At a workshop in Adelaide last week, we were discussing the cowardice of anonymous Twitter trolls and how the cyber-world gives them Dutch courage to attack people with hurtful comments.  Robbie Farah, the NRL star from the Wests Tigers was understandably hurt when it was revealed that some low-life had made some comments in poor taste about his mum, who had only recently passed away.  Even the NSW Premier weighed in to the issue, supporting poor Robbie.

It took but a few days for another story to hit the news.  Poor little Robbie, deeply hurt by the online comment about his mum, was forced to apologise for an equally distasteful comment he made about our PM, Julia Gillard some time ago.  That’s the funny thing about the internet – it comes back to bite you because everything you say still exists somewhere in cyberspace.  Makes life really tough for many athletes who Tweet first and think later.  Or in the case of rugby league players, “thinking later” is optional of course.

At least he wasn’t being anonymous when he made those comments which was very noble of him.  Noble yes, dumb perhaps….?  As for poor little Julia, I’m sure she’s got a thicker skin than little Robbie – after all, what is said in Parliament by the so-called “Honourable” members of our community is often on par with Twitter abuse.  A podcast of Question Time in any Parliament is like a free online tutorial for Trolling 101.

Remember the old adage about people in glass houses throwing stones Robbie?  Abraham Lincoln once almost famously said “better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to Tweet out aloud and remove all doubt”.

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