Annemarie Dooling, known as TravelingAnna on Twitter, recently texted updates on a bank robbery and its aftermath for which she happened to be on premises (“police just arrived. maybe theyll let me go now”). As the Staten Island Advance (her hometown paper, and a former employer) reports, this “sparks Internet frenzy,” with coverage at popular sites.
Unfortunately the coverage hasn’t been completely positive.
“They’re really mean,” she tells the Advance about Gothamist commenters to her story. “The one that said I should fall in a manhole? And I’m the worst person ever?”
Dooling made the mistake of entering that fray herself, drawing further abuse (“Even worse is your apparent vanity, ego surfing to Gothamist just to see and comment on a story about yourself”). Though she did have some defenders (“What fucking business is this of yours, jackass?”), Dooling has apparently soured on social media and now requires permission for access to her Twitter feed, though you can search her to follow the ongoing fights (“They also make cameras with wide lenses to capture heads as large as your own, but seems you passed on that”).
Even the Advance commenters are mostly hostile, albeit in a more Staten-Islandish way (“THATS A FACE ONLY A MOTHER CAN LOVE”). We consider this, like the textwalking-girl-who-fell-in-a-manhole story, a symptom of our mean, low era. And look, Ma, now we’re part of it!
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on July 14, 2009