24 hours with a swastika avatar


So this has been a pretty interesting learning experience/social media experiment. I’ve had countless conversations, my fair share of hatred and abuse from people’s gut reactions. But I’ve also had a lot of positive reactions too, people wishing me luck and hoping that I succeed. It’s been interesting to say the least. So here’s a quick post about a few things I’ve learnt from people on Twitter, after 24 hours of having my avatar as a swastika.

swastika_bw

First up, lets go through the bad. I’ve learnt that people will reject whatever you say up front because of your avatar. It is a case of seeing a wolf and running from the wolf. Even more interesting is that people are very distrusting of me. Even after lengthy conversations with some denizens of Twitter, I found people were still hesitant to trust me or treat me nicely. I received a lot of cold shoulders and “fuck off nazi” posts from people, which I kinda expected. I guess it’s like the metaphor of wolves in sheep’s clothing. In that people often look for the bad in something good, except its flipped. Like a sheep in wolf clothing, they refuse to see the good side. All they can see is the wolf, even after learning of the sheep.

Though, in the modern age of Twitter, people will often hear you out even if they have already written you off as a person. This is actually how I had a lot of the good conversations, which varied hugely. From people giving me constructive criticism to people wishing me good luck with it, I even had a few stragglers who had seen my tweets approach me to say good luck. It’s been really kind of nice to see other people who reject the fearmongering and intimidation tactics. This is kind of the point of why I did it, but it was also just to see the reaction. I wanted to gauge how strong it would be.

See I expected a negative reaction, but I didn’t know whether people would’ve just ignored it and moved on, or whether they’d actually stand up against it. I think I was pleasantly surprised to see so many people standing up against it, and taking the fight into their own hands. That was really reassuring to know, so good work people.

On the side of constructive criticism, most of it seemed to be about the fact I’m using the nazi specific logo. I made sure to pick the one that didn’t have the red back ground with the white circle, and instead was just a white swastika on a black background. I did this because I wanted to minimise the similarities between mine and the ones the nazi used. However the swastika I used kind of had to be the same style and direction as the nazi’s. This is because its hardly taking back the power this symbol has from the neonazis co-opting it to their cause if it’s not the same one they use.

 

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