This blog is dedicated to the memory of David Weintraub, who took on insidious astroturfers and won.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Is this 25-year-old a misguided pickup artist or rape guru?

 Arriving at a city near you.

Just what has Julien Blanc been promoting and making a living off of? He surely has made a name for himself.

Not everything is as it seems on the web. It can often feel difficult to ascertain facts versus fiction. Yet, when such a barrage of complaints against one person appears in the media, one wonders what this person has done to cause such a stir.

For a lot of those on social media and especially Twitterland, his hashtags certainly got noticed.

If you use a hash tag like ChokingGirlsAroundTheWorld, people will speak out! If you scroll down, you will see very strong and mixed reactions.

Well, as of this writing Julien's original tweets under that hash tag have been removed. His account is now protected. Here are a few of his saved tweets(Update: Blanc's Twitter account is again public.)

One can easily see why people were offended.

Some of the reactions came under the hashtags "take down Julien Blanc"  and "take down pua`s" (pick up artists).

I'm not on a moral crusade here, but I make no apologies for abhorring violence of any kind in relationships.

Take a look at the World Health Organisation's stats on violence towards women. These are just the recorded ones.

So, should this man be allowed his "brand" of freedom of speech? There certainly has been a huge amount of public scrutiny. He was slammed in several news outlets. This Guardian article describes Julien Blanc in colourful words. Please note that the original video has been removed.

The story even spilled into real life, not just with Twitter and social media reaction. While on tour in Australia, things got rather heated. 

Well, I can see nothing wrong with dating advice, if one should need it.

In truth, I am not keen on personal attacks in social media, and for those of you who have been on the receiving end of it, it cannot be a pleasant experience.

People do have a right to speak out. However, some very big questions still remain. Were media simply jumping on a bandwagon in pursuit of page hits? Shouldn't the real issue addressed post "tweetstorm" concern the actual sexual exploitation of women on a global scale? Protecting free speech is important, but shouldn't the safety of women trump over a misogynist apparently being silenced?

Did Blanc actually commit any crimes? It's interesting to note that he publicly apologised through CNN, though many didn't seem to believe in his contrition

I am not here to publicly attack this man, but at the same time I do not condone his behaviour witnessed in tweets, websites and videos.

There seems to be a very fine line between free speech and inciting violence. Many feel that Blanc clearly crossed a line into illegality. The classic line is one cannot yell fire in the movie house. It may be difficult to gauge whether Blanc's activities have incited real life violence against women or if his fifteen minutes of fame simply went on for too long.

Jenn Li certainly feels threatened by such a man. I find it difficult to not agree with her viewpoint.

1 comment:

keepingitreal1 said...

I would very much like to acknowledge Socrates for help, advice and editing of my posts.

As a fairly new blogger it is

Pleasure to be here, thank you so much!