Sorry, @mirandadevine: @catharinelumby reflects on Twitter ethics

14 May

I disagree with Miranda Devine on almost everything, but I agree with Catherine Lumby that flinging sexual slurs at her, or anyone you disagree with, is just plain wrong. Social media, too often, uses the means of playing the person not the ball and that is cheap, nasty and very often bullying. Just because we can respond quickly doesn’t mean we should do so carelessly, without thought or just common old good manners. We are meant to be civilised, after all. Surely that also means civil.

Australians For Honest Politics

duty_calls

By Catharine Lumby 

May 11, 2013

A couple of nights ago I rang the News Limited columnist Miranda Devine. I had gone to some lengths to obtain her mobile number. I needed to apologise to her in person for retweeting a tweet by Mike Carlton that I did not read carefully enough before flipping it on to the Twittersphere.

Carlton’s original tweet read: “@mirandadevine is ‘embedded’ with the Police Riot Squad, as she puts it. What, all of them at once? Must be exhausting”. What caught my eye at first glance was the notion that the Australian police had adopted the practice, familiar from the invasion of Iraq, of ‘embedding’ journalists. I retweeted it  and less than a minute later, I read my retweet and realised that Carlton’s original tweet included a very offensive sexual subtext that I missed when I first read it. I immediately retracted my retweet and…

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