Bill Whittle says he thinks Twitter killed Andrew Breitbart because it let so many toxic people send their poison his way and he took them on directly.
I was worried about just that problem for Andrew and spoke to him about it at CPAC 2010. Re-tweeting tweets that are especially toxic or looney does nothing to stop their senders because they do not feel shame or remorse about their actions — instead they feel a gleeful righteousness and feed on the pain they cause like vampires. It’s like trying to kill starfish by chopping them into five pieces and throwing them back in the ocean. Starfish can regenerate their limbs, so what that does is give you five times more starfish. (The things you learn from the Discovery Channel.) So re-tweeting multiplies your enemies, it does not dismay or destroy them.
What to do?
You destroy darkness by turning on the light.
I told Andrew that I wanted his permission to start a hashtag that I would use whenever I saw him retweeting tweets attacking him. I wanted his permission because doing something like that looks like sucking up. I wanted him to know that I was genuinely expressing love for him. I told him I was concerned about his heart and wanted to know how he would feel about my doing that. He told me he would love it! He said he got pounced on wherever he went by people who wanted to argue with him, so he was constantly embattled. He told me that no one really backed him up with that kind of loving support. (Even though he always leapt to the defense of others.) Again, he said he would love it.
So what I did when I saw Andrew re-tweeting especially toxic tweets was to send him tweets with the hashtag #wol, for “wave of love,” and tell him I was sending him a wave of love. Sadly, I couldn’t keep up, and I couldn’t get anyone else to pick up the meme, and I stopped trying far too soon.
However, now I would like to propose to my fellow bloggers and conservatives that we come up with a better way on Twitter to surround any one of our number who falls under mass attack on Twitter with an invincible shield. I’m especially concerned for Gov. Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin. What I suggest is that instead of retweeting any toxic tweets, we bombard their sender with tweets of support for the person who is their target. Here’s the hashtag I propose and how I propose to do it:
@ToxicLeftist, you have generated a #waveoflove for @SarahPalinUSA (or @michellemalkin or @AnnCoulter). BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!* #tcot #tlot
Which comes out on Twitter as follows:
— Cynthia Yockey (@conservativelez) March 4, 2012
*There’s only so gracious one needs to be. Feel the schadenfreude.
Dear gentle readers and fellow conservative bloggers, what do you think?
Update, 3/4/12, Sun.: Thank you, Instapundit, for the link (I urge dear gentle readers not sent by Instapundit to read his post, too), and I welcome Instapundit readers.
Update, 3/4/12, Sun.:
Not for nothing, the #waveoflove for our conservative champions on Twitter complies with Rules 5 and 6 of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals:
Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. It also infuriates the opposition, who then react to your advantage.
So, regarding “who then react to your advantage”: We just have to do this enough to make it a trending topic a few times to be able to force the mainstream media to cover it. How sweet will that be?
Rule 6: A good tactic is one your people enjoy. If your people are not having a ball doing it, then there is something very wrong with the tactic.
See above: BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
And don’t be worried that Rule 13 says the point of the attack is to smoke out the target’s supporters to take them down, too:
Rule 13: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. As soon as you zero in and freeze your target and carry out your attack, all of the “others” come out of the woodwork very soon. They become visible by their support of the target.
Don’t worry, not only because we will have a #waveoflove for you, too, but also because of …
Rule 12: The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative. You can not risk being trapped by the enemy by his sudden agreement with your demand and saying “You’re right, we don’t know what to do about this issue, now you tell us.”
They don’t have one and will never have one, as Friedrich Hayek explained in his 1945 book, The Road to Serfdom. You can download the free Reader’s Digest condensed version in pdf here.
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