Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

Why ev­ery­one’s en­ti­tled to their opin­ion.

IN­TER­NET fa­mous is too easy to achieve, the real chal­lenge is to be­come in­ter­net in­fa­mous. But be care­ful what you wish for, as some have found.

We all face the heat on­line at some point – from TV per­son­al­i­ties to politi­cians, and even news­pa­per colum­nists. It’s hard to stay out of the fir­ing line when you’re on the front line.

One way to fight it is to own it, as ABC po­lit­i­cal ed­i­tor Chris Uhlmann did re­cently by proudly pro­claim­ing that the ABC was run­ning a com­pe­ti­tion for the ‘‘ most hated ABC fig­ure on Twit­ter’’ and declar­ing him­self the win­ner.

Per­haps he’s just trolling the trolls, but on­line vitriol is no fun and tak­ing it in your stride be­comes tire­some pretty fast.

It may be best to stay out of trou­ble, not of­fend any­one or ex­press any con­tentious is­sues . . . But what fun would that be?

Mi­randa Devine: www. twit­ter. com/ mi­ran­dadevine

The Aus­tralian news­pa­per colum­nist is noted for her con­ser­va­tive stance on a range of so­cial and po­lit­i­cal is­sues.

‘‘ You are con­test­ing ideas and you have to do it in a po­lar­is­ing way,’’ she has said of opin­ion writ­ing. ‘‘ When you write a col­umn, you can’t sit on the fence.’’

But you will have to be pre­pared for the feed­back.

Cather­ine Deveny: www. twit­ter. com/ Cather­ineDeveny

The comedian, opin­ion writer and for­mer The Age news­pa­per colum­nist was fired by ed­i­tor in chief Paul Ra­madge af­ter she tweeted a stream of ques­tion­able jokes from the Lo­gies cer­e­mony about peo­ple in at­ten­dance, in­clud­ing a sex­ual ref­er­ence to Bindi Ir­win, who was just 11 years old at the time.

The de­ba­cle in­spired the Lo­gies to ini­ti­ate a Twit­ter- ban dur­ing the event, but Deveny has made a strong come­back, pub­lish­ing her book The Hap­pi­ness Project and ap­pear­ing on SBS TV’s Go Back to

Where You Came From.

Ari­ana Huff­in­g­ton: www. twit­ter. com/ ar­i­an­nahuff

The Amer­i­can founder of the Huff­in­g­ton

Post news­pa­per and Huf­fPo web news­pa­per has ar­guably be­come the world’s lead­ing ( lit­tle- L) lib­eral po­lit­i­cal web power.

Pub­lish­ing feisty opin­ion pieces on all as­pects of po­lit­i­cal, so­cial and cul­tural life in Amer­ica and around the world, she’s a tour de force who is unan­i­mously ma­ligned by con­ser­va­tives world­wide.

The alarm­ing thing about Ms Huff­in­g­ton’s en­e­mies is that they are gun lobby Tea Party con­ser­va­tive fun­da­men­tal­ists ( my worst night­mare).

Joe Hildebrand: www. twit­ter. com/ Joe Hildebrand

The Aus­tralian news­pa­per colum­nist came un­der fire re­cently for a tweet that mocked the men­tally hand­i­capped, prompt­ing a rea­soned and ar­tic­u­late re­buke from ABC colum­nist Stella Young, her­self a dis­abled Aus­tralian.

One of his own col­leagues also called him ‘‘ a dis­grace’’.

Not eas­ily dis­heart­ened, he un­apolo­get­i­cally mocked the ‘‘ re­tarded’’, the Ir­ish, and blondes, prov­ing that the vitriol hasn’t got­ten to him just yet.

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