Yesterday I saw a tweet in my timeline that mentioned rape, it was a "one liner" that was supposed to be funny.
I didn't find it funny, in fact I found it disgusting, for me rape is not a humorous subject, so I decided to tweet the following:
I'm sorry, call me old fashioned, but for me the subject of rape is never one that's humorous.
Now, I did think about tweeting the person who'd tweeted the joke, but I decided against it. Why? Because I didn't really believe that my expressing my opinion on his tweet would have any effect on his future taste in humour.
Also, when one tells an individual that one doesn't like what they're doing, it seldom goes down well, so I decied to leave alone, and take my action by unfollowing.
After my own incident I read an article about one very similar, except that the person decided to reply to the person who tweete the rape "joke". It has not gone well for that individual- you can read the full story on Read Write Web.
It resulted in him being cyberbullied by the "comedians" twitter fans. Comments ranged from saying that he was "taking things too seriously", he was a "douche", "takes life too seriously", "sucks at life".
Others took it further and called for him to be raped himself, the most common being with a chainsaw, as he holds one in his Twitter avatar.
So, not only do we have one behaviour that is, at best, questionable, but when that behaviour is questioned it results in a further disgusting an innapropriate behaviour.
It really is time that we gave it very serious thought and discussion on how we would like the on line environment to be. Is it ok to laugh about rape, to bully people, what about racism, is that ok now we're using "social media"?
My answer to those questions is no, no, no and most definitely no! Social etiquette applies online just as it does in real life. You may see only typed words, but please remember there are people behind them. If you do remember this, you'll make the twitterverse a nicer place, and if you're using twitter for business, understanding the people behind the tweets is key to engaging, and better understanding what they want from your business and how to communicate that.
Being nice & following social norms does pay off, I can't see how laughing at an atrocious act does, can you?