As amazing as Twitter has been, there is a downside. While I’ve successfully used the social networking site to meet other writers, interact with readers, and just amass a virtual circle of cool people, others have used its anonymity to harass others.
Recently, Sherri Shepherd found herself on the wrong end of some disturbing tweets, but instead of merely brushing them off, she decided to do something about it.
Shepherd’s tweet beef apparently stemmed from a series of nasty messages form a user by the name of @DaCloneKiller who was upset about comments The View host made about Lil’ Kim. After harassing her, one tweet threatening rape got Shepard’s attention.
@DaCloneKiller tweeted, “Somebody should drag u in a back alley and rape you”
Shepherd wasn’t having that, and responded to the harasser, telling him she was calling the cops.
“@DaCloneKiller You think I should be raped in a back alley?” she tweeted. “Let’s see if the police agree w you & I took a pic of your tweet…I’M FILING A POLICE REPORT. SO TELL ME NOW WHAT SHOULD BE DONE W ME.”
Shepherd filed a police report and continued to speak up, saying she wasn’t going to allow herself to be bullied.
“I’m tired of folk thinking they can hide behind a celeb Avi & type anything they want to you w/o consequences b/c they can’t be seen COWARDS,” she added. I’m not a little 19 year olds… I’m a grown @%$ woman… seriously you want to threaten me? I’m on my way to the police @DaCloneKiller.”
Apparently @DaCloneKiller didn’t get the hint. He (or she?) continued to tweet threats to Shepherd, calling her a snitch and warning, “#DeadBitchesDontTalk.”
@DaCloneKiller also had a word of thanks for his/her fans: “I just wanna say thank you to all my followers that are supportin me wit this @SherriEShepherd fiasco. FAT BITCH AINT GOT NO MANNERS.”
While she’s handed this mess over to the authorities, Shepherd says she decided to take a stand to put an end to this type of harassment and even challenged Twitter to step in.
“I will not sit back and ignore these COWARDS,” Shepherd added. “This type of online bullying goes on unchecked @Twitter what are you doing about it?”
Cyberbullying is a serious and growing problem, but can we really police the comments of anonymous posters?