You know there’s a bashing Richard Dawkins trend going on within the atheist blogosphere — most of it is Horseman Envy, but even some people who are not jealous have joined the Dawkins-bashing frenzy.
The guy can’t even tweet a fact without having a shitstorm coming his way. A common request is the ridiculous and patronizing idea that Dawkins should leave Twitter.
This I don’t get: why would anyone try to get Dawkins off Twitter? Everyone’s entitled to not like what he says, but to have him run his tweets by a handler or asking him to leave Twitter is just absurd — he is supposed to change the way he tweets because you don’t like how he does it or what he says?
No one is forced to follow Dawkins, no one is forced to like, fav or RT what he tweets and no one is forced to agree with him. I disagree with all kinds of people all the time on Twitter and I don’t go about asking them to give up their handles or to have them chaperoned.
Hemant Mehta has conveniently summed up everything wrong with the have-Dawkins-leave-Twitter crowd:
For people who don’t follow Dawkins on Twitter, which I do (and have for a long time), here’s how he tends to operate: He’ll ask questions he doesn’t know the answers to. He assumes people won’t take him out of context. He thinks they’ll try to educate him if he’s wrong (and not simply get offended by what he says). He retweets just about anyone who praises him. He doesn’t always bother looking things up for himself, hoping someone on Twitter will just point him in the right direction.
So what’s wrong with asking questions you don’t know the answers to? Is Dawkins supposed to be a dick and start only asking questions he knows the answers to?
And what’s so wrong about assuming people won’t take him out of context? The wrongdoing is taking someone out of context, not being on the receiving end of such a behavior.
And he retweets anyone who praises him, so what? That’s his prerogative — it’s his Twitter after all.
If you don’t like what Richard Dawkins tweets, or what he thinks, or how he sums up long thoughts in 140 characters, or you are too dumb to figure out the obvious, block him or unfollow him; but tone-policing him and trying to shut him up or have his Twitter closed or PC-approved amounts to censorship and that’s more of a bullies’ thing than a self respecting skeptic’s.
By the way, if you liked this post, I invite you to follow me and Richard Dawkins on Twitter.