When is it Time to Unfollow?

My blog is linked to my Twitter account where I follow several other Twitter users.

I can be hard on Abbott’s policies, Julia Gillard, News Limited and others. One of my main ‘causes’ is the plight of men subject to domestic abuse.

I try to stick to opposing/promoting issues without descending into sexism, racism, bigotry or any forms of personal abuse. The people I follow and support seem to work along similar lines. As soon as a debate descends into personal abuse the cause is lost.

In the last few days one of the people I have been following has descended into the vilest sexist abuse of woman. All women. Hard debate yes, abuse No. I have ‘Unfollowed.’

This is my question. As Bloggers, Tweeters and general users of social media do we have a responsibility to keep social media within acceptable limits? What are those limits?

As an example, there has been a lot of traffic about the excesses of News Limited and the lack of truth in MSM in general. If the opposition to the lack of truth in MSM descends to the same level of excess and lack of truth what is the point?

Do we have a responsibility of looking after social media to maintain reasonable standards? The very openness of social media makes it the best thing to happen to democracy since the French revolution, but at the same time potentially the instrument of the vilest forms of abuse and control ever invented. It is not the technology but the way it is used that matters.

Do we have the responsibility and power to ensure that social media is used responsibly?

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