Teenagers and their misuse of Twitter

 

Twitter’s great isn’t it? It’s that place where you can say what you want, no matter how offensive or racist, and nobody cares. It’s all anonymous and nobody ever gets into trouble for anything. Even if you did go too far, if that were even possible, you can always delete your tweet and then the problem goes away.

No, wait. Hang on. That’s not right at all is it?

No, when you post something online, like Vegas, it stays online… forever. As for the not getting into trouble, that’s not right either. Come to think of it, there are plenty of examples of people getting into serious trouble for what they’ve said on Twitter.

Yet still people, mostly teenagers, think they can do what they want, say what they want, and it’s all fine. The problem is the Internet has always been this way, it’s just that it used to be only ‘Internet nerds’ or people who browsed blogs and forums who got into trouble with their posts – like Charles Evans here five years ago, when he abused me on this very website and was rewarded with his own blog. Charles regretted this as he emailed two years later, saying that someone else named Charles Evans had done this and he was having trouble getting into higher education because it kept showing up in Google.

What a shame.

Charles learned his lesson, eventually. Now it’s time for someone else.

This week a terrible thing happened at Alton Towers and, as is always the case, some rather unfunny jokes spread around Twitter. You expect this, people with a low IQ like to show others just how thick they really are. Anyway, some 30 hours later, Billy Taylor tweeted the following:

His tweet was immediately deleted, followed by a reply to me calling me a weirdo, denying he’d just done it. I know, what a genius. The fact I’d screen-grabbed his Tweet and shared it must have come as something of a shock to professor Billy.

It didn’t stop there too, as Billy had some mates who leapt to his aid in typical village-idiot style. Rather than just abuse me, or threaten me, they chose a very fashionable form of trolling – the accusation of grooming under-age children.

Yeah, class eh? I guess libel means nothing to these kids. It will, I’m sure. Not from me though, I chose the more direct form of response – the one you’re reading, and the one any future employer of theirs will also, no doubt, be reading.

The Tweet by Will Mcnally was, as I predicted, deleted immediately – but not before the other members of his Twitter gang waded in with their comments, suggesting to others I was, indeed, trying to groom a 13 year-old girl.

Now I’m sure this was hilarious to Will, Billy and the others (all named below) at the time but, sadly, it’s a lesson they will need to learn before it gets them into serious trouble. I also don’t think, for one minute, that this post will teach them that lesson straight away. No, it will take a couple of years for that – once they realise it will be online forever – sorry, 4eva (so they can understand it).

Here is the full gang, complete with each member’s Twitter account.

Say hi to them on Twitter at:

Will Mcnally
Lewis Bland
Liam Sellers
Tom Harwood
Ben Finegan
Billy Taylor

Remember, universities and employers now check social media and Google when looking at potential candidates. Good luck lads – though I imagine Maccy Ds will be less discerning when employing someone to serve fries, so you might just be OK yet.

Darren Jamieson, aka MrDaz, is the Technical Director and co-founder of Engage Web and has been working online in a career spanning two decades. His first website was built in 1998 and is still live today.

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