Cyber-bullying – what’s with sunscreen?

Credit: xkcd

I know cyber bullying is a problem with teenagers but even oldies seem to fall victim. They don’t have to particpate in on-line discussion very long before they find cyber bullying is everywhere. Even gets used against innocent people like me attmepting to discuss scientific issues.

Not that it has ever tempoted me to think of suicide – age and maturity is usually accompanied by thick skin.

Mind you, my age does put me at a disdavantage – I actually don’t understand some of the abuse I get. The words are often unfamiliar, or they have different meaning to what I am used to.


A new one I found recently is “sheeple” – it seems to be used a lot by anti-fluoridation and anti-vaccination activists when they talk about people like me. I had to look it up. Here’s what I found out:

It is a term of derision for:

people who tend to follow the majority in matters of opinion, taste, etc.

OK but it must be more if used derisively. This is more like it :

Term used by the newly enlightened to describe people who “don’t get it” according to the user. A way to put down other people based upon totally subjective criteria.”

Wikipedia says:

“The term is used to describe those who voluntarily acquiesce to a suggestion without critical analysis or research.”

Yes, that might be the charge the abuser is trying to convey – but I usually find it is the abusers who has avoided “critical analysis or research.”

Rational Wiki seems to hit the nail on the head. They say of sheeple:

“It is most commonly used by cornered cranks who are running out of false facts or have had all their ‘evidence’ debunked, or, sometimes in place of conspiracy theory evidence in a last ditch attempt to substitute actual evidence. The irony in this is that that most conspiracy nuts that whip this word out are commonly, blindly following a stupid theory without having even a smidge of evidence supporting it.”

But what is it with “sunscreen?”

Then there is the guy who declared I am a pedophile! Isnt that libel?

He also claims my “heroes are Harold Hodge, Robert Kehoe, Edward Bernays, and Josef Mengele”. Now that last name rings a bell but I have never heard of the others, I really can’t be bothered looking them up.

But this one really has me stumped. Recently he claimed:

“Ken Parrot is so stupid he drinks sunscreen.”

Yes, I know, the misspelling of my name is juvenile. But what is it with sunscreen? I just don’t get it. How the hell has “sunscreen,” or the drinking of it, become a term used by cyber bullies?

5 responses to “Cyber-bullying – what’s with sunscreen?

  1. Reblogged this on Arkarbor and commented:
    Bernays is probably worth pursuing, while not directly responsible for, he is the man that made persuasion and influence an art form. Drawing on the behavioural sciences from biblical times, through Machiavelli and Freud and resulting in Harlow and Skinner and more. He is the contemporary godfather of getting people to believe what isn’t and deny what is. Definitely worth getting to know.


  2. Brendan O’Neill on Facebook today, sums up my views on this

    “Dear Egypt, Sorry we can’t make a fuss about your recent massacres, like we did last time, only some well-known British women have been insulted online and we must urgently attend to that instead. Yours sincerely, The Twitterati”


  3. I ran into the sunscreen thing too. we had a fluoride debate in Portland OR last Mayy. The antis won. sigh. Anyway, the premise is specific to the fluoride issue and not a general use for cyber bullying or trolling. The suggestion is that fluoride is only effective topically, and toxic when ingested. So putting fluoride in water is likened to drinking sunscreen to protect your skin.


  4. I think you must be right, David. At least it seems logical. But one never knows these days.


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