An online troll who continues to abuse journalists despite being banned from a regional daily’s website as often as once a day has been branded “pathetic” by its editor.
Both Oxford Mail group news editor Rebecca Hudson and editor Samantha Harman have hit out at ongoing abuse they and their colleagues keep receiving from the anonymous commenter on the newspaper’s website.
Rebecca, pictured, has banned the user from the Mail’s site multiple times, but the troll continues to create new accounts to comment by registering new email addresses and creating new usernames.
Rebecca hit out at the commenter on Twitter by sharing a screenshot of his latest post on the site, in which he launched a tirade at Mail journalists.
Absolutely LOVE coming into work and reading comments like this every. single. day. (I ban this particular user, who is often racist and homophobic as well as just abusive, on average twice a day, and he makes new accounts to keep spamming us. It's a delight) pic.twitter.com/Y0i4HRv2CU
— Rebecca Hudson (@OxMailRebecca) September 13, 2019
Explaining his continued reappearance, Rebecca added: “This not only means he has to make a new account on our website each time, but a whole new email address. Every day. For the past few weeks.
“Just to slag off people who actually spend their time working hard. I don’t want to say he’s pathetic, but…”
In response, Samantha said: “I do want to say it. He’s pathetic.”
Rebecca has previous experience of dealing with direct abuse from online trolls, and HTFP reported in May this year how she had won an apology from a blog owner after “completely ludicrous” conspiracy theories involving her were posted on his website.
Rebecca had been the subject of a “pack of delusional lies” posted on the blog about the Salisbury Novichok attacks against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, which she had covered in her previous role as head of news at the Salisbury Journal.
Discussing the latest incident with the Mail troll, she told HTFP: “As a group of local papers we want to keep our comments open to encourage debate and conversation around the issues we report on, but there are some people who don’t understand that that doesn’t give them a platform to spread hate speech.
“If the user in question wanted to offer any sort of meaningful comment or criticism about the stories we report then they would be a welcome contributor.
“But whoever is hiding behind false names and running this account is often homophobic, racist and sexist, as well as being downright rude to our reporters and anyone we report on.
“This person has made 13 accounts in the space of a month, sometimes more than one per day, so despite repeatedly saying the Mail ‘isn’t worth reading’, they have obviously taken a great deal of interest in our work.”