As citizens, so much of our political conversation – perhaps the majority of it – happens on social media these days. If social media really is the awakening of a global consciousness – us all becoming one gigantic brain – then it is little wonder that this birth of a 7 billion-part “us” is, sometimes, terrifying. Like some bewildered Frankenstein’s monster, waking up on the slab and lashing out, not knowing the power of its new arms and legs.
In order that this fabulous, awe-inspiring beast do no harm, we need to establish some rules for global communication and activism, so that the same mistakes are not made over and over again. So that going online doesn’t, some days, feel like walking into a zoo that’s been set on fire, with penguins attacking lions, gnus trampling on hippos, and a couple of unhappy llamas in the corner, crying, “I just wanted to show everyone a picture of my lunch! I am excited about avocados! I do not like all this anger! I am going to hide under my table!”
Thus Caitlin Moran, who on the back of that set-up provides a guide to how to win arguments online without acting like a dick.