Not more #bloodycyclists: Social media intern slammed for 'asking to be hit' tweet

Kirsty Boden tweeted: “Cyclists that ride on the road rather than the perfectly good cycle lanes are asking to be hit. By me."

by Sarah Barth   July 26, 2014  

kirsty-boden-300x174

An intern working in social media caused a slew of angry responses and a ticking off from her firm after posting a tweet threatening to run down cyclists who didn’t use cycle lanes.

Kirsty Boden tweeted: “Cyclists that ride on the road rather than the perfectly good cycle lanes are asking to be hit. By me. Will take great pleasure in doing so.”

85 people retweeted it before she took it down and posted “My deepest apologies for what I’ve said as well as to those that have been offended by my comments.”

She made her account private and renamed it, but her firm, White Hat Media, criticised her ‘poor judgement’.

One Twitter user, Shotokancyclist, responded: “You're a disgrace. My brother was hit by a van while he was cycling today. Probably by someone like you.”

Another, Rpb Hayden, said: “Not offended, just shocked at the selfishness and lack of understanding. Have you ever even tried to use a cycle lane?”

White Hat Media told the Brighton and Hove News: “We are aware of a tweet that one of our interns has sent featuring a remark about cyclists that clearly and justifiably offended many people.

“While the content of this tweet or any other tweets sent from the personal social media accounts of our employees are in no way representative of the views of the company or its staff, it is quite clear that this tweet was extremely ill-informed and made with very poor judgement.

“We have requested that the employee in question remove the offending tweet so that the hurt and offence it has caused can be limited as much as possible.

“While we pride ourselves on the work with social media and understanding the many nuances of online etiquette, we appreciate that this has been a severe lapse in the otherwise good online conduct of one of our employees.

“In light of this occurrence, we can assure you all that this matter is being taken with the utmost seriousness that it deserves.

“We would like to make it completely clear that White Hat Media has cyclists among its own staff, including its directors, and does not condone the contents of the message in any way whatsoever and can assure everyone that cyclists are held in very high regard by the company and its employees.”

Last year we reported how Emma Way, the motorist who tweeted about having knocked a cyclist from his bike, was found guilty of failing to stop after an accident and failure to report an accident, but she cleared of a third count relating to careless driving.

Way was fined £300, had her driving licence endorsed with 7 penalty points and had to pay £337 in costs.

Shortly after the incident in Rockland, Norfolk on Sunday 19 May which left cyclist Toby Hockley with minor injuries, Way posted a tweet on the social network that read: “Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier – I have right of way he doesn't even pay road tax!" together with the hashtag, #bloodycyclists.

The 21-year-old was charged with careless driving, failing to stop after an accident and failing to report an accident.

59 user comments

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Calm down FFS. This sort of comment is best ignored. She clearly didn't mean it literally. Why do us cyclists have such chips on our shoulders that we need to turn every idiotic comment into a car drivers and the rest of the world are against us.

Move on.

posted by charliepalooza [19 posts]
26th July 2014 - 22:33

88 Likes

charliepalooza wrote:
Calm down FFS. This sort of comment is best ignored. She clearly didn't mean it literally. Why do us cyclists have such chips on our shoulders that we need to turn every idiotic comment into a car drivers and the rest of the world are against us.

Move on.


The tweet is too similar to Emma Way's and she had hit a cyclist. Too many people have an attitude that cyclists are just an inconvenience on the road which is why there are so many near misses, actual hits and lenient sentences hand down to drivers who have killed cyclists due to negligence or wilful bad driving.

posted by Beatnik69 [101 posts]
26th July 2014 - 23:19

87 Likes

joemmo wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
ronin wrote:
The fact is, on the road we are all Palestinian.

No, we're not.

We don't have an unelected gov't ruling by force, which is also sending more rockets against civilians than Germany did against London/England during the blitz. And then intentionally use us as human shields against the inevitable retaliation, hoping to get dead cyclists (Palestinians) in the news.

In fact, we're worse off, because in no way have we incited this hatred and resulting second-class status.

It's pretty hard to hold the moral high ground over what people write on internet media if you make spectacularly crass and inappropriate comparisons like that. Get a grip.

You're right of course. Was just watching the utter devastation in Gaza on the news. Now 1049 murdered. I thought I'd give a humanitarian donation, so sought out a charity that stated 100% donation policy. Only they mentioned HSBC has decided to give them notice to close their account because of their work in Gaza...the people in Gaza have it really stacked against them.

posted by ronin [142 posts]
27th July 2014 - 2:30

69 Likes

it wasn't long ago that perfectly 'respectable' folks would be quite relaxed joking about how drunk they had been when driving their car because drink driving was socially acceptable. Attitudes to cyclists often still seem to be where attitudes to drunk driving were a few years ago and the drink driving issue shows these things can be changed, and it's not jsut official campaigns that do this but individuals challenging others they come into contact with, so yes, it is good and neccessary they individuals who post 'light hearted' remarks about running people over are held to account on them

Northernbike's picture

posted by Northernbike [142 posts]
27th July 2014 - 7:13

84 Likes

Northernbike wrote:
it wasn't long ago that perfectly 'respectable' folks would be quite relaxed joking about how drunk they had been when driving their car because drink driving was socially acceptable. Attitudes to cyclists often still seem to be where attitudes to drunk driving were a few years ago and the drink driving issue shows these things can be changed, and it's not jsut official campaigns that do this but individuals challenging others they come into contact with, so yes, it is good and neccessary they individuals who post 'light hearted' remarks about running people over are held to account on them

I agree, but you only have to look at any of the public information films from this country and they very much sit on the fence in terms of cycling. Being very keen not to offend the motoring public, they like to infer that we're as much of a problem as the ton of metal box we have to share the road with dispute the fact that no motorist has ever been killed by a cyclist. During the advertising campaigns against drink driving there wasn't any attempt to blame the victim of the drunk drivers, but there very much is an undertone of that coming from the police and the government and local authorities in terms of cycling.

We have a very long way to go to improve our situation I'm afraid. The metal box and the murdering twats that drive them are still king in the eyes of the people who "matter"

Housecathst's picture

posted by Housecathst [59 posts]
27th July 2014 - 9:00

56 Likes

Sanderville wrote:

Her parents are rich enough and well-connected enough to buy her an internship in the meeja. They'll have no trouble buying her a job.

I very much doubt that. Many interns work for little or nothing in an attempt, in the current pressing employment market, to gain any sort of relevant experience with which to tempt a prospective employer to actually give them a paying job. It is, in many cases, "work experience" under a different name. I imagine that the small company for whom she's currently interning are loath to sack her because she probably costs them next to nothing.

So let's not go down the cliché "Oh, she must be rich, privileged AND stupid" labelling, shall we?

Perhaps better to say that she's young, dumb and (after this publicity) has some inevitable growing up to do.

TiNuts's picture

posted by TiNuts [93 posts]
27th July 2014 - 9:17

58 Likes

ronin wrote:
joemmo wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
ronin wrote:
The fact is, on the road we are all Palestinian.

No, we're not.

We don't have an unelected gov't ruling by force, which is also sending more rockets against civilians than Germany did against London/England during the blitz. And then intentionally use us as human shields against the inevitable retaliation, hoping to get dead cyclists (Palestinians) in the news.

In fact, we're worse off, because in no way have we incited this hatred and resulting second-class status.

It's pretty hard to hold the moral high ground over what people write on internet media if you make spectacularly crass and inappropriate comparisons like that. Get a grip.

You're right of course. Was just watching the utter devastation in Gaza on the news. Now 1049 murdered. I thought I'd give a humanitarian donation, so sought out a charity that stated 100% donation policy. Only they mentioned HSBC has decided to give them notice to close their account because of their work in Gaza...the people in Gaza have it really stacked against them.

If you have an account with HSBC then please close it and tell them why (Nationwide are good).

posted by kie7077 [483 posts]
27th July 2014 - 11:27

60 Likes

Put the pitchforks down, the era of the murderous driver isn't upon us. Tweets are opinions, and everyone is entitled to one.

posted by DrSport [9 posts]
27th July 2014 - 11:29

49 Likes

DrSport wrote:
Put the pitchforks down, the era of the murderous driver isn't upon us. Tweets are opinions, and everyone is entitled to one.

You wouldn't say that if someone was tweeting about running down Jewish or Black people would you, so why is it OK to threaten to kill cyclists?

posted by kie7077 [483 posts]
27th July 2014 - 12:09

61 Likes

charliepalooza wrote:
Calm down FFS. This sort of comment is best ignored. She clearly didn't mean it literally. Why do us cyclists have such chips on our shoulders that we need to turn every idiotic comment into a car drivers and the rest of the world are against us.

Move on.

Replace 'cyclist' with 'Jew' and try that again... should it still be ignored?

posted by jacknorell [395 posts]
27th July 2014 - 12:28

64 Likes

ronin wrote:
joemmo wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
ronin wrote:
The fact is, on the road we are all Palestinian.

No, we're not.

We don't have an unelected gov't ruling by force, which is also sending more rockets against civilians than Germany did against London/England during the blitz. And then intentionally use us as human shields against the inevitable retaliation, hoping to get dead cyclists (Palestinians) in the news.

In fact, we're worse off, because in no way have we incited this hatred and resulting second-class status.

It's pretty hard to hold the moral high ground over what people write on internet media if you make spectacularly crass and inappropriate comparisons like that. Get a grip.

You're right of course. Was just watching the utter devastation in Gaza on the news. Now 1049 murdered. I thought I'd give a humanitarian donation, so sought out a charity that stated 100% donation policy. Only they mentioned HSBC has decided to give them notice to close their account because of their work in Gaza...the people in Gaza have it really stacked against them.

Look, the situation in Gaza is horrendous on all sides. War criminals on both sides, and Palestinian civilians (and Israeli ones, including the 1 million Palestians living in Israel) targets. Neither you nor me should have brought that up really.

My point is simply that the cyclist-hatred here in England is utterly idiotic, and there's not even any basis at all in reality for it. It's just arbitrary bigotry and hate of an outgroup.

posted by jacknorell [395 posts]
27th July 2014 - 12:30

56 Likes

DrSport wrote:
Put the pitchforks down, the era of the murderous driver isn't upon us. Tweets are opinions, and everyone is entitled to one.

Funny, when did inciting or stating you were going to commit violence against the person become legal?

posted by jacknorell [395 posts]
27th July 2014 - 12:33

56 Likes

DrSport wrote:
Put the pitchforks down, the era of the murderous driver isn't upon us. Tweets are opinions, and everyone is entitled to one.

Check out Mr Cloud Cuckoo Land!
You evidently have not watched a driver of a car deliberately try to murder a person on a bike, using their car as the weapon.

I have seen this more than once. It infuriates me to this day that the first time I witnessed this offence, it was reported to the police, with over 40 witnesses with corroborating recollections. The police were not even the slightest bit interested.

The era of the murderous driver is very, very much upon us; as is the era of the manslaughterous driver and the accidental homicide driver, in sequentially greater numbers each. The writers of the law and the enforcers of the law know this, but do not care.

A tiny weeny defence that people who ride bikes might hope to fall back on is that the employers of such murderous drivers might wish to dispose themselves of them as employees, in the hope of rinsing off the stain that they potentially bring to the company name.

Such a hope is sometimes extended to those who threaten to kill, as distinct from those who have gone ahead with it. And thus it is with the "pitchfork sharpening" we see here.

Drivers may possibly not be the enemy of the bike rider, but have no doubt that the cabal of government, drivers' political lobby, police, courts and media are very much the enemy of the bike rider.

posted by severs1966 [84 posts]
27th July 2014 - 15:09

60 Likes

jacknorell wrote:
ronin wrote:
joemmo wrote:
jacknorell wrote:
ronin wrote:
The fact is, on the road we are all Palestinian.

No, we're not.

We don't have an unelected gov't ruling by force, which is also sending more rockets against civilians than Germany did against London/England during the blitz. And then intentionally use us as human shields against the inevitable retaliation, hoping to get dead cyclists (Palestinians) in the news.

In fact, we're worse off, because in no way have we incited this hatred and resulting second-class status.

It's pretty hard to hold the moral high ground over what people write on internet media if you make spectacularly crass and inappropriate comparisons like that. Get a grip.

You're right of course. Was just watching the utter devastation in Gaza on the news. Now 1049 murdered. I thought I'd give a humanitarian donation, so sought out a charity that stated 100% donation policy. Only they mentioned HSBC has decided to give them notice to close their account because of their work in Gaza...the people in Gaza have it really stacked against them.

Look, the situation in Gaza is horrendous on all sides. War criminals on both sides, and Palestinian civilians (and Israeli ones, including the 1 million Palestians living in Israel) targets. Neither you nor me should have brought that up really.

My point is simply that the cyclist-hatred here in England is utterly idiotic, and there's not even any basis at all in reality for it. It's just arbitrary bigotry and hate of an outgroup.

Well, what it was is this. UK/USA is kinda squeamish, so they never show full horror. Happened to click on a news item on a Chinese website. On it they had pictures of part a white phosphorus shell that a surgeon had removed from the body of a dead baby girl.
I clicked on road.cc next, I couldn't help but mention Gaza.

posted by ronin [142 posts]
28th July 2014 - 2:10

44 Likes

It amazes me the bloody mindedness of some people. The stuff they come out with is done deliberately to provoke a particular group, in this case cyclists or they are just to thick to realise that by venting their personal grievances on social media the world will read it and there will inevitably be a ton of backlash. I came across one such tweeter yesterday who came out with one of these stupid comments about cyclists and got so angry with the amount of backlash that they eventually cracked under the pressure. They deleted their account as they couldn't cope with the bombardment of comments.

posted by fennyvelocarbon [6 posts]
28th July 2014 - 8:29

32 Likes

It's a bizarre attitude to human life. I think they don't see us as legitimate human beings.

Last week I was telling my father in law how I'd just had rocks thrown at me while riding home. He responded that it was lucky the perpertrators weren't irresponsible enough to be throwing stones at cars.

scrumpydave's picture

posted by scrumpydave [4 posts]
28th July 2014 - 10:27

39 Likes

scrumpydave wrote:
It's a bizarre attitude to human life. I think they don't see us as legitimate human beings.

Last week I was telling my father in law how I'd just had rocks thrown at me while riding home. He responded that it was lucky the perpertrators weren't irresponsible enough to be throwing stones at cars.


I sort of had the reverse on Friday. I was cycling home and someone had opened the valve on a water main to let the kids play in the water on a hot day. They were scooping up bucketfuls of water and throwing it over passing cars. You can guess what was going through my mind as I approached. When I reached them one kid had a bucket and was about to throw it but looked at me and declined to do so. I imagine the force or shock of the water probably would have caused me to come off but it was such a hot day I think I may have welcomed a cold soaking. Smile

posted by Beatnik69 [101 posts]
28th July 2014 - 10:51

38 Likes

The reason people behave like this is that we now have a generation of people ( UK-states) who hide behind social media, they have become so detached from what their actions do to others that they don't take responsibility for it. We as a nation have allowed a sub-society to co-exist one that doesn't understand what taking ownership of their own actions really means. It is not just a cycling issue, it has happened in all walks of life. Unfortunately this pathetic liberal attitude that now exists in our society where we no longer make people accountable for their actions is having a truly negative effect on this country. Discipline has got to be reinstalled at schools, parents held accountable for unsocialable behaviours of their kids. Compared to Western Europe in the terms of social responsibility we are failing greatly.

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.”

― George Carlin

Cyclist's picture

posted by Cyclist [149 posts]
28th July 2014 - 12:20

30 Likes

scrumpydave wrote:
Last week I was telling my father in law how I'd just had rocks thrown at me while riding home. He responded that it was lucky the perpertrators weren't irresponsible enough to be throwing stones at cars.

I think you and your father-in-law should conduct an experiment:
1. Place your father-in-law in the middle of an empty car park, next to his unlocked car.
2. Throw rocks at him and see whether he'd prefer to be inside the car or outside it.

posted by BikeBud [103 posts]
28th July 2014 - 12:42

27 Likes

BikeBud wrote:
scrumpydave wrote:
Last week I was telling my father in law how I'd just had rocks thrown at me while riding home. He responded that it was lucky the perpertrators weren't irresponsible enough to be throwing stones at cars.

I think you and your father-in-law should conduct an experiment:
1. Place your father-in-law in the middle of an empty car park, next to his unlocked car.
2. Throw rocks at him and see whether he'd prefer to be inside the car or outside it.

Much better comment than the one I was about to write. Chapeau!

posted by jacknorell [395 posts]
28th July 2014 - 13:07

39 Likes

scrumpydave wrote:
It's a bizarre attitude to human life. I think they don't see us as legitimate human beings.

Last week I was telling my father in law how I'd just had rocks thrown at me while riding home. He responded that it was lucky the perpertrators weren't irresponsible enough to be throwing stones at cars.

I can't even grasp the mental processes that would result in such a statement. These pesky gunmen eh? God help us if they start shooting at people who are wearing bulletproof vests. D Oh

Of course, it becomes perfectly understandable if he values his car above cyclists. (You're not even an anonymous stranger behind a helmet and dark glasses - you're his daughters life partner, FFS!)

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3200 posts]
28th July 2014 - 13:21

27 Likes

Unfortunately, tweets like this are just the tip of the iceberg. They show that there is a deep misunderstanding and dislike of cyclists within the motoring community. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of good drivers out there but there are also a lot who harbour this kind of attitude.

My first reaction to this article was that the police or DVLA should get involved to suspend her licence pending further training and testing but there are so many bad attitudes out there that picking up on the odd occasions that someone demonstrates this bad attitude on social media is not going to make any real difference.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
28th July 2014 - 14:48

30 Likes

Remember that if you post on Social Media, you need to be accountable for everything you do. Back it up or pack it up.

posted by Beaufort [164 posts]
28th July 2014 - 14:57

28 Likes

I was pretty surprised when he said it and I made it clear I valued my head over metal and glass. He didn't press the point so either he now sees the world in a whole new way or he's just stopped bothering trying to reason with his eccentric non-driving son in law.

scrumpydave's picture

posted by scrumpydave [4 posts]
28th July 2014 - 16:35

24 Likes

That was in response to notfastenough et al.

scrumpydave's picture

posted by scrumpydave [4 posts]
28th July 2014 - 16:35

23 Likes

More likely he started suspecting he might have said something utterly moronic but continuing the conversation would have meant admitting it. No can do.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [288 posts]
28th July 2014 - 17:16

21 Likes

Northernbike wrote:
it wasn't long ago that perfectly 'respectable' folks would be quite relaxed joking about how drunk they had been when driving their car because drink driving was socially acceptable.

When has drunk driving been socially acceptable?

posted by paulfg42 [375 posts]
28th July 2014 - 19:01

19 Likes

paulfg42 wrote:
Northernbike wrote:
it wasn't long ago that perfectly 'respectable' folks would be quite relaxed joking about how drunk they had been when driving their car because drink driving was socially acceptable.

When has drunk driving been socially acceptable?


I would say that whilst not completely socially acceptable up until perhaps the late 70s/early 80s it was not unknown for people to drive after a few pints and only if someone was clearly completely sizzled would their friends refuse to let them drive.

posted by Beatnik69 [101 posts]
28th July 2014 - 19:52

18 Likes

It was certainly not an issue when i was younger. 'One for the road' would usually be a follow up the several other drinks. It was illegal to drive drunk BUT out and about not really frowned on by peers. It took a lot of years to reverse that mind set.

Theres always been a starkadder......

posted by robert posts child [14 posts]
28th July 2014 - 21:13

11 Likes

I think that drink-driving is still a social norm in a lot of places/social groups. There seems to be a general view on this site that it's a big social taboo but I certainly don't see this in the real world.

We probably see less instances of people drinking in town/city centre pubs and then getting into the car but in more rural places I think it's very common to have a few at the village pub and drive home through the lanes. Probably because you're very unlikely to get caught and the perceived risk is low (quiet roads, very little traffic).

It also seems totally acceptable to have one drink if you're driving - because it's legal. This seems a bit odd when you think about it as we know that even one drink impacts a person's ability to drive safely. The legal implications seem to be a bigger driver than the potential real-world repercusions to people's behavior in the main.

posted by Matt eaton [395 posts]
29th July 2014 - 9:22

3 Likes