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Is Wimbledon always held in London? Girl forced to quit Twitter after backlash


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In recent years, social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter have been intrinsic and an invaluable part of everyday life within the media, news and even politics. Though it is true that these social networking sites have transformed the way people communicate and advertise, it has also has given birth to cyber-bullying. 

Twitter has landed many the celebrity and even ‘normals’ In hot water, with the Ryan Giggs scandal, Dianne Abott political faux pas and even a student being arrested following racist and insensitive slurs after the collapse of footballer Fabrice Muamba.

Now Twitter has made the news again after one girl's tweet caused a massive backlash attack, forcing her to delete her account.

Georgia Ford is a 21-year-old student from Sunderland who innocently tweeted on the 8th of July, “Is Wimbledon always held in London?”   

Some of you may have read the tweet in disbelief, but come on, how many of us have asked a stupid question, or not know something you're ‘meant’ to know  at least once in their lives? I can vouch for doing it much more than once. Georgia’s unfortunate mistake is she decided to publicly ask her question on Twitter.

Following her tweet, many retweets ensued and even more people took to the site to openly mock her.  Some tweeted calling her “stupid” and said she “wasn’t the sharpest tool in the box” while one tweeter claimed that the tweet posted by Georgia was “possibly the dumbest thing he’d ever heard”.

Georgia Ford tried to defend her question claiming she had thought that Wimbledon was simply the name of the competition and she had thought it moved each year, Olympic style. Innocent enough and a relatively easy mistake to make, perhaps especially if you’re not a follower of sport - but her defence was ignored and eventually the amount of 'banter' she was receiving forced her to delete her account.

Not all tweeters were making fun of her, though. Some, including financial journalist Paul Lewis, defended the target stating 'Is Wimbledon always held in London?” No. Before 1965 Wimbledon was in Surrey. So not a daft question.' Even Piers Morgan tried to campaign to get her back on Twitter.

Other tweeters mocked her further for deleting her account arguing “she couldn’t hack the banter”. 

The question is, where does the banter line end and the cyber bulling one begin? After all, it seems Georgia Ford must have felt threatened or at least upset to have deleted her account in the first place.  If anything, Georgia’s decision to tweet a question shouldn’t have been punished by the backlash she was faced with.  She chose to use a social media site to answer a question, you could argue she was being intelligent and using Twitter as a resource, though perhaps she may use Google next time. It’s definitely my first port of call when I feel the itch to ask a question I know others will look at me in disgust for (last week I googled how to spell a very simple word - which I can honestly say I am too embarrassed about to reveal). Would she have been so openly mocked if she was in a classroom?  Why is it ok to be so critical online?

I honestly hope Georgia Ford comes back to Twitter.  Deleting her account is the same as letting a thug on the playground have his day. Cyber bullying shouldn’t be ignored, retweeted or seen as ‘banter’; internet anonymity and sitting behind a Twitter account doesn’t mean you have the right to become a judgemental and often harsh critic of everyone else. You never know, your tweet may be the next Georgia Ford Question and you may just get a taste of your own medicine.

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