Imagine you are at school, college, university, at work or anywhere with a structured authority system. Imagine there was something you wanted to change, really felt strongly about. It could be that you felt bullying was being overlooked, or your teacher wasn’t teaching properly, or your manager kept sneaking off in the middle of the day. So everyday you went to the head teacher, dean, whoever is top dog and complained. This is not fair. It needs to stop and it needs to stop now. But everyday you’d be laughed at, people would walk in and shout over you, or ridicule you. Your voice was getting louder, but so was everyone else’s. So you stop and take stock. How else can I shout louder? How can I make the people in charge pay attention to me, little old me who may make little difference in the wider scheme of things, but someone who feels very strongly and wants change now.
So rather than shouting louder and louder, and being shouted at back, you decide not to shout at all. You take your services away, you stop going to school, college, university, your job. Now, on your own you’ll achieve nothing, you’re grades will suffer, you won’t get paid, you might even get sacked. But if enough people stood behind you, and stopped going, think of what could happen. Bosses, head teachers, deans, would soon take note; they’d have to because their business or organisation is suffering. So they say, ok then, lets talk, you tell me what you want doing and we’ll do it,if only you’ll come back.
This is the aim of #twittersilence, we are gone for 24 hours; the bullies/trolls have not driven us away or shut us up, we will be back as loud as ever. But if enough of us stand together, and don’t use the twitter platform for one day, maybe the heads of twitter will be more inclined to ask what we want, and what would bring us back. We want report tweet buttons, and easier means to report people. We want people to have to use their real name and picture, and for twitter names with abusive or derogatory remarks to be banned. We want twitter to be a safe and fun place for everyone. Maybe it’s a pipe dream, maybe it’ll never happen, but all protests start without knowing what will be achieved.
Shouting back has not been working, just for 24 hours, lets try another way to be heard. It’s not about being silenced, it’s about using your voice and your power in other ways in order to achieve change.