When Social Media Goes Viral

Early last week, 2 girls were filmed on a bus. Have you heard this story? They were filmed abusing – verbally and physically – an elderly gentleman who had asked them to please stop swearing. The “ferals” as they’ve been labelled by social media, were foul mouthed and behaving poorly after being at the Murwillumbah Races all day. To make matters worse, the gentleman that was attacked is partially blind and couldn’t even tell how many of them there were attacking him, because he can’t see.

The video, filmed by a 13 year old girl, went viral instantly on Facebook. Even the Gold Coast Bulletin had a status on their FB page saying the ferals needed to be “hunted down.” That lead to all kinds of comments as well as other pages such as Meanwhile In Australia picking up on the incident.

While I don’t condone what the girls did, and I do believe there should be punishment, I don’t think it is up to the public to decide what that punishment should be. Furthermore, some of the comments the brave stupid people hiding behind their computers made are just as violent if not more so than what these girls did on the bus. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.

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This guy manages to insult every Gold Coast girl. What a wanker. And he can’t even tell the difference between there and they’re. Double wank.

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This woman may appear to be happy and smiley in her profile pic, but judging by her language, don’t cross her in a dark alley. Takes a gronk (???) to know a gronk?

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I can’t even repeat what this person has to say. Sure, blame the parents right away. Because clearly you know these girls, their parents, how they were raised and everything about the “feral pigs.” With that language, I’d hazard a guess that Jaye is just as feral as these girls.

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Once again, another happy family profile pic, but big tough talker and also doesn’t know the difference between your and you’re. That really irritates me. “If you think you’s are tough.” I wonder how tough this Reenee-Jee is when she steps out from behind her computer?

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Another blame-game player. Blame the government for giving kids too many rights! Another conclusion jumped to.

I’ve seen, read and heard far worse comments about these two girls. I just picked a handful of ones from the particular page I was reading. I think it’s disgusting that people can say things like this and not see that it makes them just as bad as the two girls.

As much as I would love to defend my child if he was being bullied, I don’t think bullying bullies is the right answer.

I don’t think local newspapers should put the wrods “hunt down the ferals” in their publication or on their FaceBook page.

People are calling for the maximum penalty, which for assault I can’t imagine is very much prison time. Let’s face it, we have one of the softest justice systems around. I feel like volunteering their time with the elderly or those less fortunate could be a better punishment.

Regardless, we are not the judge nor the jury and we need to let the police and the justice system do their job.

It seems we are pretty quick to forget what everyone was writing about just last week – Charlotte Dawson, bullying, depression, suicide. Yes these girls did the wrong thing, but people are calling for them to be shot, raped, beaten. It’s just unacceptable and it makes me worry about what my son will deal with in 10 years or however long I can keep him protected from social media for.

Do you worry about how out of control social media can get?

Linking up with Jess for IBOT, because, well, it’s what we do on Tuesdays!


10 thoughts on “When Social Media Goes Viral

  1. There is a real issue with the aggression of social media, however, I have a bigger issue that people think it’s okay to beat a complete stranger up for simply existing. I don’t understand people go out and king hit someone, and I don’t understand that people can decide to beat up someone on a bus. For no reason at all except their own pleasure. How have we come to this society?

  2. Oh my LORD! The violent hypocrisy is just breath-taking. I knew nothing about any of this and unfortunate as this event was, the backlash could be even worse, because it is goes on so much longer. Couldn’t agree with you more. Hypocritical, stereotypical, angry pitchfork brigades are alive and well. 😦

  3. Wow I did not hear about this, but am not surprised by all the tough talk as people seem to go nuts online thinking they are safe etc. bullying like this online is out of control. Deb xx

  4. This is when social media scares me, the pack mentality can be brutal.
    But, I saw the vision, and it brought me to tears. I’m very glad they’ve both been arrested, now hope the justice system has the guts to deal with them, as it should.

  5. When I saw that story, I just put it down to another case of too much alcohol. I’m incredibly saddened by the binge drinking culture that is so rife amongst our nation. I can’t help but be reminded of the words of a guy who lived about 2000 years ago: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” ….

    Funnily enough, I saw something in the Courier Mail today from one of the “feral” girls brothers, sticking up for their sister and saying that nobody knew how the older man had provoked the attack. I don’t know if her provoked it or not, but interesting to see there is always an other side …

    Visiting today from #team IBOT xxx

  6. Such a great post Aroha, I seem things coming up in my FB feed all the time that make me almost instantly switch it off. People can really get quite abusive, ranty and rude and think that their words and insults are protected in the magic of social media. I really think it is a problem that as a whole society we need to address. As for keeping our little ones away from social media- for as long as possible I say!

  7. Great post. Yes, what these girls did was disgusting and they should be punished accordingly but I can’t believe the things I have seen and that you have shared here. I don’t understand how people think it is okay to say such things? Why do they not see their own hypocrisy?

  8. These comments are disgusting Aroha and as bad as the girls actions seem to be, there are no excuse for such comments. This is a really provoking post – I didn’t get anything like this is my FB feed and I have to say I’m shocked.

  9. I don’t agree at all with the culture that seems to condone saying that people deserve to be punched, raped or killed. I also don’t believe the story that the family of one of the girls is trotting out about there being more to the story. Violence never solves anything and I fail to see what a blind 77 year old could have possibly done to provoke such a vicious attack. I hope that they get a decent sentence, but I don’t wish them harm, that makes me no better than they are.

    p.s gronk is another word for slut, trash, skank etc.

  10. It really is so sad that anyone feels they have the right to judge another human being. Granted there is never a justifiable reason to attack a disabled old man for asking you to watch your language, but there’s never a justifiable reason for this kind of backlash either. It makes me sad that people think it’s ok.

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