Bristol Live, the website of the Bristol Post, has taken a novel approach to reporting the vicious abuse doled out on social media towards climate campaigner Greta Thunberg: it has named and shamed six of the culprits. “Every time articles by Bristol Live and other media organisations were posted on social media - particularly Facebook - they attracted hundreds, sometimes thousands of comments” they told.
There was more: “most of the more furious ire was reserved for Greta Thunberg herself … Most of that abuse was just that - abuse … But some people went even further … The extra step they took was to appear to call for, encourage or incite people to take physical action against either Greta Thunberg or those taking part … [they] were very often parents and grandparents themselves”. One had a “Be kind” banner.
The reaction has not been unfavourable. Editor Katie French concluded “This is a bold and frankly brilliant move by the Bristol Post, naming and shaming the social media abusers who made threats and wrote disgusting things about Greta Thunberg”. Ben Goldacre of Bad Science fame added “Many of them fathers and grandfathers … It’s troubling how people are willing to shame themselves in public with this kind of behaviour”.
Vittoria Gallagher observed “Grown ass men, named and shamed, for abusing a 17 year old girl who’s never harmed them, doesn’t know them, and ultimately men who will benefit from the good she’s doing. Hope these men are CRINGING”. Presenter Heidi Secker added “If you see middle aged blokes inciting violence towards a young girl, then you need to call them out, so the Bristol Post has … Haha! Have that, lads!”
Simon Frankel Pratt reckoned “Bristol is just about small enough that something like this will have a measurable impact on their lives. Bravo to the Bristol Post for actually doing this”. Author and Speaker Sue Cowley noted simply “Well done to the Bristol Post for calling the hatred out”. Not much support for the Wall Of Gammon™ there.
Pro speaker David Price declared “Kudos to the Bristol Post for doing this. If you're going to incite violence or name-calling of a 17 year old, the least you deserve is to be named for doing”. And Game designer Jim Rossignol concluded “Bristol Post doing some fine work on the local morons. Ludicrous that this is even necessary”.
And Yorkshire Post editor James Mitchinson asserted “These gentlemen will for sure be on the phone this morning demanding to know what gives the Bristol Post the right to show them up for being the hateful, child-threatening thugs they’ve shown themselves to be”. My own favourite was the clown holding up a bottle of Bud Light as if that were some form of merit badge. Mate, if you willingly drink that piss, you’re beyond redemption already.
But seriously, what do any of those named and shamed expect? They posted their incitements to violence against Ms Thunberg on open and therefore public Facebook feeds; they can have no complaints if there is an equally public shaming.
Think before you post abuse on an open forum. And well done to the Bristol Post.
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