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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Who Is To Blame For "Cyber Bullying"?

     Curt Schilling has gotten a lot of attention this week for the way he has handled "cyber bullying". It all started when Big Schill sent a congratulations tweet to his daughter for making a college softball team. The Twitter trolls, as they often do, rushed to mock and criticize. If you don't know what a Twitter troll is, they typically fit one of these descriptions: They are middle aged, balding men who have either never moved out of their mother's basement or have recently moved back after a string of several divorces; a douchebag, college frat kid, or, someone of any age who has always wanted to be an asshole to people in person, but doesn't have the physical stature or confidence to say a cross word to anyone's face. These people have no lives outside of being acknowledged on Twitter. They are experts in assholery and I enjoyed seeing some of them getting what was coming. But is going after them the way Schilling did the right way to handle it?
     Schilling found these people and did what I imagine any father would want to do. Some of these people lost their jobs, college scholarships, and were kicked off of teams. If you are familiar with any of my work, you know that typically I defend any matter of free speech. But when you threaten to rape someone's daughter with a baseball bat, you're pretty much asking to have your teeth knocked in. But should this be considered "cyber bullying"? While Schilling simply did what I imagine most celebs have wanted to do at some point, was it the right way to handle these barbarians? Usually the type of people that do this on Twitter have so little in real life that a response from someone of Schilling's popularity gives them the same joy that having sex with a woman would for an average man. While I have no issue whit how Schilling behaved, I am surprised that he didn't expect it. Schilling is known as a guy who speaks his mind. He also started a failed video game company a few years back. Given those factors I can't imagine this was the first time he dealt with idiots on Twitter. To not expect that putting something about his college aged daughter on social media would get some, shall we say, colorful responses, is a bit naïve on Schill's part.
     My real issue is the idea that this is "cyber bullying". While I do believe that this is an issue for kids in high school and younger, I find it difficult for my lips to form the words to suggest that a former professional athlete is being "bullied" by nerds in a dimly lit room whose deepest grasp of humor is knowing how to spell the word "cunt". Schilling, just like the rest of us, have the ability to not go on Twitter. While this may be touch for a baseball analyst for ESPN, he should also know better than to read every response. I don't have a daughter and don't plan on having one for a long time. So I can't pretend to know what it's like to read those things about her. But my only suggestion, to any father, would be stay off Twitter. Or keep your children off of your newsfeed. I'll never bash Schilling for handling it the way he did, but he was not bullied. The man can obviously handle his own. So my message to anyone who is sensitive to criticism, or doesn't want to see what some stranger has to say about your kids, just stay off Twitter. You'll never have to see it again.

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