Stokes Finds Himself As The Target Of One Idiot On Twitter
Everyone knows the name Gonzo from the ever popular show, “The Muppets”. Alongside Kermit, Miss Piggy, and the rest, he’s renowned for making people laugh. His original title was, in fact, “Gonzo the Great”, from his days as a daredevil. Now, Gonzo is widely regarded as one of many people’s favourite characters from the show, as he displays both positive traits and also a few flaws in his behaviour, similar to that of most human beings.
Sadly, this is not the Gonzo which this article concerns, although “our” Gonzo does use a picture of his counterpart as his picture on Twitter, and he is undoubtedly a Muppet of the highest order.
Last night, Gonzo (going by the charming name of @Gonzo1690) decided he’d openly and publicly make threats towards Celtic’s Anthony Stokes, screen shots of which can be found below:
For the sake of common decency, something Mr Gonzo clearly lacks, I’ve blacked out the expletives, although I’m sure most of you will be able to fill in the blanks for yourselves.
Now, as I pointed out last night, it is clear that we’re not exactly dealing with Albert Einstein or Leonardo Da Vinci here. Considering he tweeted the above comments with his location settings on, I’d expect him to be receiving a visit from his local police force long before he receives a visit from anyone MENSA.
However, despite the fact Gonzo is clearly an imbecile, he isn’t the sole point of this article.
The internet is an incredible place. It is unbelievably vast and ever expanding and yet, it isn’t something you can reach out and touch. For those of you who are fans of The I.T. Crowd, you’ll no doubt remember the episode where the technicians wind up a colleague by making her believe that the internet itself a small, metal box with a blipping red light on the top of it.
However, for all it’s good, the internet has it’s downsides. Freedom of speech isn’t exactly total online, but it’s not far off of it. For example, as I write this, I could type anything I like, anything at all, about anyone or anything and click “publish”. Within minutes, whatever I had written could be read by anyone across the globe with access to a laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. Regardless of what punishment may befall me in my theoretical scenario, whatever I had published would have been seen (and perhaps saved) by some. It is very difficult to contain something once it is put online.
In the same way that unfounded allegations can be made against wholly innocent people, it seems that individuals who like to make threats too have found a convenient outlet in cyberspace. “Trolls” as many refer to them, have become the bane of many people’s existence. Everyone, from high profile footballing superstars to lowly website administrators like myself can, and often do, become the subject of their attentions. Thankfully, only a minority of the threats made online ever become anything other than words, but that is irrelevant, as a threat is still a threat, and it can cause enough damage to someone by itself.
Recently, I wrote about the decision made by the Daily Record to publish an article regarding Anthony Stokes on the day of Celtic’s trip to Tynecastle. This had, of course, already been published (with different wording) in the Irish Mail on Sunday, and was therefore in the public domain.
However, whilst most people associated with Celtic do receive the occasional threat, it is safe to say that the recent threats made against Anthony Stokes have been fuelled by the story about him. Had there have been no story, I highly doubt Mr Gonzo would have seen any more reason than normal than to make threats. At this point, I should highlight that I am not criticising one newspaper or media source over another, whereas I was the other day.
The story was in the public domain before the Daily Record published it, and it had already been leapt out by many in cyberspace. For example, Gonzo was ranting and raving about Stokes prior to the story’s publication in the Scottish press.
If it hasn’t started already, I’m sure the following argument will start not long after I publish this. Some people will, inevitably, turn around and say “he [Stokes] brings it on himself”. Now, where have I heard that before? Oh yes, back when Neil Lennon brought nail bombs “on himself” because he’s daring enough to be an outspoken, passionate, Celtic manager.
In reality, there is some debate as to whether or not Stokes should have attended the recent function. I’ve listened to people from either side of the proverbial coin, and whilst both sides do make valid points, I’m sure we’d all agree that neither Anthony Stokes, nor anyone else, deserves to have these type of threats made against them.
Fundamentally, as I have said before, this sort of thing has to stop. Normally, I’m not one to cite abuse like this in articles, as I’d rather not give these idiots more attention than they deserve. However, this sort of stuff, both related to Celtic and with regards to the internet as a whole, has been getting on my nerves for some time.
No one, regardless of their colour, creed, nationality, beliefs, job, or employer, should be subject to threats. If, for example, a Celtic fan was to make similar threats against a player from Gonzo’s beloved “The Rangers”, I’d be the first to condemn it, and I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one.
Over the past week or so, I’ve been involved in a fairly lengthy debate with a fan of the new Ibrox club on Twitter regarding the FTT(T). We disagree on almost every point and yet, we have both remained civil and friendly. These are the sort of discussions which help to make the internet great. It’s never a bad thing to hear an alternative point of view and to discuss it. Whilst I disagree with many of his opinions, I respect the fact he holds them and is willing to defend his opinions.
However, when you come across an idiot like Gonzo, there’s not much talking can do. In August, when West Ham United striker Carlton Cole was racially abused on Twitter, the perpetrator was arrested within twenty four hours of his offence.
I hope we see similarly swift action from the Scottish Police with regards to the threats made by Gonzo.
I’ll leave you with one of his recent retweets below, showing, once again, that he is indeed a Muppet by name, and a Muppet by nature.