I posted the other day about how a load of SF fans managed to cyberbully Jonathan Ross out of doing a free gig presenting the Hugo Awards and the World SF Convention in London this August. One of the reasons constantly being bleated out whas that the very, mere presence of Ross would bring down hordes upon hordes of tabloid press and give the convention and the community the ‘wrong sort of exposure’.
Well, after a weekend where fans assumed Ross was an enormous racist and would tear into ‘any fat people’ (remember this point) and wasn’t ‘one of them’, even though Ross has a connection to SF/fantasy going back to the mid-80’s, not to mention his wife Jane Goldman has already won a Hugo Award, the press have picked up the weekend’s antics on Twitter because even though there’s a major international incident in the Ukraine the press still have the time to pay attention to celebrities being bullied by geeks on social media.
Alison Flood of The Guardian maintains that paper’s current standards by cutting and pasting other people’s work and Tweets, while The Express decides to take the same route as the Guardian while it’s down to The New Statesman to actually nail some of the problems with the fans response, not to mention highlight the rather devastating reply from Ross’s daughter to author Seanan McGuire.
McGuire’s response is of backtracking with but this is after Jane Goldman pointed out what should be obvious.
If Ross had presented the awards there’d not be half this coverage. Instead the world of SF looks sad, insular and ultimately petty. It’s a remarkable thing that when a group-mind starts work (as Twitter often is) then it’s hard to stop but in this case, a man (albeit a celebrity) was bullied and slandered by people being afraid of being bullied and slandered. It’d be hilarious if it wasn’t so bloody sad.