Social media intern unleashes Twitter backlash with ill judged cyclist comment

Posted On 25 Jul 2014 at 9:53 am
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A Brighton social media intern has caused a Twitterstorm by apparently threatening to run down cyclists who use the road instead of cycle lanes.

kirsty bodenKirsty Boden tweeted: “Cyclists that ride on the road rather than the perfectly good cycle lanes are asking to be hit. By me. Will take great pleasure in doing so.”

This was retweeted at least 85 times before she deleted it and apologised twice.

The second read: “Once again, my deepest apologies for what I’ve said as well as to those that have been offended by my comments.”

But this did not stop her getting hundreds of angry replies.

 

She has now renamed the account and made it private.

Kirsty was interning at White Hat Media, who released the following statement: “We are aware of a tweet that one of our interns has sent featuring a remark about cyclists that clearly and justifiably offended many people.

“While the content of this tweet or any other tweets sent from the personal social media accounts of our employees are in no way representative of the views of the company or its staff, it is quite clear that this tweet was extremely ill-informed and made with very poor judgement.

“We have requested that the employee in question remove the offending tweet so that the hurt and offence it has caused can be limited as much as possible.

“While we pride ourselves on the work with social media and understanding the many nuances of online etiquette, we appreciate that this has been a severe lapse in the otherwise good online conduct of one of our employees.

“In light of this occurrence, we can assure you all that this matter is being taken with the utmost seriousness that it deserves.

“We would like to make it completely clear that White Hat Media has cyclists among its own staff, including its directors, and does not condone the contents of the message in any way whatsoever and can assure everyone that cyclists are held in very high regard by the company and its employees.”

  1. Paul Perrin (@pperrin) Reply

    Good tweet – *obviously* not a real threat – but highlighting an issue in a way that gets attention.

    If there are cycle lanes, then bikes should be obliged to use them.

    Still get tailbacks on Falmer Road and others behind cyclists who refuse to use the cycle lanes!

  2. Ian Reply

    Looking at Falmer Road on street view I would say it is too narrow, shared with pedestrians and expects you to give way at cross-streets. I wouldn’t use it either.

  3. Martyn Reply

    A Christian in Mosul has better life expectancy and social status then a cyclist in the UK.

  4. Clive Reply

    There are countless reasons why someone may choose not to use a cycle lane or cycle path:
    – It’s too narrow (sometimes bringing cyclists even closer to cars)
    – It’s alongside a load of parked cars whose doors could open any moment
    – It’s full of broken glass
    – It’s full of parked cars
    – It doesn’t line the cyclist up for the junction or lane they need to get to
    – It’s full of ‘Give way’ lines at every junction, slowing it right down (see Old Shoreham Road for how it should be done)
    – It’s full of pedestrians (a big issue on the seafront)
    – Or simply, that the path isn’t going the way the cyclist wants to go.

    The thing to remember is that cycleways are provided as an *option* for people who feel safer avoiding motorised traffic. The point of cycleways is NOT to get them ‘out of the way’ for impatient or unobservant drivers.

  5. Paul Perrin (@pperrin) Reply

    Being stuck behind a bike doubles a cars emissions. One car behind you and you are not cutting any pollution at all, more than one and you are increasing polution. With no passing places Falmer Road often has 5 or more cars in bike created tailbacks. Many other roads are the same – bikes can create the polution of dozens of extra cars.

  6. Clive Reply

    “Being stuck behind a bike doubles a cars emissions”?, Paul?
    Could you post a link to a study or some stats that explain or evidence that one?

  7. Andy Reply

    Clive – you are on a hiding to nothing with that line of questioning…

  8. Arfur Towcrate Reply

    Paul Perrin has some extreme, ill-informed views which, given that he is a UKIP activist, is hardly surprising. It’s a good thing he’s never managed to get himself elected.

  9. Arfur Towcrate Reply

    Your report is incomplete – she also said “I despise cyclists” – see https://twitter.com/uaburton/status/492251729627328513/photo/1

  10. Paul Perrin (@pperrin) Reply

    Clive check out any number of emissions figures for a car at 40mph vs say 15mph. Lots of variables – but emissions way up.

    Some blikered people will put their heads in the sand and ignore the facts – or pretend that the exact figure to 10 decimal places is more important than the principle.

    Of course Arfur Twatcase, cycling is a party politcal issue – if you are a moron.

  11. Andy Reply

    Paul, resorting to name calling doesn’t do an awful lot for your image/ that of UKIP candidates.

  12. Clive Reply

    Any links to this wisdom, Paul?

    And how do the maths work when it’s cars waiting behind other cars (as is usually the case in urban traffic jams, with bikes managing to ride past), should we be equally outraged then, when its a car in front of us, not a bike?

  13. Alan Stapleton Reply

    why do the council keep building cycle lanes then if cyclists aren’t going to use them? if they kept the roads as they were then everyone could use them and not be held up instead of narrowing them for nothing?????

  14. Arfur Towcrate Reply

    Poor Paul Perrin. His urge to spout insulting bile outstrips his ability to type without making all sorts of mistakes – factual, typographical, evidential.

    This illustrates neatly how weak his intellect is and his arguments are. It explains his stunning lack of election success and his absence of political credibility, and not just with his rivals; a quick Google reveals that even UKIP supporters find him objectionable while extreme fantasist Joshua Bonehead (sic) recently described him as “thicker than thick”. There we are then.

  15. Clive Reply

    Alan – Fair question, but it’s about giving people a choice, depending on their needs. Not all journeys by bike are the same, and not every cyclist is the same. So just like you can choose between, say, the A27, the A270 and the A259 when you’re in a car, it’s reasonable you have a choice when you’re on a bike too.

  16. Paul Perrin (@pperrin) Reply

    Wow, I have a fan club – shame it seems to be made up of twats.

    I cited a route where the most retarded cyclits ignore the cycle path and in so doing cause far more pollution than they save – not to mention inconveniencing others, but that kind of cyclist is completely arrogant (like these members of my fan club) and self centered/self serving.

    They are the facts, if you don’t like the facts – tough.

    Guess my fan club here is the entire remaining support for the Green party – no too many – maybe the TUSC voter is there too.

  17. Nick Reply

    Alan – I agree that most of the money spent on cycle paths in the UK is a complete waste because they are poorly designed and built as an after thought. This makes them unusable for anyone who is trying to do a serious commute by bike, unsafe for children to use and irritating for motorists. So mostly pointless.
    We need a properly designed cycle infrastructure as per Germany/Holland. We will then start to see all sorts of benefits. Starting with a healthier, fitter population..

    It can often seem that cyclists are deliberately slowing traffic down because they ride out in the centre of the road but there are many good reasons why they do this. Some of these actually benefit any car behind. For instance cyclists are great at spotting pot holes – if you ask why they are where they are you might save a tyre. The rest are best explained by the Institute of Advanced Motorists here…
    http://www.iam.org.uk/media-and-research/media-centre/news-archive/20215-cyclists-claim-your-lane

    Someone else’s comments on here are too stupid to warrant a response but highlight where the danger for cyclists come from …. Impatient, ignorant and selfish morons who are unable to consider anyone who doesn’t think the way they do. Narrow minds are far more dangerous than narrow roads.

  18. Sauce Reply

    This company has made the wrong decision by letting this person remain employed alongside people who supposedly hold cyclists in high regard. Let this intern learn a great lesson by letting her go. There’s no good excuse, especially being that the company she worked for is a social media company. How could anyone feel any sympathy for her?

  19. Jim Bean Reply

    I can’t quite get my head round the stupidity of that tweet. She working as an intern at a PR company, presumably having finished her 1st year of Uni [media studies?], and she doesn’t know better that to post this rubbish? If she isn’t sacked for the hatred, she should be sacked for the sheer stupidity of posting it.

    Not a very bright student, and hardly a credit to her employer or university.

  20. Clive Reply

    So you weren’t able to find any evidence of that emissions thing then Paul?

  21. Gerald Wiley Reply

    @Clive – just read your post ‘There are countless reasons why someone may choose not to use a cycle lane or cycle path’…

    I can understand the benefit of bus lanes giving priority to buses and encouraging people to get out of their cars, but if we do not have the space to dedicate cycle paths to do it properly then perhaps the naïve approach taken by the greens (and previous administrations) in Brighton & Hove needs to be revisited?

    Surely if that is the case then there is no real reason for having dedicated cycle lanes and we would be better off opening these up for all traffic?

  22. Clive Reply

    Hi Gerald.

    A fair question. Here are two answers:

    1. Not all cyclists are the same, just as not all motorists are the same. Their needs and journeys vary. So while some cyclists will choose to use the road, others will choose to use the cyclepath. It’s their right to make that choice, depending on how they feel about the balance of danger, convenience and all the other factors. In the same way, if I’ve driving from Shoreham to Brighton, I can choose between the A27, Old Shoreham Road or the seafront A259. I might hate the A259, with its potholes and queues, but you might be much happier to use it. What’s preferred by one of us might not suit the other. The important thing is that we can choose according to our needs.

    2. And yes, many cyclelanes are awful. However some (like Old Shoreham Road) are fairly good. But for some people, even the bad ones are preferable to using roads. If our roads were calm reasonable places filled with attentive drivers going at reasonable speeds, then yes, we could close all the cyclelanes and all travel happily together. I’d like that. But that’s not the case. For some people, a bad cyclepath is still preferable to a road.
    Just because many cyclelanes are poor quality, it doesn’t mean we should give up on them – it means we should make them better. To return to my driving analogy (sorry!), if Old Shoreham Road fell into massive disrepair, the solution wouldn’t be to give up, close it, and tell everyone to get themselves onto the A27. It would be to fix it.

    What d’you think?

    C

  23. ian killmister Reply

    I’M FREE
    TO DO WHAT I WANT
    I’M FREE
    TO DO AS I PLEASE
    ANY OLE TIME . . . . .

    that was a good one wasn’t it ? How about
    OUR FOREFATHERS FOUGHT FOR OUR FREEDOM TO BE ABLE TO MAKE OUR OWN CHOICES . I CHOOSE TO CYCLE WHERE I WANT . I CHOOSE TO RIDE MY DANGEROUS MOTORCYCLE WHERE I AM SUPPOSED TO . I AM CORRECT . I WILL NEVER CHANGE . THIS IS MY DECISION . THANK YOU . LEMME X

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