When trolls bite back: Hawkesby

Footage of the two rottweilers involved in an attack on an Autistic man in Winton yesterday....
Footage of the two rottweilers involved in an attack on an Autistic man in Winton yesterday. Image: Supplied via NZME

I irked people yesterday when I commented on the rottweilers who attacked the autistic man.

Here's the thing with opinions: they always upset someone. There are arguments either side of everything and, as I said yesterday, regarding dogs it's complex when you go down the breed track.

For every rottweiler that attacks there will be five rottweiler owners who say they're the most gentle dog on the planet. There is of course the obvious education argument, educating owners is key.

But these owners claimed they'd done a good job, that they'd been loving - and that they had lovely dogs. You're dealing with something so subjective. That's their view, the victim's family holds a different view.

And every dog owner of every breed will have a differing opinion. But here's the thing, can we not just accept that not all issues and opinions have to suit our own world view.

Accept that conversations need to be opened and issues raised in order to find resolution. Not every opinion expressed is a life or death situation for you personally.

The social media mauling I got yesterday for my views on rottweilers does however seem tame in comparison to what another couple of New Zealanders endured yesterday.

It is a reminder of how tribal and how vocal we are on social media - and a good opportunity to reflect on whether this is at all indicative of the real world. Life outside the bubble (the social media bubble I mean). I'm picking it's not.

Yesterday social media lit up, aghast, at two reality TV shows, both of which appear to be popularity contests.

Sadly I didn't see either but I did see the fallout which spilled – as it so often does – from social media into mainstream media.

Heartbreak Island host Matilda Rice being trolled over hosting a show some people didn't like, and Act MP David Seymour defending his corner after viewers were allegedly appalled he remained on Dancing with the Stars - while the nation's beloved former kids TV presenter Suzy Cato got dumped.

It's easy when emotions ride high to lose perspective. We need to remember social media is a bubble. Those who survive it best either (a) delete it entirely and pay no attention, or (b) take it all with a big grain of salt.

And that means all of it. Good stuff and bad. You can let the bubble float around you but the moment you hop into it, you're toast.

Does the whole country hate David Seymour and want to troll Matilda Rice? Of course not.

Yet it can feel that way if you're at the coal face. And actually both of these people were just doing their job.

David Seymour dancing for his chosen charity, Matilda Rice hosting a TV show. Vilifying these people for doing their job seems such a waste of time.


How your dog acts inside it's own home as a member of it's own pack is irrelevant as a predictor of it's behaviour when it is away from home, or with unfamiliar people at home. People just don't get this, and they also refuse to accept that normal means of assessing threat behaviour in fighting dogs are invalid because those dog types have developed suppression of these behaviours to give themselves first strike advantage. People even think showing photos of themselves cuddling a dog means it is harmless, in nearly every one of those cases if I just walked into that room and cuddled that dog it would probably attack. Our dog sleeps with our cat, but will chase every other cat in the neighbourhood.

Quite..don't take onboard the angry reflexives and counter them with a type of humour they don't understand: British.

If dog owners are so community minded, why do they take to other opinion, 'comme les chiens'?