Saturday, 14 July 2012

Outed

The dust has settled on a recent Twitter scandal. The person involved seems to have disappeared off Twitter, but I suspect he'll be back. I felt very sad when I saw what had happened (in my current job, just like in my old job, I am not online all day and always miss things and come to them later than everyone else.)

So a funny, clever, popular person was outed by a former girlfriend who posted about how he wasn't what he seemed - that as well as charming, clever and funny, he was also violent and alcoholic, and used people for emotional and financial support.

I felt very sorry for him still, though clearly he did some bad things and was responsible for his own actions. He suffers from depression and the effect of a fucked-up childhood, though this doesn't excuse his behaviour, it can give some clue as to where his problems stem from.

What was sad about all this was the way people were so very judgemental, straight away - much more judgemental and less forgiving than the girl who wrote the original blog, who had more reason than most to judge him. Her motivation didn't seem to be vengeful at all - she didn't want anyone else to go through what she went through, she wanted him to get help as he was in denial.

But people were so outraged. As though the funny, charming lost soul could not be the same person as the angry, manipulative alcoholic. As though he was representing himself as something he wasn't - but don't we all do that on social media? It doesn't tell the whole complex story of a human being.

Sometimes we prefer heroes and villains to the complicated reality.

8 comments:

  1. I could have sworn that I am online 24 hours a day but I have no idea who this is.

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  2. It was a storm in a teacup. Didn't mention names as I didn't want to bring the followers/haters here.

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  3. Unless you know the person personally (have met them face to face) then we never know anyone on the internet, at the other end of that tweet. We do get to know others more if they blog, especially if they include photos of their neighborhood and life. We usually have more 'clues' to go on as to who the person is, though of course if they were a raving murderer or child beater, they are hardly likely to confess it.

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  4. Oh no .... it's that kind of knee-jerk judgemental attitude from people that can drive someone on the edge right over. I hope he's okay.

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  5. Hello Technogran. It's true. It's just the way people reacted like he'd tried to fool them somehow.

    Hello Orla. You know it might have been a positive thing, and encouraged him to face up to things that were wrong.

    The whole drama makes you think about how the internet makes it seem that we know people when it is only a facet of them...

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  6. how are you so sure the 'outer' was telling the truth?

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  7. Not sure at all, of course. Like with anything on the internet. But different things made me think it was true. She wasn’t vindictive, for one thing. What she said sounded authentic. Lots of other people spoke up after the first girl to verify they’d either had similar experiences with him, or had been let down, or scammed of money. Plus he totally vanished afterwards – you’d think if he’d been slandered he would have stuck around.

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  8. It reminded me of school: distant sound of a big row among the popular crowd; versions of events passed along.

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