Scotland Referendum lessons:Taking on haters online

Posted on September 20, 2014 10:19 am

Yesterday, many people were focusing on the independence referendum in Scotland that ended with defeat for separatists and a thumping win for unionists.Depending on which you sided, Scotland’s referendum was a symbol of everything wrong with young generation today. To the Internet mob who called No campaign a “robbers campaign”, “fuckers” and “mindless” online for supporting the wrong political path for Scotland, the majority who are young looked like airheads whose life revolves around hatred and revenge. Oh boy, did they pick on the wrong opinion? The Yes and No campaign gave as good as they got, in online rants that over the last three months had become celebrated as much for their kick-in-the-crotch deadliness as for their foul-mouthed wit. Depending on what makes you angry, Internet grapplers who fights dirty, or a symbol of everything that is wrong with young generation online these days. The Yes campaigners had a list of feminist avenger slamming down No camp chauvinist maggots who were seen as sympathisers of the south of the border leadership, and plenty of spokesman and women for anyone criticised for being on the Yes camp and not having the good sense to be ashamed of distorted facts. For young Scottish voters aged under 25 years online, referendum was a middling battle between them(digitals) and dinosaurs(pensioners).

That thinking among the young, deliberately artificial and attention-getting, paired with how modern politics revels in unabashedly shallow pursuits online, is why the platform has become a magnet for “haters”, and paradise for people who make it their life’s mission to put others down.“Oh, I love my haters,” a No camp supporter declared, on twitter.“I love and hate the Yes camp,” she clarifies. A Yes supporter responded by tweeting “No one should be bothered by a hater because a successful person will not have the time to write nasty things online, they have better things to do.” In one of the most eye catching post, a Yes supporter had asked readers for caption ideas for a caricature of a No team political figure. A torrent of vitriol, much of it denigrating the leader’s looks, intelligence and morals, followed.A Yes campaigner defended their actions by responding to those who felt they were excessive and shamelessly the leader said she was standing up to bullies from south of the border. In one of the many blogs supporting unionist continuity, a blogger wrote that the bile poured on No camp and its supporters was a political loss insecurity issue, and a personal one. Another blog had become familiar with the breed of supporters who gets a kick out of denigrating opponents.

Most of them would snipe anonymously online, saying things they would never say to a personal’s face in real life.“It comes from the fact that most of them were confident and opinionated. And vain. I am not saying they are attracted to No camp, but they must have been humiliated by our campaign. They are intimidated,” one blogger wrote after results were announced on the wee hours of friday morning. Another blogger wrote that “There are Scottish people online who never dared express any opinion, who just post nothing political. These guys love no campaign. Those Yes campaigners will never humiliate us.” There was plenty to learn about how deeply rooted hatred has shifted online during the Scottish referendum campaign. However, none of the online hatred surfaced in real life and am one of those who believes such are cowards acts. While most of Yes and No camps detractors’ identities are secret, their life is the opposite. It was a breed of online wannabes who makes a living from a life spent in a glass bubble. When they live as they will do now that voting is over, flaws are going to come out anyway. On the Internet, people will always try to find things out. It is almost impossible to hide. Someone will dig it out. In a nutshell, the self-expression online during Scotland independence provided lessons to young and old alike. No doubt online content became a celebration of everything from raw content produced or written in a breathlessly mood-swinging tones by both Yes and No camps.

Contador Harrison