Twitter tirade quickly squashed
A Twitter account that unleashed a tirade against teenage girls in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge has been wiped clean after it was brought to the attention of police and the press.
Yesterday, a Twitter user with the handle @12andwhatisthis deleted the account but seems to have registered another account with the same name.
In tweets viewed before the account was erased, @12andwhatisthis called girls from Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows stupid, picked on a teen who recently died from a suspected drug overdose and suggested another Twitter user could be the “next Pitt Meadows rave rape victim,” adding “think of the prestige associated with the title.”
Other bizarre tweets encouraged bulimia and professed an obsession with American actress Ashley Tisdale.
The thumbnail previously used by @12andwhatisthis was a photograph of a Mountie in an Integrated Road Safety Patrol car, with a pig’s head superimposed on his face.
Ridge Meadows RCMP said the tweets, though nasty, don’t constitute a threat. Police though will continue to watch the account.
A spokesperson also encouraged anyone who is being bullied online to speak to police.
While most interactions online are positive, new technologies have given young people new – and powerful – tools to target their peers. In 2010, photos of an alleged sexual assault at a rave in Pitt Meadows went viral and prompted a police plea to stop their distribution.
In a 2008 U of T study, half the students reported being cyberbullied.
Simon Fraser University communications expert Peter Chow-White thinks the Twitter user was probably scared off by the attention.
“Twitter is pretty open in terms of its public dialogue,” said Chow-White, noting that racist or offensive tweets are rather common on the micro-blog.
“[The account] sounds like teenagers, it doesn’t sound like adults. It’s another case of social media giving us an insight into their world.”
Although some people may think cyber bullies are not a big deal, Chow-White said words matter.
The adage “sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me” doesn’t hold true.
“Nothing could be further from the truth, is what we are learning.”