Tag Archives: bullying

Stephen Fry on Twitter

Stephen Fry

“Jenny Baglady Beavan and Stephen Outrageous Misogynist Swine Fry at the #EEBAFTAs after party”

Richard Dawkins is not the only one having problems with his Twitter comments. Stephen Fry announced he is giving up on his twitter account – at least for now. this comes after a twitter storm attacking a comment he made at the British Academy Awards (see Stephen Fry deletes Twitter account after Baftas ‘bag lady’ criticism for details).

However, I did enjoy his own personal announcement at his official site – (see Too many people have peed in the pool). Here is what he has to say about what the Twitter community has become:

“To leave that metaphor, let us grieve at what twitter has become. A stalking ground for the sanctimoniously self-righteous who love to second-guess, to leap to conclusions and be offended – worse, to be offended on behalf of others they do not even know. It’s as nasty and unwholesome a characteristic as can be imagined. It doesn’t matter whether they think they’re defending women, men, transgender people, Muslims, humanists … the ghastliness is absolutely the same. It makes sensible people want to take an absolutely opposite point of view. I’ve heard people shriek their secularism in such a way as to make me want instantly to become an evangelical Christian.”

Really, it amazes me that people can take Twitter seriously as a source of information – especially seriously enough to demonise a person.

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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?

Support John Abraham against Monckton’s bullying

Six weeks ago I posted a slideshow of a talk by John Abrahm’s (see Don’t trust Monckton!).

It was a calm and objective investigation into the claims made by Christopher Monckton in one of his lectures. If you didn’t watch it I highly recommend you do so.

Trouble is, Monckton is not used to such exchanges and has climbed out of his tree. His has written a 99 page “rejection” of Abraham’s talk and sent threatening letters to both Abraham and his employers (University of St Thomas, Minnesota). Asking for the presentation to be removed form the web site and demanding money – which has all the implication of possible legal action.

Now he is further organising his minions via climate change denier blogs to send similar letters to  the University of St Thomas.

Monckton can’t be allowed to succeed in this campaign. I has all the earmarks of those campaigns by Stalinists against dissident Russian scientists, or the German Nazis against Jewish scientists.

It is important that supporters of science make the university aware that this sort of bullying is just not acceptable.

Gareth at Hot Topic is organising a way for you to make your support for Abraham known. Just leave your name on a comment at his post Support John Abraham. He will ensure these messages of support get to Abraham’s employers.

Effectively Gareth is asking us to support the statement:

We the undersigned offer unreserved support for John Abraham and St. Thomas University in the matter of complaints made to them by Christopher Monckton. Professor Abraham provided an important public service by showing in detail Monckton’s misrepresentation of the science of climate, and we applaud him for that effort, and St. Thomas University for making his presentation available to the world.

UPDATE 10:30 am, July 16: I am heartened at the huge support Abraham is getting – currently over 630 people have added teir names to Gareth’s post at Hot Topic (Support John Abraham). In contrast Mockton provides copies of three (3) letters sent to the University of St Thomas as a result of his campaign (see Letters to Father Dease in support of Monckton). Some of Monckton’s supporters are starting to question his wisdon in this attack and threat of legal action.

I believe it important that everyone who is concerned with protecting science from this sort of censorship add their names to the list at Hot Topic. Unfortunately science employers can sometimes be influence by threats of legal action to employ self censorship. However if the University is aware that there is a groundswell of public support for both them and Abraham I am confident they will not give in.

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