AddThis SmartLayers

Weekly editor hits out at ‘racist, spineless, uneducated scum’

Seyi AkiwowoA weekly newspaper editor has hit out at “racist, spineless, uneducated scum” who called for a local councillor on his patch to be “lynched.”

Michael Adkins launched a strongly-worded attack on social media’s “odious keyboard warriors” in an editorial for his paper, the Newham Recorder.

Michael spoke out after Newham councillor Seyi Akiwowo was subjected to a tirade of racist abuse after a video of her debating at the European Youth Parliament was shared online.

In the clip, Cllr Akiwowo, left, suggested European Union member states with former empires to pay reparations to countries they had previously colonised,

Cllr Akiwowo, 25, revealed she has since received hundreds of offensive messages on social media, including being called a “n*****” and an “ape” as well as references to her being “lynched”.

In his editorial, Michael said that while the advent of Facebook and Twitter had “helped connect people like never before”, there was a “sinister side” to social media.

He wrote: “It allows odious keyboard warriors to post wretched personal insults and threats from the privacy of their home, workplace or library.

“It’s fast becoming a breeding ground for trolls who feel it’s given them free reign to insult, harass and threaten hardworking, decent honest people with their bigoted and racist bile.”

Added Michael: “At 25 years old, Cllr Seyi Akiwowo is Newham Council’s youngest representative. Her work at the European Youth Hearings would have been a proud moment for all who know Cllr Akiwowo and the London Borough of Newham.

“But the Twitter trolls simply saw it as an opportunity to show their true colours – as racist, spineless, uneducated scum. Policing and managing social media is one of the biggest challenges we face and I’m not sure we have the answers.

“Media organisations are subject to strict laws, rules and regulations when publishing stories. However, individuals are rarely prosecuted for breaches on social media.

“Worryingly terrorist organisations like ISIS have used social media to spread their hatred globally.”


You can follow all replies to this entry through the comments feed.
  • February 13, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Well said – Michael should be commended for speaking out against the unacceptable side of social media.
    When my wife was a weekly newspaper editor she was stalked and harassed online for years by one particularly charming individual.
    Why? Because she’d had the temerity to put his court case in the paper…

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(14)
  • February 13, 2017 at 11:10 am

    if some of the vile and offensive language used on social media was published, the publisher would be taken to court.
    Along with the harmless endless pictures of babies it has given a lot of illiterate unbalanced even dangerous people the chance to “air” their bile-laden and distorted views on life.
    At the same time it is a boon for lazy (sorry over-worked) hacks wishing to lift a quote for their newspapers or websites.
    A right can of worms.

    Report this comment

    Like this comment(12)