Tue | Aug 22, 2017

Boyne unhinged

Published:Friday | February 24, 2017 | 2:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Me hear me name call so I think it's my duty to respond. Unlike Mr Boyne's column, 'Fake news and alternative facts', my response won't be characterised by the use of a straw man fallacy on the current trend of commentators ignoring objective truths. We should see the straw man he uses for what it is - a thinly veiled attempt at seeming balanced and reasoned to mask an article that is primarily about discrediting me. My response will largely address the gaps in his reasoning and the important omissions regarding the #SayTheirNames movement.

Boyne starts off with a discussion on the dangers of the content generated by social media given that, unlike traditional media, it does not have the benefit of "verification", "old-fashioned fact-checking" and "editorial supervision". I find this contention laughable. Boyne seems to be ignoring the sensational and oftentimes problematic headlines used by traditional media. One wonders, for example, where the editorial control and responsible journalism was in the headline 'AIDS-infected homosexual accuses police of discrimination'.

On the point of fact-checking, I wonder why those skills fled Boyne - a traditional media stalwart - while he was writing his column. Had he done a simple Google search, he would have found much more information about the #SayTheirNames movement. The movement is about way more than posting names of abusers on social media.

Basic research would have uncovered the Tambourine Army: an action-based, results-based movement that is intolerant of silence and victim blaming and shaming and which is committed to justice and healing for survivors, and changing cultural attitudes towards sexual violence. They have articulated that #SayTheirNames gives women the option of naming their abusers in different spaces and that they do provide support, including legal assistance, to women who have taken the powerful step forward in ending their silence.

All this information was one click away from Boyne, but he instead he decided to disparage a movement he knew little about on the basis of one letter to the editor - the point of which he missed.

GLENROY MURRAY

Policy & Advocacy Manager

Equality for All Foundation