A coffee shop in Anacortes, Washington has become the centre of an escalating cyber-bullying dispute.
Sips Ahoy is a nautical themed coffee stand populated by bikini-clad baristas and its owner, Meghan Calavan, has outraged many in the local community with her comments on social media.
The verbal sparring between Calvan and customer Jesseka Cladek escalated seriously out of control just before Christmas and began when somebody, believed to be an associate of Jesseka, posted a nasty comment on the stand’s Facebook page.
Meghan then responded with a series of ill-judged, unpleasant and vulgar outbursts of her own.
The error-strewn and hate-filled rants, posted via the Sips Ahoy Facebook page included additional insults from her father, targeted Miss Cladek’s appearance: ‘She’s a huge fat *****’ one started, another read ‘Your [sic] worthless,’ before advising Jesseka to ‘save world hunger by shooting herself.’
All of these were posted without realising that social media is, well, social.
These posts have since been taken down, but the evidence remains in the public eye and it wasn’t long before local news station KING 5 got involved.
A barista at the coffee hut told KING 5 that business had not been affected, but a quick look on Facebook shows that the ‘Boycott Sips Ahoy’ page has gathered over 6,000 likes since the first insults were traded.
Many of those offering support for the fledgling campaign have spoken out against the evident occurrences of cyber-bullying and wish to see the establishment shut down.
Meghan, for her part, has since apologised, but that hasn’t stopped supporters from both camps from engaging in verbal fisticuffs.
Property damage, further threats and insults and egg-throwing has seen the vicious war of words continue long past the original Facebook exchange.
The quarrel has also led to a wider debate about the nature of the shop and if any coffee needs to come with a ‘pin-up edge’ or not. Described as ‘classy’ – the social media exchanges have been anything but.