Interestingly, on Monday I wrote about the conversation about what my responsibility as a writer is, and learning how to filter and respond to readers' comments.
Last night it was announced that Catherine Deveny, freelance newspaper columnist, comedy writer, and comedian, was sacked from her column duties at The Age because of tweeting about the Logies.
The ABC website lists two offending tweets:
"Rove and Tasma look so cute! I hope she doesn't die too," she tweeted about talk star Rove McManus, whose wife Belinda Emmett died of cancer in 2006.
"I so do hope Bindi Irwin gets laid," she also tweeted.
Since the Logies, Deveny has spoken to the media about the meaning of her tweets.
She said that the Bindi Irwin tweet referred to the sexualisation and raunch culture of pre-pubescent girls.
The tweet about Rove was apparently referring to the deep friendship Deveny had with Rove - she didn't want to see him lose another love considering his first wife Belinda Emmett passed away in 2006. She also attempted to justify it by mentioning that she had written for his TV show for five years.
Prior to the Logies, Catherine Deveny has tweeted about her opposition of ANZAC Day, and referred to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as a C-word. Deveny is a regular at tweet-clangers.
Deveny is disappointed she has been sacked by The Age. She believes that The Age do not understand adult humour, nor Twitter. She believes she was merely pushing the boundaries.
I believe that just because Twitter is new media and may be considered to be pushing the boundaries of citizen journalism - providing instant commentary, news and a widespread audience, it shouldn't mean the contents of the tweets should push the boundaries to the extent Deveny did at the Logies.
I am not sure whether she should have been sacked, though I am of the belief that we should represent and situate ourselves very carefully online. You never know who will be reading.
There has been debate all over the media, from journalists, bloggers and commentors - did she deserve to be sacked, or seeing she was a controversial journalist were these tweets so out of the ordinary? Similarly to the Make A Wish incident with The Chaser, there are questions about whether comedians should be sanitised.
Here are a selection of articles about the Deveny/Logies incident:
A Shiny New Coin
Today Deveny said she stood by her tweets and they have been taken out of context.
I wonder this. How can a tweet, of 140 characters or less, clearly containing one subject and with the hashtag '#Logies' be taken out of context?
A tweet is pretty concise. And with the #Logies hashtag on the end of her tweets, she ensured her tweets were within the Logies feed, or should we say, 'context', on Twitter.
Nope, I see Catherine Deveny's tweets were clearly within the context of 140 characters or less, within the context of the people and subjects she was referring to (because she NAMED THEM!) and clearly within the context of the Logies. Her subject matter was hardly ambiguous.
While she is entitled to her opinion, and was tweeting under her own name, not the name of the newspaper she writes for, and I don't believe in censorship, I believe she has the responsibility to think about the impact of her tweets before she tweets them.
Catherine Deveny is a media representative, regularly creating debate in her Age columns. She currently has 5193 Twitter followers. She knows the power of Twitter and the internet to spread the word.
And she is most probably aware of the way Twitter contextualises tweets so neatly.