mom2nomads

ahhh, the life of a diplomatic princess . . .

Archive for the tag “cyber bullying”

PETA’s Silence About Cyber-Stalking Speaks Volumes

When unhinged people are tweeting out the most vile insults, lies, and accusations in your name, and you likely know it, what responsibility do you have to put a stop to that? This is a question PETA should be asking itself because this is exactly what has been happening on Twitter.

At this point I have lost track of how many new Twitter accounts have popped up in the past week targeting me and other Twitter users who are trying to spread the truth about PETA. New ones open, they get reported, Twitter mutes them so they don’t pop up in our feeds, and many are getting suspended. Mike Flynn, who has also been a target of this harassment, summed it up well today:

The tweets that have been aimed at those of us who are speaking out about how PETA has killed, and continues to kill, thousands of companion animals are pretty vile — fat shaming, LGBQT shaming, use of the word “retarded,” tweets of a sexual nature (including tweets of a sexual nature tagging PETA2, which is the PETA Twitter account for children), creepy “I will follow you wherever you go” tweets. And, my personal favorite, venomous accusations that I abuse my children and am raising them to hate.

So here’s the deal. You can argue that PETA can’t be held responsible for the tweets of their supporters. But this is targeted, nearly constant, harassment that PETA has been tagged in so you know they are seeing it. Any organization with any standards at all would have shut this down days ago by saying they don’t want this nastiness and cyber-bullying committed in their name. If anyone came to my “defense” with assaults like this I would tell them to knock it off, I would distance myself from them immediately, I would support the person being cyber-bullied — as would most people and organizations with any sense of ethics. But PETA, with their silence, is at least passively supporting this cyber-assault to continue — that speaks volumes about the depths to which they are willing to stoop to continue their killing.

So let’s take a look at some of what this person is tweeting out in PETA’s name.

We have fat shaming:

We have anti-LGBTQ slurs:

 

We have the use of the “R” word:

 

We have creepy stalker talking about the stalking:

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And the cyber-stalker ridiculing one of the people he/she is stalking:

These are only a tiny fraction of the tweets that are floating about, and there are others against people who likely had no idea what they were stepping into when they confronted PETA about their killing that I will not put here because the ugliness is unbelievable. Frankly, I don’t expect PETA to come to my defense, but the tweets I won’t put here are personal attacks, and have targeted someone who is young and should never be on the receiving end of this kind of nastiness.

I will post some of the tweets targeting myself and another Twitter user.

Tweets of a sexual nature, including tweets that were tweeted at PETA’s account that is specifically for children:

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Tweets stating that I am abandoning and abusing my children:

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New Twitter account that are clearly targeting me and Cathy:

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This tweet, by someone who has been tweeting with the stalker/s, seems to sum up their philosophy nicely:

There is no doubt for anyone who knows right from wrong that these tweets are reprehensible, reprehensible enough that I wonder about the sanity of the person who is writing them. But the larger picture is this: why is PETA silent about them? Even if they’ve only seen a fraction of them, that fraction is enough. I’ve only shown a fraction here — there are many, many more. What I’ve highlighted here displays so much hatred, so much venom, so much bigotry, so much misogyny, so many lies. But that’s okay, because it’s “no holds barred,” right? Is this what PETA believes? Why are they tacitly supporting this cyber-stalking and bullying? If you are on the side of right you don’t need to stoop to name calling, humiliation, and lies. So what does the fact that PETA is passively supporting exactly that say about them? There is as much truth in silence as there is in raising your voice. PETA is speaking volumes.

PS. I apologize for the screenshots with a lot of blank space, I can’t link to tweets from accounts that have been suspended and I just didn’t have time to edit the photos. But if anyone wants to know what the 20 best Supernatural episodes are, you can click here! Ya gotta have a sense of humor to get through it, folks.

 

 

 

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My Plea for Civility, for the Sake of our Kids

“If each of us can learn to relate to each other more out of compassion, with a sense of connection to each other and a deep recognition of our common humanity, and more important, to teach this to our children, I believe that this can go a long way in reducing many of the conflicts and problems that we see today.” ~Dalai Lama

Pretty much anyone who knows us knows that we had a bully problem (my blog piece about it can be found here). It’s done, it’s dusted, we dealt with it and we are stronger for it. Except this is life and life is never quite that clean cut. The best friend of our oldest son is a sweet kid who also happens to be the brother of one of the girls who was bullying our daughter, Aisleen. Needless to say it’s been complicated to keep their friendship from being poisoned but it’s important so we’ve tried hard to do that and, to their credit, so have the boys. Yesterday Liam, our oldest, came home from school and asked if we could give his friend’s sister, who I call G on this blog, another chance and my initial reaction was “no way, no how, not happening.” But we sat down and he explained why he was asking, I’ve gotta say, he swayed me a little. The kid is good at persuasion, which I sometimes find maddening.

We’ve always recognized the fact that the girl in question was bullying in order to protect herself, that she was the follower. We know this because the leader threatened her with social isolation if she didn’t go along with the torment. Liam told me yesterday that her torment is not over, the lead bully is still at work on her–of course, because bullies are stubborn like that. Then he told me that he and his friend wanted to confront the bully and tell her that the way she treats (or treated, in our case) their sisters is unacceptable and that they were there to stand between her and their sisters. Liam, his friend, and G were hoping that Aisleen would be friends with G again, hoping that her friendship could help carry G through her decision to cut the bully off. Because Aisleen has shown such remarkable judgement throughout this ordeal I handed the decision over to her and she decided to give G another chance. I told her I wanted her to go into it cautiously, that G had to earn her trust back and that, at the first sign of it starting up again, she had to jump ship. I can’t say I’m thrilled about this development but I understand it. Kids gotta fly, right? If she falls we’ll be here to pick her back up and help her see the lessons she can learn. If she doesn’t fall, if this works out, then she will know that she made a decision out of compassion that helped another person. Life with kids is never dull!

Usually I’m not one to come down on someone else’s parenting choices–an exception is when those decisions start to affect my kids. A lot of people have made a lot of changes in their lives because of this bully with the glaring exception of the bully and, of course, her parents. I don’t know if they’re in denial about her behavior of if they truly think her behavior is acceptable–which brings me to my greater point. Kids get endless amounts of lectures about how to treat one another, how to speak to one another, how to behave. But talk is cheap and kids know that. I am stunned when I see adults acting in the exact opposite way kids are told to act, it makes me cringe because I know the examples we provide to our kids only go so far and the influence of the folks outside our control is powerful stuff. There are adults engaging in exactly the kind of behavior that we condemn in children–the internet, and the anonymity it offers, only makes it that much worse. How many times have you read an article, or watched a video on youtube, and then scrolled down to the comments and felt like you needed a shower? If I make a comment on a thread somewhere my rule of thumb is to never write something I can’t show to my kids. Period. I’m sure I’ve broken that rule now and again because of my sarcastic nature but, by and large, it’s one I stick to because I think it’s important. My hubby doesn’t understand why I bother because a comment on the internet probably never changed anyone’s mind. But my thing is that I know kids read that stuff and, if all they see is adults treating other adults in ways meant to demean and belittle, then I think they’ll feel a little more okay with doing the same to their peers. Just for the purposes of full disclosure, I tend to be less forgiving towards politicians on my private FB page (which my kids are not allowed to look at) but I have the same rule of thumb when arguing with people on FB–keep it clean.

I don’t know what motivates Aisleen’s former bully. I don’t know if she does it because she has low self-esteem, because she’s insecure, because she’s patterning behavior or maybe she just thinks it’s fun. What I do know is that there are lot of kids who bully, a lot of kids being hurt by those bullies and, while we may say that it is unacceptable for kids to behave that way, actions speak louder. As long as we, as adults, continue to treat our peers with disrespect, either in the virtual or non-virtual world, kids will continue to use that as a justification for cyber-bullying or non-virtual world bullying. I’m just so sick of seeing kids hurt by other kids, sick of hearing about how children spend nights crying themselves to sleep because of another child’s cruelty. It’s got to stop and we have to recognize the part that each of us plays in fostering or fighting that cruelty. We’re adults, we should act like it. Rant over, I will now step down off my soap box . . . 

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