Twitter is a social media vehicle many use to reach the masses within seconds. It lets friends, family, co-workers, organizations, and perfect strangers know what you are doing and feeling based on what you input or tweet. While information technology specialists and computer scientists can figure out the inner workings to the Twitter technology, one thing that it cannot compute is the psyche, emotion, and/or passion behind a tweet. Twitter put in the hands of a disturbed or even fragile individual could be used to actually hurt or kill innocent lives.
The New York Times reported a 21-year-old woman out of Spain was convicted and sentenced to one year in prison for inciting terrorism over Twitter. New York Times goes on to report that allegedly she was calling the Grapo organization to regroup and take down the politicians. Alba Gonzalez Gamacho clearly is a rebel, but she claims to be quite normal. “Normal” young women do not usually take to Twitter to start a revolution. This verdict was the first for Spain and might be what social media needs as a wake-up call to those who believe they should not be held responsible for what they tweet.
Gamacho is not doing much talking these days. Many believe the time does not match crime. Some think a year in prison is much too harsh on the young 21-year-old for getting passionate about her country over Twitter. Gamacho’s imprisonment comes directly on the heels of a former Australian model and television correspondent Charlotte Dawson who was being tweeted vicious comments attacking her personally and pushing her to kill herself. Much of the public saw Dawson as quite attractive and many do not understand why she took the tweets from perfect strangers so personally. Dawson hung herself just hours after receiving horrible tweets. According to New York Daily News, Dawson had suffered from depression. Though the culprits hiding behind their keyboards never thought in their wildest, twisted dreams that she was beautiful yet fragile and would actually listen to them to follow through on the suicide.
Gamacho sits in prison still baffled over why she was thrown in jail over Twitter. It still is not dawning on the young Gamacho that had another rebel such as herself followed through with her orders on Twitter to go after political leaders, there could have been blood shed of innocent lives. The thought of using Twitter as a weapon to kill has not hit home yet.
Most of the Twitter users do not use this vehicle to hurt. It is primarily used to socialize to stay in communication with a network. Reported to News 13, Twitter bullying is on the rise as students of a Lake County school were selected as targets. Each student was sent racial and/or homophobic slurs to their Twitter accounts. Many girls were called fat. Principal Linda Shepherd-Miller investigated to get down to the bottom, but none of the students claim to know who started the Twitter bullying. A message was sent out to each parent warning them and to talk to their children just in case they received one of the vicious attacks. As most have come to understand about evil individuals is that they will keep attacking as long as they know it’s working. Twitter can only do so much to protect the masses from twisted minds using their vehicle to hurt and potentially kill, just like parents can only do so much to protect their children everyday of their life. A parent cannot be there every second for their child. When Twitter bullying occurs…take control…and turn it off.
Editorial by Meleika Gardner