MotoMatters.com is delighted to feature the work of iconic MotoGP writer Mat Oxley. Oxley is a former racer, TT winner and highly respected author of biographies of world champions Mick Doohan and Valentino Rossi, and currently writes for Motor Sport Magazine, where he is MotoGP correspondent. We are featuring sections from Oxley's blogs, which are posted in full on the Motor Sport Magazine website.
MotoGP’s dark side: the twits and the trolls
Valentino Rossi talks about rider bullying on social media: “it’s very bad”
Technology is usually amoral – it can be used for good or for ill. Nuclear fission can be used to power the world, or to destroy it. The internet can be used to spread love, or hate.
In the world of MotoGP, social media is being used for too much of the latter. I regularly receive tweets, also addressed to the two riders in question, wishing them dead or in wheelchairs. You don’t need me to name the riders.
This is Twitter at its worst: it’s like people shouting insults that they would never dare say face-to-face. These people are twits; pathetic, cowardly twits.
At the last race of 2015 and the first five races of 2016 we have also heard twits at racetracks, booing Marc Marquez and Jorge Lorenzo for supposedly dismantling Valentino Rossi’s 2015 title bid.
The booing of two of the fastest riders the sport has known is mindless – nothing more than a bovine reaction borrowed from the most brainless sections of the football terraces. It is the idiot chorus to the idiot mantra that you can change your wife, your politics, your religion, but never your football team, or your favourite MotoGP rider. If that mantra rings true to anyone, then they’ve been brainwashed, most likely by people trying to sell them stuff.
Read the rest of Mat Oxley's blog on the Motor Sport Magazine website.