Peter Tweeters Exposé

swirl

Thanks to the Peterborough Examiner for reporting the story.

swirl

Before we get off on the wrong foot, it’s important to provide a dictionary definition of the word exposé so we’re all on the same page as you read this article.

An exposé is a public report of the facts about a situation, especially one that is shocking … a public accounting that reveals the true, objectionable nature of someone or something … from the Latin word expositus which means ‘put or set out.’

Wednesday (February 27) is Pink Shirt Day.  It’s a day to stand up against bullying.  Unfortunately, not everyone is getting the message yet.

Back in 2007, a high school in Cambridge, Nova Scotia was forever changed by the positive actions of two Grade 12 students who witnessed a Grade 9 boy being bullied, and stood up against the bullying.  The Grade 9 student had worn a pink polo shirt on his first day at the high school, and he was threatened with physical violence as well as called a homosexual which was meant to be an insult to the young student.

The two Grade 12 students went so far as to go to a local discount store and purchase 50 pinks shirts which they and their friends wore to school the following day, creating what these two boys referred to as a “sea of pink.”  But it wasn’t just those 50 students wearing pink.  With the same speed that bullying takes off, so did the anti-bullying, and hundreds of students showed up at school that day wearing pink shirts!

It’s this kind of initiative … this kind of awareness … that will change the world for the better.

Now imagine my shock and utter surprise when I learned about a bullying category being celebrated in the local Peter Tweeter Awards, an awards show that is supposed to celebrate “shining the spotlight on people who are helping bring the online community together.”

Peter Tweeter Awards 2013

Don’t believe it?  I couldn’t believe it either but there it was when I clicked on the link provided by KawarthaNOW on their Facebook page!

Peter Tweeter Awards 2013 Link from KawarthaNOW
And so, who is responsible for the Peter Tweeter Awards?  It appears to be #Petertweeter Chair and Small Print owner, Donald Fraser.

Peter Tweeter Contact Info

His website claims that he’s a businessman who has “a decade of communications planning and delivery, he has the experience and connections needed to successfully garner attention for your programs and events” and he most assuredly garnered my attention with Category 17 in this year’s Peter Tweeter Awards!

And now he’s garnering the attention of my readers, visitors, subscribers, followers and more.

So on Pink Shirt Day especially, when people are standing up against bullying all over the world, know that there’s so much more work that needs to be done right here in Peterborough than you had perhaps initially believed.

Let Donald Fraser, KawarthaNOW, 101.5 The Wolf, 100.5 KRUZ FM, radio personality Dani Stover, radio personality Catherine Hanrahan — as well as the sponsors of the event, the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce (Stu Harrison), Aria Night Club, Creative DJ Audio Services, and Corus Entertainment — know that Category 17 should be stricken from the Peter Tweeter Awards because of what it is:  Bullying!

In the words of Sandra Bullock’s character, Mary Horowitz, in the movie “All About Steve” ….

There are meaningful words, there are pointless words, and then there are words that hurt.

It’s sad to see that for some business people in Peterborough, Ontario, those words may be lost on them forever.

UPDATE on 25 February 2013 (2:00 PM):  The Peter Tweeter Awards have changed the name of Category 17, and it now reflects a more positive image.

Peter Pair (Category 17 Renamed)

Thanks to everyone who participated in encouraging the committee to rename the category, and thanks to the committee for renaming said category.

UPDATE on 1 March 2013Peter Tweeter Bullies (PDF)

UPDATE on 4 March 2013:  Earlier today, someone on Twitter suggested renaming Category 17: Tweetest Couple.  I would love to acknowledge the person who made this wonderful suggestion, however, that information is not available  on the Twitter account, the blog site or the website.  Nonetheless, thank you for suggesting a name that is in keeping with the spirit of the awards, and in line with the “Best” categories.

Elyse Bruce

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26 Responses to “Peter Tweeters Exposé”

  1. JM Says:

    Really you are the bully writing this garbage about something that is fun and will raise money for food share. You are bullying and attacking people and insulting them public. Seems more like you are jealous about not being on the list for anything. You had a chance to write about a very important topic of bullying and instead wrote the above editorial. As a mother whose child has suffered from bullying I am outraged by your statements. Your time would gave been better encouraging others to wear pink and help raise awareness for bullying.

    • Mike Says:

      Thanks goodness for this blog article. The survey question is very unprofessional. One hopes that it will be removed soon and apology given shortly thereafter.

      I wonder how people who think the question is all in good fun would feel if they were nominated as being “barfiest.” Further, I wonder how the organization would feel if they were called the “barfiest” organization. Perhaps because the person who put up the survey is not on the receiving end of any negative associations that might stem from the nomination, they have no problem leaving it up.

      • Doug Tilley Says:

        This is psychotic. Seriously.. You are complaining about nothing. That anyone is taking this nonsense seriously is beyond me, and I shudder to think of a future where any sense of fun or irreverence is being sucked out of our lives by oversensitive, weeping willow busybodies. I can only imagine the grey, flavorless existence that is your life, but please refrain from trying to spread your cloud of woe-is-me blandness to the rest of us.

      • Weeping Says:

        Hmm, so it would appear that the world is being further segmented. There is the barfiest couple, the weeping willow busybodies, and then there are the PeterTweeters.

        Mr. Tilley, I don’t know what you do for a living, but if you run a store, or a business, or work for one, please put up a sign in the window which says “No Weeping Willow Busybodies Allowed!”

        The second you do THAT, you will be assured of not receiving my custom.

        In fact, if you are speaking for ALL PeterTweeters, have THEM put up the same sign. That was I can avoid all of their establishments as well.

  2. kawarthaNOW.com Says:

    Elyse – For the record, kawarthaNOW is a nominee in the awards and not involved in the organization of the event. We do support it as a FUN community FUNDRAISER for Kawartha Food Share. Please remove your reference to kawarthaNOW.com.

    • Elyse Bruce Says:

      Nowhere in the article does it state that KawarthaNow was, or is, involved in the organization of the Peter Tweeter Awards.

      What is stated is that a link provided by Kawartha NOW (via the KawarthaNOW Facebook page) led to the voting page where Category 17 “Barfiest Couple” was listed. That is a fact.

  3. Elyse Bruce Says:

    Quote from the blog (hosted on the PBS.org website) of Dr. Suzanne B. Phillips, Psy.D., ABPP, on the subject of bullying and cyberbullying:

    “[quote] If we overlook the ease with which we or our children can unwittingly add to the horror of damaging someone’s life by passing on the secrets, privacy or exposure of another with a simple click, we make cyberspace a dangerous place. If we talk about and participate in steps with friends and family to stop, delete, tell, block and report cyber assault, if we show compassion, we change from bystanders to protectors [end quote].”

  4. jill tilley (@jilly_tilley) Says:

    Dear Elyse,

    I was just pointed in the direction of your article, and as one half of the current Best Couple from 2012’s Petertweeter awards, I just wanted to offer my two cents.

    I moved to Canada from the United States several years ago, and my first few years here were fairly dark. I suffer from chronic anxiety and depression, and I really didn’t know anyone here and found it hard to make friends.

    After I joined twitter, I found myself able to communicate in a way that felt safe for me. I was opened up to the community of Peterborough and have made many, many friends since then. My love for this community is huge, and a great deal of it comes from my connections to people that started on twitter.

    My husband and I playfully tease each other on twitter, much to the amusement of our peers and that banter is what earned us Best Couple last year. While our silliness could be interpreted as cruelty from time to time, I can assure you, we have a great and rare love. One I feel blessed for every single day. Douglas is my rock, my heart and my best friend.

    Winning that award felt great. It was a hug from the community saying “you are a unique couple, and we love you for it”

    We’d love to win it again this year. I might even make a video of us vomiting into a bucket so we can be truly the “barfiest”

    The Petertweeters are about community, charity and love. I am, myself, very much against bullying, and I commend you for trying to find it and root it out, but please let me assure you, this isn’t what these awards are about, and whomever wins them will be thrilled.

    very sincerely,

    jill tilley

    • Elyse Bruce Says:

      Welcome to the blog, Jill. As you stated in your comments, you are one half of the current “Best Couple from 2012′s Petertweeter awards.” Congratulations.

      Undoubtedly, being nominated in — never mind winning — in the category of “Best Couple” would make anyone happy. However, there are those who may not share your joy if they should be nominated this year in the category of “Barfiest Couple.”

      You see, there’s a difference between what you say you and your husband won last year, and this year’s award under Category 17 … which is NOT entitled Best Couple but rather, is entitled Barfiest Couple.

      The two words are not interchangeable, as you (and most everyone) knows.

      Definition of BARF: To vomit.
      Synonyms: vomit, gag, heave, hurl, puke, retch, spew, spit up, throw up, upchuck
      According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, the first known use of the word was in 1956.

      Definition of BEST: Of the most excellent, effective, or desirable type or quality.
      Synonyms: ace, beyond compare, boss, capital, champion, chief, choicest, cool*, culminating, finest, first, first-class, first-rate, foremost, greatest, highest, incomparable, inimitable, leading, matchless, nonpareil, number 1, optimum, out-of-sight, outstanding, paramount, peerless, perfect, preeminent, premium, prime, primo, principal, sans pareil, second to none, super, superlative, supreme, terrific, tops, tough, transcendent, unequaled, unparalleled, unrivaled, unsurpassed.
      According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, the first known use of the word was before the 12th century.

      Far too often, statements leading to bullying are disguised as ‘funny’ remarks, and therein lies the rub.

      • jill tilley (@jilly_tilley) Says:

        I appreciate the English lesson, Elyse. My American public school education fails me from time to time 😉

        What I think you’re missing is the “it’s all in good fun” aspect of these awards. I imagine that if you saw people making out on the street, you might be apt to say “hey, get a room!” or if you heard a couple calling each other “lovelymuffinloverlumps” or some such nonsense, you’d roll your eyes. Society has a love/hate relationship with people in love. It’s a fun mix of jealously and envy. Calling a couple “barfiest” is, in my opinion, a compliment. It means they’re so in love they’re making other people gag. Loving my husband so much that it causes people to vomit (According to Merriam Webster Dictionary) is kind of amazing. I wish people did it literally as we walked down the street. Imagine, holding your true love’s hand and people retching as soon as you walked by. Even birds would be spewing their guts in the sky! What a superpower!

        I feel, in my humble opinion, that you’re taking this too seriously and that you’re assuming that the people likely to be nominated are without dictionaries. It’s simply not the case.

        Keep up the good works that you do, but next time, perhaps speak to the people running the organization and ask for an explanation before writing your expose. In writing this, you’ve come across vitriolic, bitter and, frankly, a bit of a bully yourself.

        Gently and with love,

        jill

  5. Scott Harris Says:

    It would seem that some business people in Peterborough could use a lesson from a human resources representative. Many businesses insist that if there is any kind of activity or function outside of business hours where people act as representatives of their businesses, they are expected to adhere to the rules of the businesses, the codes of conduct, codes of ethics, and value statements.

    In today’s business environment, particularly in the United States, it can be grounds for dismissal if an employee makes a reference which another employee finds objectionable, even if the comment is innocuous on the surface.

    For instance, if you say to a person: “That’s a nice dress you’re wearing!” it could be construed as a sexual comment, or an insult (e.g. “It’s the first dress I’ve seen that doesn’t make you look fat.”) In either case, a sensitive person may wonder why it is someone is noticing their manner of dress.

    If you say, out of genuine concern, to a known diabetic “Did you have your insulin today? You look a little bit weak” what you are really doing is violating a person’s right to medical privacy and publicly discussing an issue which they may wish to keep to themselves.

    To nominate a couple as the “barfiest” could be seen in a humorous light, but it could also be seen as insulting to a couple who don’t want extra attention drawn to them.

    You might say “Well if they don’t want us to notice them, then why do they draw attention to themselves?” That’s akin to saying, “If she didn’t want to be raped, then why did she dress provocatively?”

    Etiquette dictates that you do not insult anyone intentionally, and you apologize whenever you insult someone whether it was intentional or not. But this rule of etiquette seems to be vacated by certain people in the Peterborough area. Whether this is because they believe themselves to be above the bounds of etiquette, or they are too ignorant to understand the rules of etiquette, I do not know.

    What is interesting to me is the sheer number of people who seem not to have an understanding of basic human interactions in a formal, semi-formal, or casual function. What is more, in this case specifically, the people who seem to misunderstand standard rules of etiquette, if not corporate policy (which can indeed govern one’s behavior outside the workplace) are people who are “movers and shakers” in Peterborough.

    I am beginning to understand why WestJet may have declined the opportunity to land at Peterborough, and I am beginning to get a better idea of why Baskin Robbins may have chosen to outsource its manufacturing. Though I do not know what either of these corporations’ true motives might have been, I know that as a business person, I would not like to conduct business with “movers and shakers” who demonstrate a striking lack of knowledge about how to conduct one’s self publicly.

    Perhaps it would be wise to monitor all of those who object to Ms. Bruce’s point of view and refrain from doing business with them until they apologize. Or perhaps even more is needed to rectify the situation. Perhaps these people should take a course that will explain to them what defines and constitutes a hostile business environment.

    But one other question I would like to see answered: What are these movers and shakers saying about their customers, colleagues and business partners, behind their backs? Are they all “barfy” too? Funny how these people feel as though they have been imposed upon by rules established a long time ago. Perhaps they should establish a new order where etiquette is dropped entirely. But if they elect to do this, they should know that in a strained economy where potential employers have the pick of the litter, and where employers often look at potential employees’ online activities prior to hiring, the ones who behave in the most crass manner are surely the ones which will get passed over.

    In my opinion, that’s a good thing.

    At any rate, if I ever find myself in Peterborough, you can bet I will not be frequenting businesses which spoke against Ms. Bruce, because I will be very concerned about what their employees might be saying about me behind my back.

    Good job, Ms. Bruce. You truly do understand what grace, poise, etiquette, and good manners look like!

  6. maryam Says:

    We are about to cross the line of reason and move into some dangerous terrain.
    The analogy used by the commentator above is belittling and may be offensive to victims of rape.
    In the spirit of using the right language and being sensitive in our communications, I’d appreciate it if you correct or delete this comment immediately.

    “To nominate a couple as the “barfiest” could be seen in a humorous light, but it could also be seen as insulting to a couple who don’t want extra attention drawn to them.
    You might say “Well if they don’t want us to notice them, then why do they draw attention to themselves?” That’s akin to saying, “If she didn’t want to be raped, then why did she dress provocatively?”

    • Thomas D. Taylor Says:

      I don’t think it’s “offensive.” I think it’s “sensitive.” People need to be careful about what they say to other people. As for the rest of the comment, he’s right. We don’t know who comes into our businesses or who buys our products. We don’t know how what we say or do affects them. Best to be on the safe side and keep our “barfy” comments to ourselves.

    • Karyn Says:

      Why would anyone take offense to Mr. Harris’s comment?

      I wonder if “maryam” is one of the “Peter Tweeters.”

      If “We are about to cross the line of reason and move into some dangerous terrain” as maryam says, then let’s remember why it is we are confronting this issue in the first place. It’s because important people in the community who might be in need of sensitivity training created the “barfiest couple” category and think it’s funny. If they hadn’t created the category, then we wouldn’t be here.

      They owe everyone an apology.

      We have been waiting for nearly a month now, and still…nothing. So people, think about who it is you give your money to the next time you buy something. What do they REALLY think of you?

      Thanks “Peter Tweeters,” for showing people your true colors.

  7. Bullies Abound | Elyse Bruce Says:

    […] Peter Tweeters Exposé […]

  8. Geek Girl Says:

    I was not going to comment. I really wasn’t. But then “maryam” commented. Maryam, you talk about victims of rape being offended; you do not state that you are one. Well, I state now, for the record that I *am* a victim of rape and sexual abuses. And you are correct. I *am* offended. By your comments. How dare you presume to speak for me, and then promote censorship supposedly on my behalf? If you are a victim of rape, then I will simply agree that we disagree on said topic. If you are not a victim of rape, then you have NO idea what it’s like, what a person is left with (or without) and/or what a rape victim feels, thinks, and finds offensive. And it is far far more offensive to this victim to have such thoughts as yours being spoken ‘in my defence’. If you are not a victim, please refrain from proposing to speak for any. If you are a victim of rape, then identify that you speak ONLY for yourself. This particular rape victim happens to agree with Mr.Harris’ writings. I am appalled that you are calling for censorship, especially ‘on my behalf’. I am incredibly against censorship-in this day and age, in Canada, I cannot fathom how anyone could be a supporter of censorship. I recognize that you must believe that it is appropriate in at least some circumstances, but I cannot agree with you.

    However, I *can* disagree with you without attacking you personally. I don’t actually know you. Who knows? You and I could have many other things in common, could potentially be wonderful friends who happen to disagree on some topics. I’m not sure why so many people feel that it is so acceptable and right to viciously attack someone personally for daring to disagree with them. It doesn’t actually matter if I agree or disagree with Elyce or anyone else. What I am appalled by is the number of people who seem to believe that it is okay to dogpile personal attacks upon an individual whom writes a blog saying that she disagrees with something that group is doing. Not once did I see her pointing individual fingers in a personal attack, including name-calling. She disagrees with the title of an award category. There are a lot of people who disagreed with that title as well, so maybe that means there are a lot of people who are ‘overly sensitive’ or have ‘no sense of humour’…or maybe it means there are a bunch of people who just don’t like that particular type of humour. I don’t know. I don’t care. I do care that there is a group of people in my town who saw someone disagree with a title of a category they liked, and then embarked upon a nasty name-calling personal attack. I don’t really understand. These are the same people who agree with people who demand that their ‘freedom of speech and thought’ should be protected…recognized as simply a difference of opinion. Until someone disagreed with them. I’m not sure what that says about the people involved. Like I said, I don’t really get how someone’s disagreeing sparked such a nasty war.

    But, I ask that nothing in Mr.Harris’ post be removed or altered. I can not, ever, be party to, or okay with, censorship like this. I am sorry maryam that you did not like Mr.Harris’ analogy. However, as a person who is actually referenced in his analogy, and to the best of my knowledge you are not, I have no problem whatsoever with what was written.

  9. John Says:

    Hi Elyse,

    I agree with you that yes, they are bullies. I stopped following @Ptbo_Canada a month or 2 ago because I realized that they don’t represent this city.

  10. Shelley L Says:

    Thanks to this group of ridiculous people I will never forget Peterborough Ontario. The idea that i might inadvertently support a “peter tweeter” will be enough to ensure i do not waste even a moment of my time there. You see.. that’s what happens when a small group of senseless people sully the name of their town… people remember it for that bad incident.. for a long long time. I hope consumers are conscious of this through your next fiscal year, I know i will certainly share my knowledge of your “fair” city.
    All kinds of things have changed over the years due to increasing awareness and sensitivity… Sensitivity is the key word here people.. I get your whole “sense of humour” defence.. but that only holds water if it’s a fixed category and you already know who “wants” to be singled out.. and if that’s the case why would you give the general public the opportunity to potentially hurt other people.. what kind of a business organization is so irresponsible? And further more…. WHAT DO YOU CARE what the category is called? Get a grip people!! You should be ashamed that someone had to bring this to your attention! Would you be so open minded if it were an election in a university? high school? In a middle school? Where do you draw the line? So then.. why? Why would you want to send the idea to your children that it’s ok.. because it’s all in fun.. YA.. OK.. because bullies NEVER use that line!
    Ask yourselves this.. at what point or age do we determine that people will act accordingly.. in a mature manner.. aware of the impact of their words or actions… According to what i’ve seen here.. no matter what the age or education level.. small minded people.. ignorant people and those that think it’s ok to cheer from the sidelines will always come together to bully someone over something so simple as a pink shirt.. so then you all have proved the point that something so small can be turned around and used as an excuse to hurt others.. It was a good example of bully behaviour!
    Shame on you Peterborough for not publicly flogging these tweeters

  11. Jason Says:

    As much as the PeterTweeter People feel like they have been wronged, they have only been taken out to the “virtual” woodshed and for good reason. Were I to live in Peterborough, I would avoid doing business with them.

    To Geek Girl: I applaud you 100% for speaking your mind. Do NOT let anyone, man or woman, crush your spirit. You serve as a positive example and inspiration for others who are survivors of rape. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

  12. My Goodness! Says:

    Wow! I am actually glad that I missed this discussion because I’d have some really…not good….things to say about what’s happened. All I can say right now is that I am very glad that people like the PeterTweeters are not in my town, or if they are in my town, they have sense enough to keep their tweets to themselves.

  13. Buzz Says:

    These people have stirred up a hornet’s nest with their tweets. The problem is, these birds are stinging other people.

  14. Censoring George Takei | Elyse Bruce Says:

    […] will come as a complete surprise to those in Peterborough, Ontario who refer to themselves as PeterTweeters.  After all, who can forget the uproar they caused when the identifier for Category 17 was changed […]

  15. Peterborough Is Number One | Elyse Bruce Says:

    […] February, I wrote about the potential for Category 17 of the PeterTweeter Awards being misappropriated for the purpose of bullying others living in Peterborough.  The cry went out […]


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