Amanda Palmer Takes On Online Bullying

Posted January 8

Social media expert/musician Amanda Palmer recently put up a post on her blog that has raked in 1,000-plus comments — all dealing with the experience of being hated in the online sphere. According to the post, she’s hoping to compile a guide detailing how to deal with digital vitriol — and it looks like, as usual, she’s getting a lot of help from her fans.

Singer Amanda Palmer recently caught the scrutinizing eye of the public after launching a highly successful million dollar Kickstarter campaign to fund her new album and tour. After raking in the cash, Palmer took to her blog to ask local performers to join her on stage during her tour — sans any kind of payment. The Internet, predictably, lashed out and Palmer decided to pay her volunteers. Still, the damage was done — and Palmer’s haters continued to be quite vocal about her perceived greed.

The above chain of events — along with an ill-advised Google search — was what led to Palmer’s recent post. “i did something, and i don’t know exactly what possessed me to do it, but i did it,” Palmer writes. “i typed ‘hate a…’ into google. i was going to type ‘hate amanda palmer’ into the rest of the field to see what came up, but google auto-filled for me. it auto-filled ‘amanda todd.’”

And thus, Palmer discovered a subject of Internet ire far worse off than she — a teenage girl who took her own life after rampant and sustained online bullying (yes, Palmer is a bit late Johnny Come Lately to this story). Todd’s plight — and her own reaction to her online detractors — inspired Palmer to reach out to her fans and followers, asking them to share their bullying stories with her so that she can offer up some advice on how to deal.

Granted, Palmer is sure to see a lot of snideness directed her way over this endeavor (“Poor little famous musician — likening a New Yorker writer chastising her to bullies calling for a girl’s suicide”), but the reactions to the post from fans have been positive overall so far.

The whole thing, in essence, is very similar to when Lady Gaga posted a photo of herself online following a deluge of tabloid stories about her less-than-stick-thin figure. Gaga then asked fans to contribute their own snaps to her Little Monsters site and to show pride in their bodies.

Yes, Palmer and Gaga are successful musicians, not poor suffering teens (at present), but these women have the platform, so why not offer up some kind of comfort to the people who love and follow them?

What do you think of Palmer’s quest? Do you think she’ll proffer any pearls?