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Thursday, 28 January 2016

Don’t Menshn Troll Hunters

Yesterday evening, BBC3 broadcast a programme titled Troll Hunters, looking at the serially and seriously abusive and threatening behaviour some people exhibit towards their chosen targets online. Vlogger Em Ford was the presenter, and in the course of the programme, those who had been trolled tracked down and confronted their trolls. So far, so imaginative. But then a controversial figure entered.
(c) Doc Hackenbush 2014

(Thankfully) former Tory MP Louise Mensch was introduced as a victim of trolling. She duly confronted the sad specimen who had indulged in abusive and threatening behaviour. But away from the programme, not everyone was happy to see Ms Mensch portrayed as a victim. After Ms Ford Tweeted out “Thank you so much for all the tweets and support with #TrollHunters”, the dissent began to appear.
Charlotte Booth’s response was typical: “Good subject to tackle but Louise Mensch has trolled/hassled many herself (incl my sister) See timeline of @twcuddleston etc”. What’s more, Ms Mensch has one advantage over her own (admittedly odious) troll: her tens of thousands of Twitter followers makes the whipping up of a hate mob very straightforward. Abby Tomlinson of Milifandom fame knows this. She was prompted to respond.
Enjoying #TrollHunters on BBC 3. I'd like the opportunity to confront my Twitter troll & ask why - when's the next flight out to New York?” she Tweeted. No prizes for guessing that the subject of her message was Ms Mensch. Abby stressed that she was with Ms Mensch when it came to her own troll, though: “Not condoning what she went through, obviously, wouldn't wish it on anyone & she was right & brave to stand up to that vile man”.
But she let it be known what the Mensch massive had done to her wellbeing: “It still gets to me that she spent months writing false articles about me online/ generally making me feel awful about myself … 4,000 words about how she didn't like me, promising to write more when I turned 18, the way her followers then joined in”. And, as Zelo Street regulars will know all too well, Abby Tomlinson is not the only one Ms Mensch has gone after.
June Eric-Udorie also found herself targeted, for no reason other than pundit and writer Julia Hartley Brewer had passed adverse comment upon her. Ms Mensch was dismissive and patronising, as she was with anyone who dared to question her highly partisan and selective approach to the Gamergate row, and especially her defence of sexism row scientist Tim Hunt. She was right: those who said otherwise were liars.
It’s a pity that Ms Ford chose Louise Mensch as a participant in her presentation: there are, sadly, lots of women who have been targeted by the less adequate members of the male sex who would not have proved controversial. And the Mensch grip of facts is not always good: after establishing that her troll had worked at Heathrow Airport, she declared that she would be contacting British Transport Police.

That would have been an interesting conversation. The BTP look after the railways.


Anonymous said...

I just can't see how someone's life can be so empty they need either Twitter or Facebook to communicate. But each to their own.

If I've understood what Trolls are, they seem to be very sad people with acute psychological problems. A bit like Louise Mensch, actually.

anubeon said...

The maloderous buffoon known as Ms Mensch accused me of being an Antisemite based upon the flimsiest of pretexts (a by then three year old retweet to an article discussing a possible genetic link between Ashkenazi Jews and Palestinian Arabs). She retweeted, complete with the aforementioned accusation, with the very clear intention of setting the most rabid elements of her hyper-nationalist Islamophobic followship (armed with a paper thin veneer of pro-zionism, as a convenient cover) on me. They dutifully came to 'my offence', with their muddle brained and smug accusation and infinitely mutable and puerile remarks (thankfully for me, only four of them on that occasion).

What was my unmenschionable crime? Suggesting to the 'great' Daniel J.P. Hodges Esq. that his and Ms Mensch's assessment of one Mr Jeremy 'mild-mannered, inclusive and 'strangely' elected totalitarian dictator extraordinaire' Corbyn as a raving Antisemite was just a tad histrionic and beyond the pale. Our mutual 'friend' Dan reacted like a petulant twerp (people pay him for his opinions?!). Although he at least showed some semblance, however distant, of familiarity with reasoned discourse (in that he at least tried to advance his entirely flawed and utterly contrived argument with his own brand of Orwellian Newspeak). When Daniel Hodges proves himself to be leagues ahead of you in the grace and class stakes, you really ought to reassess you life choices, twitter account and broadband contract (as in, cancel it).

SteveB said...

BBC3 ? That would be the channel that's being taken off air on just over 2 weeks time thanks to lobbying by her beloved employers the Murdochs....

Does she have any comments on that?