TWITTER WATCH: Woke social media lynch mobs, virtue signalling olympics & suicide in the new age of selective rage public shaming


I like/love Drag Queens, they party like Kings.

I think it is beautiful that Drag Queens read to kids at libraries, it is a lovely way to promote diversity and empathy and bring down walls.

I disagreed with the right wing protestors who aggressively protested a Drag Queen reading event in Australia this week as petty and unacceptable in that it frighted the children present and that can never be ok as political activism.

I didn’t jump in on the social media outrage and lynch mob bandwagon that erupted because giving someone that petty any oxygen is more than their bitterness deserves.

The next day the young gay right wing activist who led this deeply flawed protest had committed suicide because of the social media hatred dumped upon him…

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After protesting drag queen library event Gay conservative dies, suspected suicide

With his thumbs in his pockets, Wilson Gavin stood at the front of the crowd, leading a videotaped chant that would quickly go viral: “Drag queens are not for kids.”

As the president of a conservative group at his Australian university, the 21-year-old had steered protesters into a public library in Brisbane, where they barged into a room full of families attending “Drag Queen Story Time.”

Inside, the group faced off with a sequined, costumed performer who had been reading from a children’s book.

Kids in the audience asked what was happening. Parents called the police, and a handful filmed the confrontation. As their videos spread across social media, politicians chimed in – most of them condemning the protest as a hateful act.

The next day, Gavin, who was openly gay, took his own life.

…this tragic episode has the intersectionist Identity Politics woke tied in knots trying to work out who they should cancel and deplatform first.

A lot of scrubbing of woke Twitter accounts last night in NZ as those so gleeful to join the original mob lynching quietly deleted their timelines in remorse and shame.

Twitter is an ocean of the bullied who have finally found strength online and that taste of power is too addictive to ever leave. In a post #MeToo world where allegation is the new evidential threshold, virtue signalling subjective rage is almost as important as the constant sadfishing olympics where wounds and scars are held up to the foaming public demanding attention.

As politics polarises around identity and not class solidarity, tribal micro-aggression policing is only going to get more puritanical on social media because those who need this vehicle gain too much emotionally from its self-aggrandising algorithms.

Public shaming and the visceral thrill of blood the safety of the mob provides is the new morality…

Public shaming is not a new phenomenon by any stretch, but as Russell Blackford, a writer, philosopher and lecturer at the University of Newcastle explained, civilisations moved away from it “partly in recognition of its cruelty”.

The explosion in growth of social media platforms over the past decade has seen its return, but Blackford describes it as a very new form of shaming.

“These types of mobs are just devastating for people and I don’t think those who participate in them fully understand just how destructive they can be,” Blackford said.

“One of the things that worries me is the sheer glee and cruelty that can be shown by these mobs when they’re out to destroy people.”

There have been countless examples of Twitter mobs “cancelling” or “deplatforming” those who commit some kind of moral indiscretion.

He examined a number of incidents for his book The Mystery of Moral Authority and said the consequences can be significant.

“With social media, the whole world opens up and you can find yourself piled on by huge numbers of people, often with threats … it’s a significant storm.

“It’s often massively disproportionate to the original incident.

“Any second chance someone gets comes much, much later. But that aside, there can be a sheer psychological impact that can make any redemption almost beside the point.

“I’m actually surprised more people haven’t (died by) suicide over these kinds of things. People have lost their jobs, there have been devastating effects on families, and on and on it goes.”

…French existential philosopher once said, Hell is other people’. I’d suggest, ‘Hell is other people’s social media feed”.

In an age of 24/7 immediate shallow connection we are more alienated and lonely than ever before.


  1. “had committed suicide because of the social media hatred dumped upon him”….While i couldn’t agree more with your general point…I suspect it was more than that..

    “Australia’s eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, will be responsible for the adult cyber safety regime if and when it is ­enacted.

    Currently she does not have formal legislative power to remove adult cyber abuse.

    Inman Grant wasn’t commenting directly on Gavin on Tuesday, saying: “While we may not yet know or understand the full spectrum of circumstances leading up to this tragedy, this is another devastating reminder that hurtful words and actions can have very real and devastating impacts on young people.

    “Sadly, we know that technology and social media can enable targeted vitriol, fuelled by hatred and prejudice, which can infiltrate the lives of victims and perpetuate abuse at any time and any place. A social media ‘pile-on’ can be especially harmful.”

    But she urges “extreme caution” in drawing a direct causal correlation between online abuse and suicide. “Research shows that suicide is in fact a complex, individualised tragedy with multiple contributing factors, of which online abuse may be one. And we want to ensure that those at risk are encouraged to seek professional help,” she says.”

    • At the same time we can not be controlled with threats of suicide. A chunk of this conflict is coming from the old internet sub-culture having difficulty parsing the difference between the kind of self-expression through shocking language they are used to and actual dangerous and harmful threats, and the new internet likewise having difficulty distinguishing hyperbolic spleen-venting from actual intent to harm.

  2. I think it’s probably all going to have to get a lot worse before it gets better @MB.
    Maybe one or two more election cycles.
    There’s not much that has changed in terms of lil’ole NuZullners psyche over the years really. Daughters feared most about turning out like their mums, only to unconsciously mirror them to a ‘T’, whilst blokes (those that had fathers figuring in their lives) never questioned it all – some even trying their best to mirror them.
    The comfortably off look back and wonder how they could ever have worn bellbottoms and chastise their kuds for doing mild versions of what they were once guilty of.
    Some of the peace love and goodwill to all mankind brigade were destined to become the very least of all that.
    Same shit these days – just a supposedly more sophisticated stink. Except that it’s not. They forgot if they ever knew it) that resources are finite, people can be cunts (or pricks if you prefer) when it comes down to preserving their loif stoiles, and that lil ‘ole NuZullners from a ‘nation’ that punches above its weight are quite likely the Whurl’s worst offenders. Thirty plus years of the neo-liberal religion has compounded it all and made all the selfishness, crassness, and basically shitting on Mother Nature acceptable – almost desirable to many.
    So, maybe just let it play out and let the natives deal out where the blame will lay – in the meantime there’ll always be some hideous specimens on Dancing with the Stars or other ‘reality TV’ shows to keep you entertained.
    OR, alternatively keep on doing what you’re doing.
    But yea…..but nah

  3. You will not stop public shaming – has been stories from Greece and Sparta thousands of years old. The internet has just given it a more global reach. The man was silly he got slammed, he was not protected by his organisation or by his professional care givers – am assuming he was being treated for depression. He should have been!

  4. You what works? Treating Twitter like the festering soup of vitriolic bile it is. I don’t read the Herald anymore because Mike Hosking makes me want to punch holes in the wall. Likewise, I don’t use Twitter. Consider your mental health. Immersing yourself in the hateful diatribes of feral lynch-mobs as they pillory their latest victim toward an early grave isn’t healthy. Don’t participate.

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