Paul Tilley, the creative director of DDB Chicago and one of the advertising executives responsible for the McDonald’s “I’m lovin’ it!” campaign took his own life recently. Why? Well no reason was given but he did it in the middle of being bullied on certain blogs. In response to a post criticising his wish to be a game show host because “you need some charm for that” twelve anonymous comments were posted insulting and abusing him. People were so hateful of him that they even started posting copies of his internal memos on these industry-specific blogs, effectively retarding his ability to do his job.
This is a tragedy. That someone could let things like that get to them so badly is awful. People have always been as cruel as they can when protected by the anonymity of the internet. It’s to be expected. He should have made a post himself laughing at how pathetic they are and showing them up, sacked the staff responsible for leaking memos and moved on. But unfortunately for his family, he didn’t and the shame of these attacks took it’s toll.
This is one of the reasons I don’t allow anonymous comments on this page anymore. Although I would like to allow the many people who find me through search engines to say their piece, there are only about 3 mature people with valid things to say for every ten idiots who want to tell me how they’ve fucked my mother last night (taken from an actual anonymous comment left on a photo). Maybe Opera will one day allow us to moderate our anonymous comments before they show up on the page like certain other blogging platforms do? We can only hope it’s before something like that happens here.