In the past week much has been written about the trolls of social media, cowards who hide behind their keyboards spewing out hate. But yesterday we were given a startling reminder of just how hateful traditional media can be; and how social media can be a source of empowerment rather than victimisation.
It is no great surprise that the reminder came from shock jock Alan Jones, who sitting safely behind his microphone, viciously attacked Australia's Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and a string of other women in positions of political power. He not only said "women are destroying the joint" but added "There's no chaff bag big enough for these people".
It was more of the same from a man who is famous for wearing his hate, rather than his heart, on his sleeve; a man who doesn't need to hide behind a keyboard but is instead paid a fortune for his particularly ugly brand of broadcasting. And a man who is not alone. Just think Kyle Sandilands and the companies who are more than happy to attach their products to the politics of hate that they both peddle.
Rather than lie down and take it, the women of twitter rose up. With the hashtag #destroythejoint cleverly coined by Jane Caro, the fun began. Before long Jane and the hashtag were trending and #destroythejoint merchandise was on sale thanks to the fast work of @yvettevignando. In a beautiful twist funds raised from the sale of this merchandise will go to supporting refugees, another target of Jones’ hate.