When ex-baseball pro Curt Schilling noticed a hurl of explicit Twitter abuse being directed towards his daughter, he approached the trolls with a somewhat head-on approach.
It started when he publicly congratulated 17 year old daughter Gabby on getting into Salve Regina University via his Twitter feed.
A variety of replies and tweets followed. Many congratulating Gabby. Some tongue-in-cheek “can’t wait to date her” jokes. Some anecdotes a little more risqué.
Some tweets and replies however… well, we’ve seen them. And graphic isn’t the word. Needless to say, they can’t be repeated here, but they covered a wide range of very bad words, and they were directed at Gabby.
And in Curt Schilling’s own words, he’s never been someone who has the “turn the other cheek gene”.
Instead of firing back responses towards the Twitter trolls, Schilling rather quickly compiled a list of the worst offenders, tracked down where they lived and worked, and publicly named and shamed them via his official blog and Twitter feed, including screenshots of their offending tweets, where their Twitter handles (and profile pics) are visible.
It’s fair to say that for the offenders that were named and shamed, there has been a great deal of fallout.
One, a part-time worker for the Yankees was abruptly fired from this job. Soon after, a student radio host from Brookdale Community College was suspended and now faces a disciplinary hearing. According to Schilling, several others had either been fired from their jobs or removed from athletics teams.
On New Year’s Day this week we published an article about 4 habits we think social media users should get on board with in 2015 (it was directed to Facebook users but applies equally to all social media websites) and number 4 was a reminder that your social media activity can have very real world consequences – namely you can wind up getting yourself fired.
It seems Schilling’s Twitter trolls didn’t read that article. They openly published their vulgar comments from their real Twitter accounts, and most presumably made enough information about themselves available for Schilling to identify where they worked and played.
The words in their tweets most certainly wouldn’t have been uttered verbally in a public environment, but it seems many still feel a false sense of security when typing behind the apparent safety of a keyboard.
Once again we drill it down for the uninitiated – your social media activity is just as likely to get you into real world trouble as your real world actions. Free speech applies online just as much as it does offline, but that freedom means you also have to accept the consequences of your words – or in this case – your tweets.
As for Schilling, he says that he’s not stopping. Some of the Tweets he received were so bad that he is considering legal avenues. It seems no matter if you’re living in cyberspace or the real world, some things remain true regardless. Don’t mess with dad.
What do you think of Schilling’s actions? Would you have done the same? Do you feel any remorse for the Twitter trolls who lost their jobs? Let us know below.