The dark side of Twitter

By | February 2, 2012

Yesterday was always going to be a hard day for me, what with worry about the Welfare Reform Bill & the anniversary of being assaulted. By lunchtime however it got much worse.

I blogged about meeting my friend with ME and the battles she is facing to get any help or support from DWP or the local council, in terms of DLA, care etc.
I decided to raise awareness by sending it to Sue Marsh, one of the co-authors of the Spartacus Report. Sue RT-d it and initial feedback was that there was a lot of sympathy & empathy with her situation.

Unfortunately Sue was being followed by a troll, who replied to me and said he was sorry my daughter was a “r*****” – you can guess the word. I RTd by mistake & then replied with one word “BLOCKED”.

Bit of a mistake on my part. All sorts of abuse followed and any of my lovely followers who replied to him, got more of the same.

The more responses he got, the more he seemed to enjoy it & he commented to a follower about “good fishing” or something. I was reminded of a vampire enjoying his feed.

He even changed his profile to “enjoying f***ing my autistic daughter”.

Lessons I have learnt from this:
Ignore, block & report: these people are cowards, hiding behind a false id.
The more shocked you appear, the more they enjoy it.
Do NOT reply, that then gives them access to your followers, even if you have already blocked.

By the evening, trolls seemed to be appearing left, right & centre.

So, yesterday, I was shown the best and the worst side of Twitter. Thanks to those of you who “had my back”.

The troll seems to be targetting a new group today. I’d like to say I hope he’s removed soon but there are plenty more to take his place.

We’re better than them.

(postscript on 11th February – after a petition to remove him and many many reports & blocks, he seems to have gone from Twitter – good)

Facebook Comments

8 Comments

Helen Neale on 3rd February 2012 at 1:15 pm.

So sorry to hear that you gained this reaction – trolls are worthless. Glad to hear that people helped defend you though. And as for changing his status in the way he did, that really does just say it all.

Reply

Jenny on 7th February 2012 at 2:02 am.

How awful! People can be so stupid, and unfortunately they have to make idiots of themselves in public.

Reply

Laurie Mitchell (@LaurieMit) on 21st June 2012 at 1:53 pm.

You handled the situation with intelligence and class. I don’t blog but have run across a few cyber trolls, none as awful as the one who targeted you. I agree with you 100%. Block and ignore. Because in the end, trolls feed on attention and without it they wither up and blow away.

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AutismMumma on 21st June 2012 at 5:13 pm.

Thanks Laurie & so true, trolls thrive on the attention and the shock factor they generate. The more people who respond horrified, the better in their eyes. This was the first one I encountered and boy…have I learnt from it. Block and ignore is the best course of action every time.
I need to add a ps. to the post that he did reappear a few weeks later, with a slightly different username and tweeted me asking how “my little r*****s were” – instantly blocked, I warned my followers he was back and to block & ignore and I heard no more from him.

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