Ally Fogg writes about how The internet has drawn back the curtains on the human soul
A measure of the media hysteria around internet trolls can be taken in the tragic case of the so-called McCann troll. Brenda Leyland took her own life a few days after being “outed” by Sky News as a Twitter troll, an allegation that was repeated unthinkingly by virtually every journalist and commentator in the aftermath. And yet the archive of Leyland’s tweets revealed that she had never sent abuse directly to the McCann family, had never harassed anyone, had never threatened anyone. She was branded a troll for holding and expressing strong opinions about a prominent news story. It should worry us deeply that our government are hurling around unspecified threats to jail more trolls when the working definition of a troll includes people sharing unpopular opinions.
Now I have an ongoing interest in this subject as like the late Brenda Layland, I have never harassed anyone, and certainly never threatened anyone, least of all Ally Fogg. But he doesn’t hesitate when challenged to employ the same “hysteria” himself: Here he writes about his own editorial policy:
“I say in my guidelines that if you’re a racist shite I won’t necessarily delete it, but I will call you for racist shite. And I will add that if you pull any crap like that on my blog again, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to ban your spiteful, racist little arse out of here faster than you can say boo hoo censorship…nothing would give me greater pleasure”?
This was for criticising a Muslim charity for accepting the status quo as far as the status of women was concerned in the Muslim majority countries where it operates.
How about in response to the challenge – “I wonder if Ally teaches his trainees about how he denies his fellow writers on CiF their freedom to comment by reporting them to the moderators”?
The only times I’ll report comments are when they are examples of illegal hate-speech, egregious trolling or spam.
Which given that the most frequently used definition of troll, is someone who disagrees with your point of view……
And this was the illegal hate-speech, egregious trolling or spam:
“Could we have an article ATL about what Press Freedom means in the 21st Century of journalists like AllyF who seem to have such a cavalier attitude towards western traditions of press freedom?
Because if our new generation of journalists are being taught by trainers like Mr Fogg, who seems to think that the odd bit of censorship is ok, what hope can those who are currently struggling to bring down the brutal censors in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya have?”
At the time the Code said, and as far as I know still says:
A journalist shall at all times defend the principle of the freedom of the Press and other media in relation to the collection of information and the expression of comment and criticism. He/she shall strive to eliminate distortion, news suppression and censorship.
Or from his own blog:
“Tendentious? is a persistent contrarian troll-cum- stalker”
If the cap fits Ally…..