Yesterday, The Newcastle Herald ran a story about a fight in a Belmont North petrol station.
A friend of a friend, Steve, re-posted this article to his Facebook feed along with a few comments about his low opinion of the alleged culprit, Callan.
Okay. Nothing unusual there.
What caught my attention was when Steve also posted a screenshot of Callan’s Facebook feed where he complained about not being able to find somewhere to live. Steve’s comment with the screenshot said “He blames his living arrangement”.
I replied to the comment with “This screenshot is from May. He assaulted someone in December. How do you make the link?” He didn’t respond, of course. When their oddly-constructed logic is challenged, they never do. It made me notice the thread though, and what happened next surprised me.
Another person in the discussion – Elizabeth – replied to Steve, critical of his assessment of what happened. I didn’t agree with Elizabeth’s assessment (that Callan was justified as it was self-defence) but that’s not really the point. What Steve did next though I thought was unacceptable.
He checked Elizabeth’s profile, determined who her employer was, and threatened her employment, based on her disagreeing with him. He then unloaded, across several comments, a scathing attack on her. These included comments that she deserved to be raped at gunpoint while her attackers’ friends stomped her head into cement.
I replied to one of his attacks on her pointing out that someone disagreeing with him was not justification for the hatred he unloaded. And then found myself blocked from his discussion, and when I reloaded it, all his comments to Elizabeth which I’d said were threatening were deleted. He then turned his vitriol on me, and within a few minutes, I received a message from Facebook informing me my account was suspended, pending investigation into anti-social behaviour.
I’ve no concerns on that front, and expect my account will be restored shortly.
Seeing how this bloke reacted to someone agreeing with him – abuse and graphic threats of violence – was an education. I’ve never seen it before, and like most of us I guess, have dismissed the treatment of some (Clementine Ford, Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn etc) as maybe hostility they’d bought on themselves.
This morning though, it’s morphed into something else – the question – do I tell Steve & my mutual friends what he’s like?