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Margaret Thatcher and the Ugly Face of Twitter


One of the less attractive aspects of Social media, especially Twitter, is for me the competitive grieving.  The announcement that someone famous, infamous or only slightly publically known has died leads to a rush of people tweeting “ Joe Bloggs #RIP”  in a rush to be seen to be the first to break the news or to be perceived as a warm and caring individual. So what happens when someone truly world-famous dies and someone who even in life was a hugely divisive figure? Well of course it happened this week.

I have to confess I heard the news of Margaret Thatcher’s death the old fashioned way on the television news.  So it was with some trepidation that I turned on Twitter knowing that the news would provoke a mixed reaction. Even I wasn’t prepared for some of the vile and awful remarks I encountered.  I know it wasn’t only on Social Media but the rush of people willing to tweet such awful comments made we wonder whether we have lost our humanity.  The internet seems to create a screen where people think they can say publically things that should never be said. What example has been shown to the little girls who tweeted comments full of hate and death threats to a young girl who tweeted that she had met Justin Bieber.

In truth Margaret Thatcher would probably not have been surprised.  Anyone who seeks to make changes, especially the radical ones she did, is never universally popular.  However the day of her death was not the time for anyone with any decency to make comments about witches dying or dancing on her grave.  In fact there never will be a good time for such comments but it will be fair with the passage of time to discuss what her true legacy is.

I’m grateful to Eveleen Hatch of Seriously PR for bringing this quote to my attention.  It sums up better than me why I was so upset by yesterday’s remarks.

“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy”

 Written by Gillian Chappell

Joanne Horne
April 09,2013 03:16 pm
Thank you 'The Best of' for putting this in such a thoughtful way. I too was sickened by the comments I read as I logged into my Social media... whatever your views on Margaret Thatcher she was still someones wife and a mother... I have my own private views on Margaret Thatcher but when I heard of her passing, I only felt sadness and sorrow for her family.

Nikki Steiger
April 09,2013 02:15 pm
Thankyou for putting words to what so many of us are thinking!

Eveleen Hatch
April 09,2013 01:33 pm
I couldn't have put this better myself, very well said! What has happened to respect for other human beings, we shouldn't hide behind twitter and Facebook to express hate.

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