Twitter, a lot of people don’t use it, some do and loathe it, but I generally love it. Where else can you potentially directly interact with the great and the good in your world? I was quite excited that Alastair Stewart of ITV news fame retweeted Star Sports’ Ebony Horse Club tweet. Ben topped that by telling me ‘Shaznay from All Saints’ liked a tweet of his, so there you go, interaction with the otherwise unobtainable is a huge plus. In the racing world we are very lucky it’s even easier to get in touch with the movers, shakers and just plain knowledgeable in the game, great stuff.
What’s not been so great in recent times has been the rather putrid pong in the twittersphere that we all have to share. The cheery and not so cheery, but healthy, exchange of views between people with opinions, frequently violated by anonymous accounts spewing forth bile, often vile, targeting individuals. Parodies of real people and variations of already banished accounts bombarding with apparent impunity intent on at best belittling, and at worst ruining the lives of their targets.
Then all was calm.
What happened? Well I’m not quite sure, it seems that there has been a huge open season on Trolls. The biggest head to roll, the holier than thou, ‘King’ of the trolls, at least in my line of vision was an account name which itself was a direct attack on a real person. Did he jump or was he pushed? Either way his snide attacks on anyone ‘foolish’ enough to celebrate a winner, after it’s won (is there a better time?) have vanished. Similarly, other nastier and wholy more sinister accounts have gone too, it seems as if almost overnight, the contemptable rotten stench that’s permeated racing interaction in recent months has dissipated, and long may the fresh air last.
You can make things calmer still you know.
To a lesser extent, there are people that you follow that don’t half go on a bit. They aren’t blocking material and you don’t even really want to unfollow them because there’s a chance they might notice. Besides, you know that underneath it all they are OK really, you just don’t want to see their repetitive ranting every time you sit down for a coffee break and log on.
Here’s a tip for those that don’t know, the ‘mute’ button is your friend.
There are two ‘mute’ options, for a more peaceful twitter life with none of the above offended you can ‘mute’ accounts. It’s the diplomatic way where everyone wins. You still ‘follow’ them, but don’t see what they post. They can rant and rave about their chosen topic to their heart’s content, completely oblivious that you’re oblivious to it. Pure genius, it’s like leaving them to have a row with themselves in an empty room. Let’s face it, there’s always someone on any given day that deserves that fate.
Even better, with a wider-casting net, you can ‘mute’ words, so far I’ve added three, Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn, simply because I don’t talk politics on-line and those two figure in the most hysterical in a not funny way, threads I kept finding myself an unwilling witness to. The other? ‘Commission Agents’
Simon Nott is author of:
Skint Mob! Tales from the Betting Ring