Wednesday, 1 April 2015

A 10 Step Guide to Causing Offence on the Internet

So, you've been arsing around on the internet and you've managed to cause some offence. You've had a snotty comment or tweet in response to an opinion you have decided to share, and you want to know where you go from here:

  1. Was your opinion something really awful and Hitler-ish like believing that old people shouldn't be allowed to leave the house?
  2. If YES then the person is probably right. Please disconnect your internet. Or maybe email Katie Hopkins in regards to a job opportunity..
  3. If NO then your opinion must be something reasonable. But, can you see the other person's reasoning behind getting offended?
  4. If NO then chances are they're pissed off about something really strange, like you posting what your favourite yoghurt is. Come up with a witty response and wait for your fans to join in and laugh at them.
  5. If YES then you are a decent human, and the opinion you have just might not be shared with a lot of people. Start your reply by addressing that you see how they could disagree with you, but you personally feel strongly about your way of viewing the situation.
  6. REMEMBER no-one's opinion is correct or incorrect. Deciding whether the world should be pro-choice or pro-life is not as simple as solving a maths problem. Do not tell this person that their opinion is wrong.
  7. HOWEVER as Salman Rushdie once said "Nobody has the right to not be offended. That right doesn't exist in any declaration I have ever read.  If you are offended it is your problem, and frankly lots of things offend lots of people." Don't feel pressured into changing your beliefs.
  8. Even though it is perfectly reasonable to voice an opinion you have in a world of free speech, remember that some things aren't okay. Comments trivialising suicide, rape, self-harm, eating disorders are likely not to be taken too well. However making informed and educated comments on these issues is perfectly okay, you may still be met with some criticism, but remember that more sensitive subjects such as these act as psychological triggers to some people if they are associated with painful memories.
  9. When you make your argument remember to be as intelligent as possible, don't resort to throwing insults around. Also, eloquence tends to stump people. For some reason they don't know what to do if you sound like you know what you're talking about. Drop some stats in as well. Why not.
  10. All in all remember that this person probably has a valid reason for being offended, but you don't have a valid reason for abandoning your beliefs. Above all if someone doesn't like you being pro-choice or whatever, that's their problem. 
Peace out

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