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Daily shames trolls who used Facebook page to abuse Thunberg

A regional daily has named and shamed online trolls who used its Facebook page to abuse Greta Thunberg during her visit to its patch.

The Bristol Post has exposed six men who used its Bristol Live channel on the social networking site to encourage violence against the Swedish environmental activist, who spoke at a protest in the city on Friday.

Story links posted to the Bristol Live Facebook page prompted “hundreds, sometimes thousands of comments” from readers – including “furious ire” aimed at the 17-year-old.

They included calls for her to be burnt at the stake, physically assaulted, and slapped with a brick by her parents.

How the Post covered Ms Thunberg's visit to Bristol

How the Post covered Ms Thunberg’s visit to Bristol

Bristol Live has now published the names and Facebook profile pictures of six men who posted such abuse, as well as screenshots of their comments.

In a piece about the decision to name and shame, senior reporter Tristan Cork wrote: “Most of the more furious ire was reserved for Greta Thunberg herself.

“Many other articles in other media have examined why a slight, tiny 17-year-old schoolgirl from Sweden triggers such anger and hatred from, mainly older people, but the kind of fury that follows the campaigner around the world arrived in Bristol with a vengeance.

“Most of that abuse was just that – abuse, sharing unkind memes about her, calling her a ‘puppet’, questioning her own actions travelling the world, or just calling her names.

“These comments came in their thousands, day and night, filling Facebook pages and groups – faster in greater volume than anyone moderating those pages or groups, or Facebook itself, could hide or delete.

“But some people went even further – further than just abusing Greta Thunberg and the young people taking part in the school strike. 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.

“The people who were appearing to make those suggestions of physical actions and violence were very often parents and grandparents themselves.

“Some had even called for people on social media to ‘be kind’ following the death of TV presenter Caroline Flack.”

Among those the post named and shamed was Stevie Ralph-Taylor who commented: “She should be burnt at the stake.”

Ash Ashfaq said Thunberg’s parents should “slap her with a brick” while Spencer Trump called for her to be sent back to Sweden “in a flat pack.”




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  • March 3, 2020 at 11:20 am

    Would be interested to see what the comeback is from those named and shamed. I imagine there has been a fair amount of abuse directed at the news desk about their inclusion in the paper.

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  • March 3, 2020 at 12:28 pm

    These are potentially criminal offences so I’m not sure that publishing the evidence is such a good idea. If the abuse was genuine incitement then why not involve the constables?

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  • March 3, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    These are the same idiots that journalists have to put up with day in, day out. The comments sections of local newspaper websites are seen as a vehicle for the mad, sad and bad to vent-off and write what they like. It’s the journalists who are left to deal with the job of moderation but it is a thankless and frustrating task.

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  • March 4, 2020 at 9:35 am

    I like this approach. It’s about time there were some consequences for these people who flit from Facebook page to Facebook page doling out abuse to anyone they feel deserves it that day. There’s no point in reporting this stuff to the police, they don’t have time to deal with it. I hope people are starting to think twice about the abuse they post online. As a reporter, I’d also like to see those who take to FB to have a go at individual reporters dealt with in a more robust way.

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  • March 4, 2020 at 10:46 am

    @Midlander. The police don’t have time to deal with real cime like burglary and theft precisely because they’re dealing with social media-related complaints, most of which are ridiculous. There comes a point though when enough is enough and there are enough idiots around to be incited by these comments.

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  • March 4, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Please… why are newspapers still allowing comments on news stories?

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  • March 5, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Great work by the Bristol Post.However, very unlikely that Avon and Somerset Police will take any action. It would be good to see private prosecutions taken out against these pathetic bullies.

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