Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling is right to speak out against those of the belief that social media trolls should simply be ignored suggests Matthew Steeples
As someone subject to daily abuse on social media at the hands of mostly deranged, aged right-wing trolls, I was truly impressed that the author J.K. Rowling took to Twitter this week to speak out against those of the belief that “it is best simply to ignore them.”
“I’m tired of this ‘don’t feed the troll’ advice,” remarked Rowling in one tweet. She continued: “Ignoring racist abuse leaves targets feeling isolated and unsupported. Hate loves silence, which it takes for consent” before adding: “|The overwhelming majority of people whose focus is ‘what the troll wants’ have never personally experienced abuse or threats. How about we focus on what the victims want? My experience is that most of them would really like the rest of us not to look the other way.”
Ms. Rowling is entirely right. After my involvement in a case that ultimately resulted in the jailing of the racist bigot Viscount St Davids last summer, I have since been targeted by a number of his supporters. These dangerous oddities have posted up to fifty offensive messages about me per day, harassed those close to me publicly and made threats to my person also. I will, like J.K. Rowling, not remain silent and I urge others facing such vile abuse to follow our lead.