The trouble with throwing stones on social media is that one day you might just want to play inside the greenhouse yourself… and your past may come back to bite you hard on the arse.


Take this asshole going under a generic name of ‘John Smith’. He started piping up in June on various videos about how I was a cowboy and that Nigel and I were wankkers [sic].

wankkers


Well, we are wankers so no surprise there, but just who is this prick to pop up spouting it off in writing?


Well, here’s who…

JohnPerry

I’ve blurred the face, but here’s our man and d’you know what’s surprising? He’s not a grunting teenager shit-posting purely out of ignorance and mischief. He’s a middle-aged man, well dressed, well spoken in a well-furnished and tidy looking house. On appearances, he’s the kind of gent who you’d see buying artichokes from Waitrose before holding the door open for you and patiently flashing you out of your space in the car park.


Look at him. There’s a chap who washes his Ford Mondeo every Sunday, looks out for old Mrs Scroggins next door and gets involved in fundraisers for the church roof.


Yet stick the frigger behind a keyboard and he turns into Charlie fucking Bronson with a chip on his shoulder: giving it the big “I am” and puffing out his chest as he lets loose a tirade on my, and goodness knows who else's, social media channels.


Now, I’m all for feedback and positive discussion and Christ knows I don’t claim to be an electrical expert or that I always get things right, but one thing I won’t tolerate is shit-posting from an ignoramus. Unlike most commercial channels, if all you’ve got for me is hateful garbage, prepare to receive it back in spades mother fucker! This ain’t school and I no longer have to put up with the thick kids just because their parents (inexplicably) figured boxing would be a good thing for them to learn to express their frustrations. If you’re coming at me with a sucker-punched dead-arm, I’m coming back... and hard up your arse.


And so, John here got a mouthful toward the end of my EICR Amendment 1 video...
 

 

Some would say I made him look a proper c*nt, but really he did that to himself and I did nothing but highlight it. The end result was that he changed his YouTube profile from John Smith to John Perry and hoped nobody would notice...


...but I’m watching you John. You’re on my fucking radar mate.


And then John goes and posts his own video on his upcoming cycling trip to Brittany as shown in the screen grab above. That’s all well and good, but if you’re going to post content of your own after pissing on other people’s work… well, that’s the point where you find yourself standing in the greenhouse. And now I'm holding the fucking stones.


Except the difference here is that I’m not going to hurl them as that would bring me down to the same level. Instead, I (literally) wish John… Smith…. Perry… whatever, ‘all the best' with his French cycling expedition.

JohnPerrycomment


And now, finally, John realises that his attempt to hide behind a name change is unsuccessful and that he is open and vulnerable to the same abuse he was happy to dole out to others. So, within minutes he deletes his account and disappears from YouTube, at least under that name. All his history, all his previous comments, shit-posts or not, his new video, his handful of subs – it’s all gone. Maybe he’ll be back under a different name? Maybe he’ll carry on writing offensive comments on other people’s videos? Maybe, just maybe, he’ll re-evaluate what he’s doing with his life and will republish his cycling video along with new content that others can learn from and enjoy, hopefully without anyone else sticking the boot in?


And you know, his video was good. He should have kept it up. It wasn’t my intention to scare him off YouTube, merely to let him know I was watching. That's what happens when you post something publicly: anyone can watch, even those whom you dislike. John abandoned ship because he was either embarrassed by his prior actions and/or feared he would take some abuse of his own which he couldn't stomach. So what made him think anyone else could stomach him? I don't know what other channels or mediums he's been active on, but not everybody is as thick skinned and ready to robustly respond as I am. The person you're shrieking at may have their own problems, they may be at the end of their own tether. Some idiot having a pop might just be the last straw.


There is another example of this; another YT account with a history of angrily trolling electrical channels and again this guy decided late last year to have a crack at it himself and upload his own video on electrical work hoping nobody would notice he was the prick who had previously pestered others.


But I noticed despite it being under a separate account that had also been though a name change. When I confronted him about it, he denied it, however within minutes and by a remarkable coincidence, the troll account vanished from YouTube. And again, all that work, all that hate, all those hours authoring shitty comments across numerous channels was now forever consigned to the ether. It all ultimately added up to nothing. What a waste of life.


But this chap’s channel is still up and his work is good. I told him he had an eye for it and should keep up the content. I bear him no grudge and I would never shit-post on someone else’s efforts. If he has learned to be more creative and less reactive, then that is to be applauded. I myself might have negative things to say on a public forum if I don’t agree with how something has been done, but there’s a difference between a difference of opinion and calling someone a wanker without qualification out of the blue.


If you’re in the industry and prepared to get verbal with someone, bear in mind that it’s a small world and you may meet face-to-face one day, or you may find something you want to contribute now comes under the same scrutiny or attack you were previously prepared to dish out yourself.


You may even find it bites you on the arse indirectly. A company I work with sponsor a third party who have themselves been known to abuse someone on social media. I wrote to them today with evidence of this, how I found it distasteful and how it may affect our working relationship going forward. What they do to act upon that information remains to be seen.


Never put in writing on social media what you wouldn’t be prepared to shout aloud in a crowded room. Also, if insulting an individual, then act as though they’re in that room. Don’t end up like these guys, scrabbling for the nuclear ‘delete account’ option to wipe out your history because you’re so damned ashamed of it.