Dogpiling is a tactic often used on social media platforms, especially Twitter, it’s main purpose being to harass and intimidate somebody. Yesterday saw a prime example of dogpiling on Twitter after a user posted an opinion after watching It’s A Sin which is a series about the advent of AIDS in 1980s Britain. To most people the comment was merely an indication of the fact that an actress she did not like was in the series. We have all done this online or out in the world at one time or another, I know I did when I watched The Pianist for the first time ( it starred Maureen Lipman who I am not a fan of). Anyway what resulted was a very nasty example of dogpiling spearheaded by a British actor, who I wrote about in Anti-Semitism Campaign Continues Part Two, who happens to be a “friend” of the actress mentioned. He immediately used the fact that this actress who happens to be Jewish to accuse the Twitter user of antisemitism. His words were –
“#ItsASin must have cast of 50 actors , all giving brilliant performances, so tell me what is it about the Jewish actress and anti racism campaiger @TracyAnnO, that leaves a bad taste in your mouth?”
At no point in the comment made about the actress was the word Jewish used, so why would the actor friend immediately jump to the erroneous conclusion that what the Twitter user did not like about the actress was the fact she is Jewish, not that she is not a good actress. The term antisemitic is used all too easily and it has become one of the most commonly used insults on social media. The actress concerned has herself been a plaintiff in court cases in which she has claimed she has been libelled, so far one case was dropped by her and the other plaintiff, and the second case she pulled out of. I personally had never even heard of her until I started using Twitter as I do not watch soap operas and I understand she was/is acting in a popular soap opera.
There would seem to be a core 4 “celebrities” or “blue ticks” at the centre of current dogpiling/intimidation episodes. The actor that this piece is about, the actress and her daytime television presenter friend/co-plaintiff and the mediocre comedian who is past his hayday that I wrote about before. They agitate and encourage their “followers” to attack whoever happens to be their chosen target for that day. It rather reminds me of the playground cliques and bullies that we all dreaded coming across as children. If this kind of behaviour was not prone to becoming intimidating to the point where the target feels they have to leave Twitter (or other social media platform), it could be viewed as immature. I have seen the harassment get to the point where people lose jobs, their families are targeted, the police become involved and the person being targeted suffers mentally and emotionally. These “celebrities” (I hate that word) should be setting a good example not giving the message that it is okay to harass and intimidate others. Behind their keyboards they may feel they are brave and nobody can stand up to them … I wonder how it would be if they ever met their targets in the real world.
As usual this is all my opinion and it is all just my opinion this time. I watched in disgust yesterday as a poor lady was attacked from all sides purely for a comment she made, On the positive side there were many who defended her and stood with her so she was not alone.
Chief Rabbi, Mainstream Media and the smears against Jeremy Corbyn (Guest post by Peter Gregson) Chairperson of LAZIR)