least by some central authority or administrator, if not by everyone.  This can only be bad news if your opinion is not that of the government, or whoever.

      Funny how these people require anonymity before they do their dirty work - it says they know what they are doing is wrong, and they don’t want to get caught.

    • acotrel says:

      08:27am | 31/08/12

      Perhaps The Puch forum should require all contributors to use their real names.  I’m happy to take responsibility for any public comment I make, even when I am shit-stirring. On the motorcycling forums I access, most of the guys know who I am, and some probably think I’m a silly old fart wannabee, but who really cares ?.  The nasty bastards usually get kicked off the forum anyway.  And I’ve even been kicked off a few times for holding up the mirror.

    • M says:

      10:09am | 31/08/12

      Perhaps people should grow a thicker skin and not be so quick to get all offended about things on the internet written by anonomous people?

      just a thought.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:16am | 31/08/12

      I’m doing nothing wrong. Many people like myself use the moniker “Anonymous” because what we have to say is more important than who we are. Also, it seems to rustle your jimmies, and that’s funny.

    • Cynicised says:

      10:29am | 31/08/12

      Here’s at least one academic study which finds no direct causal link between anonymity and “online hostility”.

      I know it seems counter-intuitive not to blame anonymity for the problem but I believe Ms Short’s conclusion is that those who are hostile and aggressive will be so, regardless.

      Personally, I am against requiring contributors to fora to be identified. Sometimes, in fact frequently, people have experiences or topics they wish to discuss which would cause them embarrassment or have other unpleasant consequences if they were forced to use their correct name. The Arab Spring may not have happened if Twitter did, for instance.

      The advice to block and walk when things get nasty is the only way to combat verbal thugs. And never, ever play with trolls unless you’re prepared for the consequences, as has been said.

    • Ironside says:

      07:50am | 31/08/12

      Cyberbulling is a disease for narcissists only. Seriously. In the real world if someone is bullying you its often hard to get away, your at school or work or in some other restricted environment. Online tho? Don’t go to the website. Unfriend the person from your facebook account and block them on twitter. Its not hard, you have to go looking to be bullied online you have to go out there and find it and when you do you have to accept it. If you choose not to there are many ways to block/avoid/deal with an online bully.  So i have no sympathy for those who take the internet so seriously that it ruins their life

    • Jip says:

      11:08am | 31/08/12

      Not that easy, why should I have to put up with it because of the likes of you? Just about every group I have joined is closed down due to the inability to control trolls who live to hate. Every single forum has a few self centred morons who make it so ugly people turn away in droves. Facebook is a waste of time now because nobody hardly ever says anything so not worth it. Even Punch Facebook get few replies as people are scared like you to publish comments against their real names.

    • Tim says:

      07:50am | 31/08/12

      I think people who want to use the internet need to harden up.

      You may want a sweet smelling internet land of unicorns and fairies but it ain’t going to happen.
      The internet is more like a dementia sufferer -
      sometimes providing clear, thoughtful and accurate information but most of the time its dribbling, groping you or yelling about little Jimmy dying in the war.

      You can’t reason with it.

    • Maybe says:

      10:13am | 31/08/12

      It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

    • George says:

      10:30am | 31/08/12

      I agree. The internet is people and people suck. Well, a lot of them do. We’ve all got an agenda and we are in our groups and we can be civil on the surface in real life but at the end of the day we’re at war with each other.

      Although I can’t say I’ve had pages made about me.

    • Chris L says:

      03:42pm | 31/08/12

      @Maybe - You got a dead cat in there?

    • martinX says:

      07:59am | 31/08/12

      What’s so special about a clown’s anus? Now there’s a question I never thought I’d ask…
      In case no-one else has mentioned it, may I direct your attention to the classic comic describing the Greater Internet F*wad Theory. It was related to online Unreal Tournament gaming at the time (all time bestest game evar) but it has broader application.
      The problem with people is that they are people.
      (PS Stay out of 4Chan. It is the seedy underbelly of seedy underbellies)

    • Bengeck says:

      10:11am | 31/08/12

      Rule 1 dude, Rule 1

    • Baloo says:

      10:42am | 31/08/12

      4Chan is harmless and can actually have some pretty cool stuff on it, some people just seem to think they are a part of a super secret danger club when they go on the website..

    • M says:

      08:04am | 31/08/12

      Hey claire, you know encyclopedia dramatica is a satire site, right?

    • Tubesteak says:

      08:04am | 31/08/12

      People should just HTFU

      BTW It’s “NineteenEightyFour” not “1984”. Check the book title.

    • MartinX says:

      09:05am | 31/08/12

      It’s MCMLXXXIV. Check the album cover grin

    • Tubesteak says:

      01:23pm | 31/08/12

      I heard it before it was famous in 1983

    • Kerryn says:

      08:05am | 31/08/12

      I love how people say “ignore it”, “block them”, “if you go on the internet you ask for it”.

      So if I dare step foot out of my house and I get abused, then I’m the one who shouldn’t have stepped out of my house?  The trolls and bullies are the ones doing the wrong thing, not us, it’s about time everyone realised that and started acting accordingly.

      It really sickens me to think that people can be this nasty to each other.  Why be nasty in the first place?  What is the point of trying to hurt another human being, especially one you don’t know?  It doesn’t make sense.  How is it empowering?  It just doesn’t add up!

    • Adam says:

      10:16am | 31/08/12

      Wow, you just compared the internet to walking down the street….I tell you what, if you find yourself being insulted by a troll, go shake your router really, really hard….you’ll jumble up the whole interweb and maybe the troll will hit his head in the chaos!  That’ll teach him!

    • Phillb says:

      10:29am | 31/08/12

      Wrong analogy Kerryn, stepping out of your house is like logging onto the internet.  That is all good and unlikey to cause a problem.  Going on twitter and attacking the trolls is like going to a brothel and abusing the clientel.  You are asking for abuse back.

    • JIP says:

      10:55am | 31/08/12

      I agree except online it is far worse.  Go outside one person may absue you but few witness it. Online you can have a massive audience and also the ganging up is easier to achieve. It amplifies the problem so is far worse.

      Need to stop blaming the victim that is sick.

    • Kerryn says:

      11:27am | 31/08/12

      @Adam both involve stepping out into the public. 

      And funnily enough, I’ve never actually been trolled…what does it take to get trolled I wonder?

    • James1 says:

      12:15pm | 31/08/12

      Kerryn, your comment is bad and you should feel bad.

      There.  Now you have been trolled.

    • seanb says:

      08:10am | 31/08/12

      Am not going to defend the trolls, but it is worthy of note that Charlotte has form when it comes to hurling abuse at others on the internet. 
      I won’t quote it, as it was deemed either too offensive or too off-brand to be published as a comment on this site in a previous thread.  But it is out there for those who would care to research it, on a par with Claire’s Encyclopaedia Dramatica entry, and perhaps contributed to the army of trolls who came after Charlotte.
      If you stick your head up and start throwing stones, is likely that some will come back, especially now that pretty much anyone can throw them, not just the annointed few media personalities.

    • Jay2 says:

      08:15am | 31/08/12

      Having been a victim of it myself I can sympathise to a degree, although in hindsight, I thought I was an idiot for involving myself in the first place.

      I was having a debate with somebody on a forum, who I felt was being slightly hypocritical about a matter in which she did not take too kindly to my pointing out, what I felt was the obvious.
      Cut a long story short, it resulted in a moderator of the forum(her best friend as I later found out), over riding my account, altering my my posts and blocking me out of my account so I couldn’t reply or aler that it wasn’t me actually posting and i was duly flamed by others. I could have joined under using another fake id, but the point is, did I really want to actively pursue something on the internet, with faceless strangers who were capable of that behaviour,  so I could make a point and invest so much time with such people? Ah hell no!
      Even though the tactics were nasty and underhanded, I really felt foolish that I allowed myself to be put in that position in the first place.  Again, it’s not disimilar to arguing with a total stranger over the phone about something, a pointless exercise, but at least in that scenario you actually aren’t as vulnerable as on the internet.

      As far as Charlotte is concerned, yes it is her right to advocate for herself with the person , but I disagreed with ringing the woman’s employer. By doing that Charlotte has escalated the situation for both parties.

      I couldn’t help be struck by the headlines on some internet media sites this morning.  Right up their was the great “Charlotte Dawson-gate” and several headers down was the story on three Diggers who lost their lives.
      Sort of put things in perspective for me.

    • Troy Flynn says:

      01:38pm | 31/08/12

      @Jay2: As far as Charlotte is concerned, yes it is her right to advocate for herself with the person , but I disagreed with ringing the woman’s employer. By doing that Charlotte has escalated the situation for both parties.
      This is what concerns me too. Who is going to be held criminally liable if the young woman from Monash Uni, after all the furore and suspension also cops an overwhelming “troll” attack and is goaded into commiting suicide herself and does so?
      It should never have escalated to that level. If Charlotte just threw it back in her face and left it at that, well we wouldn’t all be here commenting on it for a start.

    • Black Dynamite says:

      08:17am | 31/08/12

      The real heroes of anti-bullying are the ones working day in, day out without any praise, without any publicity. Charlotte Dawson attempts to make an example out of one person on twitter, somehow the media get wind of it (likely from her publicist) and beat it up. Then instead of just ignoring trolls she retweets every piece of tat possible on her twitter further encouraging them to continue. What happens? Her names all over the media, she earns more supporters and media time, oh by the way guys pickup my new book!

      I don’t agree with the way that she was treated and hope she is doing ok but she defends her prior bully-like comments on twitter that she didn’t suggest anyone kill themself. So this is the only form of bullying now? Who decides where the cutoff is on what classifies bullying on twitter? I’d say calling someone a horrible moll, batshit crazy could potentially have the same effect on a person.


    • Alex P says:

      10:18am | 31/08/12

      Exactly - what’s the difference in publc=ically shaming someone like Cassi from ANTM - calling her ‘poster child for Sunbury Centrelink” - how is that not bullying? Charlotte = Hypocrite, which is why she was targetted.

    • Matt says:

      11:45am | 31/08/12

      Also, lying does not help your cause - you obviously don’t know much about Reddit - there is no “Reddit campaign that is designed to “to bring me down”, whatever that means”, in fact as you can see from the link it’s a discussion and a link to website.  Some comments can be nasty and each webiste - this included (or especially) have a hivemind..

      The memes generated in the link I posted above I suspect were created because of this article.  Perhaps some more research before printing incorrect articles will help you not being ‘targeted’.  Being called out because you were wrong is not bullying you.  And I’d hardly call 33 comments a Reddit campaign against you…..

    • Kristen says:

      08:29am | 31/08/12

      Wow. So many of these comments blame the victim! If I walk along the street and cop abuse from a random stranger does it follow that I deserved it “for putting myself out there”. Seriously? If it isn’t acceptable to say it to someone’s face, it isn’t acceptable to say it online. End of story. Grow up.

    • Nic says:

      09:02am | 31/08/12

      “Wow. So many of these comments blame the victim! If I walk along the street and cop abuse from a random stranger does it follow that I deserved it “for putting myself out there”. Seriously? If it isn’t acceptable to say it to someone’s face, it isn’t acceptable to say it online. End of story. Grow up.”

      Strawman argument, your analogy falls apart instantly.

      It’s not a matter of going out there. It’s a matter of having a grandstand. If you make a show of something and make yourself a public figure you’re opening yourself up to the public.

      If you’re walking through the streets/internets then you’re very unlikely to get any abuse.

      If however you take a platform and say dumb things, like for example, what you just said, then people who see it for what it is (idiocy) will call you on it. As you deserve.

      She didn’t just go on the street. She took a platform. She got the abuse. If she didn’t want it she could have either, not taken the platform or not allowed them to send the abuse.


    • KH says:

      09:17am | 31/08/12

      I know.  More disturbing are the comments saying ‘just turn it off!!’.........for kids these days, twitter, facebook etc are literally the threads of their social existence.  Not being on it is like those kids when I was young whose parents didn’t let them watch TV, weren’t allowed to use the phone, and weren’t allowed to parties - they were outcasts, isolated and often quite miserable because they weren’t in on the jokes, they didn’t know the characters of whatever TV show and so on.  They couldn’t join in because they didn’t have the ‘inside’ knowledge.    In the small world of school, where you are kind of trapped with one group of people and there isn’t much choice about it, the effect of isolation is massively amplified.  As adults, you can go elsewhere to find friends - some of these commenters have forgotten what its like to be a kid, or they were never on the wrong side of the group.

      No one should have to be denied the use of an otherwise fun tool because of some dickheads - the trolls are the ones who should be punished, not the victims.

    • Tubesteak says:

      09:44am | 31/08/12

      If you walk along the street and cop some abuse does it affect you in any way? Does it stop you from living? Does it stop you from earning an income?


      If you’re like CD you went up to people and asked them to look at you and buy what you’re selling. They told you to bugger off. As others have pointed out, you repeated their request and went to their employer and got them dismissed.

    • Jimmy says:

      11:30am | 31/08/12

      That depends where you walk. If you were to walk down a street in the Bronx in NY and got attacked is it your fault if you get attacked? What about the streets of Johannesburg? Like it or not you have to be aware of the environment you are placing yourself in.

    • M says:

      08:37am | 31/08/12

      Sticks and stones.

    • DaveC says:

      08:41am | 31/08/12

      Not to condone bullying, but you seemed to have conveniently left out the part where Ms Dawson once “jokingly” asked for someone to “please kill ‘Brian boy’. Please please please.’’ (Bryan Grey-Yambao). A comment she shrugged off as “everyone taking a bit to seriously”.

      And we scratch our heads as to why the school yard has become so rough.

    • Tim says:

      10:19am | 31/08/12

      Yeah but she did that for teh LOLZ so it’s OK.

    • seanb says:

      11:47am | 31/08/12

      It’s OK for Charlotte to ask for someone to be murdered, that’s not against the law is it? 
      Not if you’re a “celebrity” it would seem (curiously more prominent celebrity this week at that).   
      If however you were a suburban nobody….

    • MD says:

      08:52am | 31/08/12

      Are you new to the internet? I thought you were meant to be a tech reporter.

      Step 1: Don’t feed the trolls. This is article is feeding, it makes everything worse.
      Step 2: Don’t forget step 1.

      Then again, it is your job so stirring up headlines is probably in your interest.

    • Johno says:

      08:53am | 31/08/12

      Years ago in a chat room some kid as it turned out who was removed from the discussion for being a well….you know: started a torrent of abuse to me in a private message say he was going to come to my shop and bash me: rather concerning. I simply emailed the conversation to his ISP and his whole world caved in: him and his parents blubbering `please dont go to the police, he is very sorry’.

    • grant says:

      09:55am | 31/08/12

      I see similarities between how Charlotte took things way to far into the real world and ruined some poor ladies life for an offensive comment on twitter and what you did to that kid.

    • Loddlaen says:

      11:32am | 31/08/12

      I think it’s a great way to deal with it personally. I see so any students behaving like this online because they feel safe from any sort of accountablility for their actions. Every once in a while, reality hits them in the face and I think it’s a great lesson for them to learn.

    • Nic says:

      08:59am | 31/08/12

      Personally and I doubt this is a popular opinion, but the whole thing screams White Knighting to me.

      She got some heat on the Inter-tubes and had a breakdown, and this is a catastrophe that’s all over the internet and front page of the websites. What can we do to stop this!?

      Seems she massively overreacted honestly, the Internet’s been like this since the dawn of time. You put yourself out there you’ve ALWAYS been open to abuse on the internet, that’s how it has always worked.

      But she’s a woman, and she went to hospital for some reason (?) so we all suddenly rush to her defence and defend her honour and her integrity and sorry, it’s all so ridiculous. White Knights just make me sad.

      Can you imagine some guy going to hospital cause he got trolled?
      What would the response be? We’d laugh at him for being so thin skinned.

      Long story short. The Internet has always been like this. We made it like this. It’s ours. You came later, you moved into this neighbourhood. Don’t complain now that it’s a mess and that we need to clean our lawns better.

      If you didn’t like it, you could have moved to a Gated Community.

    • Jim (remember him?) says:

      08:59am | 31/08/12

      . is this the latest in one-upmanship ... I’m nore hated on the internet than you are?

    • RK says:

      09:17am | 31/08/12

      I wish people would educate themselves on Twitter before commenting about it. It is always people who don’t use it who criticise it the most. Twitter is not just about ‘tweeting what you are going to have for lunch’. It is also a place to share ideas, connect with people, educate yourself, follow links to interesting articles and be entertained.

      As in life, you get out of Twitter what you put in. My twitter experience has always mostly been about sharing laughs with like-minded people. Everyone I have come across has been lovely. I have never had a problem with trolls or bullys because I don’t use Twitter as a platform to promote myself or cultivate a negative atmosphere by being combative.

    • The Free says:

      09:26am | 31/08/12

      I’m glad that some people being mean to a lady has triggered articles on news sites everywhere.  I blame Tony Abbot’s climate on negativity for taking an arrow to the knee myself.

    • scott says:

      09:26am | 31/08/12

      I pulled this from one of your other articles:

      That section refers to use of a “carriage service” to menace, harass or offend, with a maximum three-year jail term.

      How was what Charlotte Dawson doing to the Monash staffer not considered to be harassment?  Dawson repeatedly phoned her demanding an apology and when not satisfied with the response she called her boss in attempt to get her fired?  All for a few dumb comments made in her personal time and not in the capacity of her employment.

      As far as I am concerned, Dawson brought this on her self.  You don’t play around fire expecting not to sweat.

    • Fred Bloggs says:

      09:28am | 31/08/12

      What’s wrong with ‘Real Heroes Walk Away’? If you want to bare your soul on Bookface and Twatter and other nonsensical mediums, then wear it. I really can’t see the problem here, just turn the ‘puter off, go and dig the garden, smell the flowers, watch grass grow - it’s all far more beneficial than sitting in front of a screen being made fun of. Just grow up and stop your pitiful whingeing

    • P. Walker says:

      09:35am | 31/08/12

      I am beginning to think that this latest “bullying” episode is a set up.  I can understand young immature children not being able to handle cyber bullying, but a mature person should have the intelligence to block, turn off or ignore.  What is someone doing at 2am playing with their electronic gadgets I ask?  It’s all a bit narcissistic looking for so called followers isn’t it?  Time for everyone to get back to living in the real world.
      If people are going to place themselves in such positions they must expect some flack as we are all different in all aspects.  I also noted that on The Project last night those reporting the update were absolutely horrified and then went straight to the nightly task of humiliating people watching clips of the “news”, yet they seemed that was OK???  One night the “head” decided to cast a snigger directed to the Queen who was wearing a hoodie driving her Range Rover.  And then he wonders why he is attracting trolls to his narcissistic site.  Again, he is putting himself out there for those not sharing his distaste for royalty.  The incredible double standards that our journalists appear to have is growing exponentially.

      As I said before, if this is a set up to get authorities involved then I’m all for it, only to protect the children whom have not the skills we adults should have learnt by now.

    • Ol'Wobbly says:

      09:42am | 31/08/12

      This article is almost self-defeating. You see, the problem is that bullies are almost always ignorant - ignorant of other people’s feelings certainly, but also ignorant of current affairs and generally what goes on around them. They never watch the news, read online articles or converse with people other than their own kind. They will not read this article or any other which requires a modicum of intelligence. And so Claire, you’re largely preaching to the converted with this article (other than the usual right-wing trolls that inhabit this and most other news sites). I don’t know what the answer is but I suspect a return to bit more rod rather than “reason” in the classroom could help.

    • Editor says:

      10:34am | 31/08/12

      You mean left-wing trolls. FTFY

    • Ol'Wobbly says:

      10:53am | 31/08/12

      You mean left-wing trolls. FTFY

      No, I meant right wing. Sure, sometimes there are left wing views that are hysterical, confusing and downright stupid. But it’s only the right wing nutters that publish hateful, even violent sentiments that reek of American-style “Aryan Nation” views.

    • JOSEPH LOGAN says:

      09:48am | 31/08/12

      I did wonder it has taken so long for a “celebrity” claiming “cyber-bullying”. Watch how quickly this will develop -“celebrities” all seek to promote themselves. Charlotte Dawson is someone I had never heard of , now I have. How does this story become the biggest news on media outlets. -some idiot abusing someone on the Internet?  I remember and have lived by the old saying “sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never hurt you” ( of course unless you choose to be hurt). “Bullying” is part of every day life. People go to work and do as they are told, get paid what the employer wants to pay them, get sacked when the employer decides, not when they decide.

    • J-Zed says:

      09:52am | 31/08/12

      Claire is there a link to the ‘reddit campaign’? Because I cannot seem to find it in any subreddit I think of.

      One of the first things people should be taught is ‘Don’t feed the trolls’. Ignore them and they’ll go away, because all they want is a reaction.

    • James1 says:

      09:54am | 31/08/12

      The scene in Life’s Too Short where Warwick Davis confronts an internet bully is one of the funniest things I have ever seen.  It turned out that the bully in question was a disabled high school boy, who as a result of Warwick Davis confronting him, was mercilessly bullied by his classmates.

      Classic Gervais.  That man can find a way to make us laugh at anything.

      In my experience, it accurately displays the mind of a bully as well.  Almost invariably, they feel terrible about themselves for some reason, and vent this by attempting to make others feel terrible about themselves too.  And anyone who tries to make themselves feel big by insulting others is not worth the time or effort getting worked up about.

    • Ian1 says:

      10:06am | 31/08/12

      The sheer volume of bullying identifiable on the Internet ought to highlight the wider scourge of bullying in society.  I think it highly likely that the amount of bullying people experience offline has been grossly understated.

      It won’t be long before the trend is to record everything audio/visual a person experiences during their day, there are already pairs of glasses which will.  I keep meaning to rig up a camera in my car to provide some form of protection (admissible evidence) from the road ragers.  Let’s see them try getting away with bullying whilst constantly under scrutiny. 

      Hmm, privacy versus bullying.

    • MattyC says:

      10:09am | 31/08/12

      I liked the fact that Ms Dawson called up the troll and had a crack at her on the phone and had her suspended from work. That’s the best way to feed the troll.

    • James1 says:

      10:56am | 31/08/12

      Charities gave me the impression that people without work have trouble feeding themselves.  This may actually represent the ultimate way to not feed the troll…

    • Adam says:

      10:58am | 31/08/12

      Suspended “with pay” essentially “go have a free holiday until this ridiculous woman and her silly store goes away”

      Genius way to punish someone!

    • MattyC says:

      02:25pm | 31/08/12

      Also outed her. Trolls live in anonymity, at least this one has been named publicly.

    • Adam says:

      10:11am | 31/08/12

      Ahhh….bring back the good old days when the internet was just nerds and uni students and everyone knew that you don’t feed the trolls.  The guy that said “hey, we should make this available for everyone” should be slapped.  I guess that’s why they went and built internet 2 and didn’t invite the plebs.

      If you don’t understand something as simple and timeless as “don’t feed the trolls” then you should just disconnect from your ISP right now, before you ruin it for the rest of us. 

      All these posts comparing the internet to “stepping out their door” or “walking down the street” even make such a comparison shows a tragic lack of education regarding both the internet and the www (yes, they’re different things!  Shock!)......just do us all a favour and turn off “the magic webby box with the pretty lights” in the corner and leave it off…..I think it’s just better for everyone that way.

      And if your ego is so fragile that a comment from a 15 year old nobody in North Carolina is enough to spark you to a riot of righteous indignation then my god, buy a book on self confidence or something (but not on amazon…you’re barred from that interwebby thing remember!)

    • TheOzTrucker says:

      10:18am | 31/08/12

      Give me a break!

      I read The Punch every day along with a few other sites I like. I don’t post every day but I do like to compare my views with those of others. Sometimes my beliefs get the better of me and I find myself typing away madly but not often these days. I have learned that these forums are really very poor tools for changing people’s minds.

      I really do not understand how cyber bullying is an issue. If you put yourself out there then you really should not be surprised I’d someone disagrees with you. The infantile name calling and hollow threats are just that. Infantile and hollow!

      If you are one of those individuals that is so fragile that you need everything you say or every action you take to be greeted with fawning praise then perhaps the Internet is probably not a good forum for you.

      I think that the definition of what constitutes bullying really does need to be clarified. It is not an attack of any type that is isolated or short term in nature. It is an ongoing thing. Someone can trot out a definition from somewhere if they like. It never ceases to amaze me how some of you can find some obscure document that supports (or not) a point of view.

      I have crossed swords with other posters on this site but is that bullying? I don’t think so. Just a robust (I love that word) exchange of views. Nothing more nothing less.

      Bullying, we all know, is something more than that.

    • Jt says:

      11:15am | 31/08/12

      It is incremental in it’s damage to people but that is why this has to be taken seriously. If you are the victim of ungoing abuse you will appear to over react when a person who attacks you only for a few days but without knowing they are aready at breaking point from ongoing abuse.  Seeing this attitude of hate is in schools, offices, is in sport, is everywhere then it will wear more and more people down until we have a mental health epidemic. Oh wait we do already.

    • Anonymous says:

      10:25am | 31/08/12

      “This isn’t the first time I’ve been public enemy #1 on the internet. “

      Honey, you are barely worth any attention at all. #1?? Get over yourself. I just checked your ED article (which I wasn’t aware of before you stupidly announced its existence) and it’s incredibly “meh”. It almost sounds like you’re desperate for attention and fishing for sympathy.

      The Internet is like the street. If you act like a fool, people will treat you like a fool. Don’t demonize anonymity despite all the good it brings just because you can’t handle the heat.

    • pete says:

      10:29am | 31/08/12

      No offence but you’re meant to be the News Ltd authority on social media and technology. Common sense 101 tells you if you ignore trolls they disappear, but you’re throwing more fuel on the fire…

      A group of people are getting kicks out of trying to rile you up and are probably thinking “lulza she’s writing about us again.”

      So the question must be asked, “do you secretly like the attention?”

    • Redditor says:

      11:49am | 31/08/12

      Actually in Reddit’s defense, they called her out for being wrong in a article - not quite bullying.  4chan is a different matter and should be avoided/ignored.. Seems some ‘facts’ escape or are conveniently left out of Ms Connelly version of events…

    • Popdart says:

      10:34am | 31/08/12

      I must ask why Charlotte Dawson feels that she is the only person being picked on and why the media is making such a fuss about it? The amount of hate and trolling that she has endured pales in comparison to someone like Justin Bieber, Barack Obama, or One Direction. The only reason this is getting air time is because she took it seriously. You need thick skin to be on the internet.

    • Ally says:

      10:49am | 31/08/12

      Obviously cyberbullies are taking advantage of the anonymity offered by platforms like Twitter to say and do things they wouldn’t even think of doing in real life. And there’s obviously some of them that target well known twitterers with the hope of getting some sort of reaction or retweet to get their 15 minutes.

      It absolutely blows my mind that you would bother to retweet or engage with these idiots in any way. Not only does it give them the attention they’re craving, it also encourages your followers to target the troll as well, despite people claiming “I only do it to highlight that bullying is bad, I don’t encourage my followers to attack them.” Yeah, whatever.

      Just ignore them. I don’t tweet myself, so I’m not up to speed with the ins and outs, but surely there must be a way to block them or report them?

    • Media Relations Professional says:

      11:01am | 31/08/12

      Hi Claire,

      The problem is the cliched “one who fights the good fight” IE: yourself trying to track down and expose those people harrassing Charlotte Dawson are going to be harrassed tenfold - only these days, they can do it on vastly greater platforms than stealing your playlunch.

      There are a number of people (and I am by no means incorporating Charlotte Dawson in this category) that need this kind of drama.

      Also, if a source of mine is accurate, I am told that 4Chan is not based in Russia, it is based elsewhere.

    • Kika says:

      11:16am | 31/08/12

      The internet, and blogs and twitter in particular, is like looking at all of humanity in a microscope - you get heaps of good, heaps of bad and the best and worst in all of us. Humans are nasty creatures. I like what David Attenborough said - we’re like Chimps. Baby chimps are delightful but as they grow they become nasty and horrible - quite like ourselves.

      I saw that interview too and I was thinking exactly the same thing - why is she doing this? Isn’t she asking for more trouble? She should block the pests, or, better yet, get off twitter.

    • Traxster says:

      11:45am | 31/08/12

      I don’t understand the ‘social networking’ thing….....
      why on earth would someone/anyone be interested in what I’m doing ‘right now ’ ?
      I’m certainly NOT interested in whatever the hell it is you’re doing !!
      facebook.twitter ??
      sheesh people get a life .................!!

    • PhoenixGirl says:

      11:53am | 31/08/12

      But I like the trolls, they make me laugh!

    • subahu says:

      11:53am | 31/08/12

      In debating at school, students learn to be critical of the argument, not the person. Sadly our society prefers the personal vindictive. Sportspeople call it sledging/mental disintegration. Politicians call it Question Time. We delight in asserting our superiority with words. And the internet makes it easier because it’s anonymous. Until empathy and compassion become the norm those who want to feel empowered will continue with this type of activity.

    • Ron-e says:

      12:10pm | 31/08/12

      TimB is a cyber bully on this website. A very bad one too.

    • St. Michael says:

      12:27pm | 31/08/12

      Claire does have one valid point: stupid, minority idiots doing something they shouldn’t is often used by government as an excuse to impose draconian and flexible laws on the entire populace.

      For example, most anti-bikie legislation in recent years.

      If you don’t police or control behaviour, expect it to be policed or taken advantage of by someone else, because governments don’t like free fields of opinion or opportunity such as the Internet is.

    • Thetruthwouldn'thurt says:

      12:58pm | 31/08/12

      Forget this particular incident. I mean, who really cares who any of these people are? The fact is that internet bullying is on the rise and it’s generally carried out by cowardly people who, faced with their “victim” in real life, would run the other way. It. Is. Cowardly.

      There ARE people out there who have a primary purpose of upsetting others. They target people in seemingly innocent forums or facebook groups and gather together like a bunch of teenager school children plotting how to push someone out or even just push their buttons.

      Not even once thinking that what they say may affect this person in a negative way that they haven’t factored in, because of things going on in their real life. Or maybe they just don’t give a shit?

      I’m not being paranoid, it happens.

      But, yes, it is our choice how to take it, how much to take, and when to ignore, block or leave. That is all good advice. This needs to be talked about because it is happening and people need to STOP responding to it and learn how to shut these idiots up. We need to learn when to walk away, when to report, when to stop.

      Because it’s obvious the people who think bullying is “fun”, are idiots who don’t have the brain capacity to think what they are doing might just be wrong. God forbid.

      So yes, this needs to be talked about.

      (and John F, I agree with the others)

    • Matt says:

      01:22pm | 31/08/12

      Ignoring bullies does not work.
      I learnt that in the latter years of high school, when I would just ignore the people who were jerks to me because I did not want to give them the satisfaction. I eventually realised that all that did was let them know that they would get away with it. So they did it more. The only way bullies learn not to be bullies is to realise that they will not get away with it

    • Utopia Boy says:

      01:37pm | 31/08/12

      “Self Regulation” as far as asking idiots to behave like adults in a sphere where anonymity is virtually guaranteed simply won’t work.
      In the case of Dawson, for example, viewers of her show would of course be lower socio economic dwellers who are jealous of her success. That’s never going to change, and to ignore it is the only solution. After all, it is a case of “sticks and stones…..”.
      We’ve all seen what self regulation does for business. It DECREASES competition and pushes prices up, which is the exact opposite of it’s intent. Self or de regulation leads to tv channels like FOX, that is nothing more than paid hate speech 24 hours a day. In Australia, the banking system, the dairy industry, the telecommunications industry are prime examples of short term gains for long term pain.
      Working those models into an identity clouded system simply won’t work, regardless of the terms and conditions. Attempts to control it will see it fail.

    • Utopia Boy says:

      01:37pm | 31/08/12

      “Self Regulation” as far as asking idiots to behave like adults in a sphere where anonymity is virtually guaranteed simply won’t work.
      In the case of Dawson, for example, viewers of her show would of course be lower socio economic dwellers who are jealous of her success. That’s never going to change, and to ignore it is the only solution. After all, it is a case of “sticks and stones…..”.
      We’ve all seen what self regulation does for business. It DECREASES competition and pushes prices up, which is the exact opposite of it’s intent. Self or de regulation leads to tv channels like FOX, that is nothing more than paid hate speech 24 hours a day. In Australia, the banking system, the dairy industry, the telecommunications industry are prime examples of short term gains for long term pain.
      Working those models into an identity clouded system simply won’t work, regardless of the terms and conditions. Attempts to control it will see it fail.

    • Bruno says:

      01:46pm | 31/08/12

      People who are defending the right to be anonymous online or telling people to walk away or ignore the trolls are in fact, trolls themselves.

      One thing is having trolls tease you, tell you to hang yourself etc etc another thing is when trolls take it to the next level, when they spend hours sometimes days trying to find dirt on you and then expose whatever dirt they found, picture of family or bring others who are innocent to the whole world wide web. That is another level, that is nastiness. something no one has to put up with.

      It’s sad that trolls are usually married men, mothers and older people.

    • M says:

      02:25pm | 31/08/12

      Yes, wrap ourselves in cotton wool and be shielded from all offence and critisism. What a way to live.

    • Anonymous says:

      02:31pm | 31/08/12

      Now that’s a laughable cornucopia of fallacies if I’ve ever read one.

    • Cynthia says:

      02:12pm | 31/08/12

      you’re confusing trolls with net-stalkers Bruno

    • David says:

      02:20pm | 31/08/12

      ‘As I write this, I am the subject of a Reddit campaign that is designed to “to bring me down”,’

      Reddit receives around 2 billion page views a month. It is one of the most highly visited sites on the internet.

      You make it sound like Reddit itself, or a large proportion of the user base, are out to get you. Is there any reason to think that any more that a fraction of a percent of its users are out to ‘bring you down’?

      I ask this because with the wording you used could be taken as an irresponsible generalisation.

    • Gomez12 says:

      02:35pm | 31/08/12

      Wow, Way to make the /B/tards feel important.

      This was a small group of semi-retarded arse-hats that like to gather together to cause trouble on the internet literally for the “LULZ”. It’s the same group that gets themselves banned repeatedly from a wide variety of online forums for , you guessed it, being arse-hats. These people literally compete with each other to say the most racist, offensive and outright vulgar things they can think of.  Yes, they treat this as an amusing game (the fact that others don’t adds to the humour).

      The loose rules are - the more offended you make someone the better, and the more publicity it gets the better. Currently, they are doing pretty well out of all this.

      Go on, go visit 4chan, have a good, loooong read of it. Then tell me you give 2 short sh!ts what any of them say. About anything. At all. Ever.

      Oh, and no, it isn’t hosted in Russia (last I cared enough to check anyway) the origins of 4chan aren’t exactly shrouded in mystery after all. (hint: google “moot” or Christopher Poole).

      Oh, and assuming that the person at the other end of an abusive/racist/abhorrent comment is a functional rational human adult and responding as such is probably a mistake. The 12 year olds are killing themselves laughing at the “grown-ups” talking about them in the papers….

      And once you get bored of the dreck spewing out of 4chan, you can wander across to the “Something Awful” forums to confirm for yourself that the well of human stupidity, crassness and downright nastiness truly has no perceivable bottom. Enjoy.

    • M says:

      03:44pm | 31/08/12

      Credibility lost.

    • Anonymous says:

      04:03pm | 31/08/12

      Voicing your opinion towards someone isn’t against the law. Also, there wouldn’t be so much fuss over this if Dawson was ugly. Don’t kid yourselves. Just admit it.

    • Theta Sigma says:

      04:59pm | 31/08/12

      Well, Claire, over the past couple of days, I asked you a couple of polite questions on Twitter about your position on “piracy”, as you call it, followed by a question about your verbal abuse on Twitter of Tanya Heti (“a shit person”). You ignored my questions, so I suspect you have me marked as a troll - which makes me wonder how you recognise one. If you marked me down as a troll because you were uncomfortable with my questions, I suspect you may have a sense of trolling which is broader than the usual.

    • Evalee says:

      05:13pm | 31/08/12

      So now Charlotte is going on 60 Minutes.  I can see how another media interview will make the hurt go away.  I can see how important her mental health is to her - until someone wants to get her on television so she can tell her story - AGAIN.  Yes, I can also see how telling the story again will silence her detractors and bolster her obviously struggling self-esteem.  Before her wounds are healed, she throws herself back into the bear pit. 

      Can someone explain this behaviour to me?

    • What's Rangoon to you is Grafton to me says:

      05:56pm | 31/08/12

      So, within hours of being admitted to St Vinnies Psych Unit, Charlotte leaves the hospital to do an interview with 60 Minutes.

      You gotta love a quick recovery.


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