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Political abuse July 13, 2020

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Many years ago, or it seems so now, I covered the phones for a Summer for a TD. It was an educative experience in many ways. For a start one realises how adrift so many people are in this society, how detached from access to services they are absolutely entitled to, how lonely people can be – willing to talk on the phone for hours to someone they’ll never meet just for a chat, whatever the stated reason for the call, how even the best welfare net is unable to engage with everyone, and we have never had the best welfare net. That experience made me more than a little dubious about calls for disconnecting politicians from constituencies with list systems and so on. At the least this dynamic I describe should give pause for thought to them about the realities of the society.

That said there were also abusive calls – not as many as I would have expected though. Now, of course why even make a call when you can use social media?

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1. gypsybhoy69 - July 13, 2020

I was amazed but not surprised that they wrote this article without any reference to Martin Kenny and what he went through. It looked like the article was an attempt to come out with the usual guff on Shinner bots and the like so it must have hurt they had to mention MLM’s libel win against a soldier of destiny.

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WorldbyStorm - July 13, 2020

Yeah me too. It’s like that has just gone down the memory hole. And I know a few SF TDs who can attest to desperate abuse online and calls and so on.

I find the shinnerbot stuff incredibly lazy. It genuinely is as if simply expressing support for SF is to be labelled as same. I also wonder at its effectiveness over time.

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WorldbyStorm - July 13, 2020

BTW, that MLM libel win is very important in establishing a clear example of how she was subject to that sort of stuff so openly that an actual pol was willing to put their name to it.

The Roderic O’Gorman stuff is desperate also. Very very unfair to him.

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gypsybhoy69 - July 13, 2020

It is desperate stuff WBS. And the emergence of a far right traveller getting in on the act is just bizarre.

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irishelectionliterature - July 13, 2020

Re The shinnerbot stuff. I can assure you there are organised Groups for each Party to promote their party or attack others.

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WorldbyStorm - July 13, 2020

I’ve always felt that. Good to have it confirmed. There was something very expedient about how it was used in the last couple of years.

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2. NFB - July 13, 2020

Someone quite close to me works partially at a public feedback position, in the public sector, done entirely online, and the abuse they are subject to is unreal at times. Very few threats mind, or vulgarity, but a great deal of everything else. The internet, and Twitter especially, allows for a real “fire and forget” thought process to comments.

Has anyone else here been physically threatened on the internet before? I was, once, in the comment thread on a blog article I had written about Irish neutrality in WW2. Deleted the comments and blocked the sender, and tried not to think anymore about it. But I can see how such things could frighten people, especially if you were in the public eye. Jo Cox’s murder doesn’t seem to have been a major catalyst for change in this general area.

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Joe - July 13, 2020

I think I may have sort of physically threatened a regular contributor on here once. And then we met at one of the meet-ups and had a pleasant exchange and never mentioned it.

Online forums can do strange things to people. We all probably have some weak spot that when scratched can lead to lashing out.

Anyway, if I ever threaten anyone on hear again – fear not, I couldn’t fight my way out of a paper bag.

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EWI - July 13, 2020

Has anyone else here been physically threatened on the internet before?

Yep. And that old perennial, threatening to call your employer.

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WorldbyStorm - July 13, 2020

Yep, been threatened a few times online albeit not with physical violence more just abuse. One person on the CLR years back identified specifically my job (I’m not exactly secretive but it’s not something I want the feckin’ address role etc put about) which I thought was shit behaviour but worse said I was doing a terrible job in my job. I actually went to a number of people I work for and asked was that perception abroad. I was told emphatically it wasn’t. But it’s like you say NFB. That kind of stuff rattles us.

Ah, Joe, sure that was rhetorical and everyone knew it. But I do agree that online is weird. I have this bad habit of being very terse sometimes and I reread comments and think, Christ that came over a bit blunt.

That’s disgusting EWI that you should face that.

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