Monday, 6 October 2014

Trolls, Judge, jury and executioner

Before I start, I think we all know where I stand on trolls, but I think the word "troll" get bandied around too much at the moment. If you express a differing opinion, you are called a troll.

I've been "trolled" I've experienced death threats and had people say they will "bite my legs off" I've also experienced snarky indirect tweets from losers. There is a huge difference.

Over the weekend it was announced that Brenda Leyland had committed suicide. This was the woman "exposed" by Sky News as a "troll" of the McCanns. 

But the issue is this, was she actually a troll? She expressed the opinion that the McCanns had something to do with the disappearance of Madeline McCann. She was more of a conspiracy theorist than a troll. She said they will burn in hell, I've wished worse on people. But another thing that MAY be relevant, the McCanns are not on Twitter, even if she was being abusive, it was indirect. 

Was it right that Sky News and Martin Brunt exposed her as a "troll" and ran the segment every half hour, when no charges had been filed? Would you expose someone as a burglar or a murderer without charges being brought?

Was what Sky News did right? I think no. 
It then also became a feeding frenzy, you know how the media can sometimes be. This was a tweet from LBC 

Is it wonderful now, LBC? As you've deleted the tweet, I'm going to say no. 

The whole thing makes me feel VERY uncomfortable indeed. If Sky were so intent on catching a "troll" why not pass it all to the police? Since when are the media the judge and jury, and in this case, perhaps, executioner? 

Let me know.

Big Fashionista x x x 



  1. I don't watch sky news as I think they have previous on tasteless journalism. But this should be brought up in an inquiry/inquest. I've seen a lot of opinion (conspiracy) pieces on this subject, so are Sky going to doorstep everyone? The Leveson inquiry raised issues very like these and has been ignored. The McCanns were subjected to a lot of journalistic abuse and now the same news agencies are doing this? It's a bit Black Mirror.

  2. I agree with you completely Kellie. Not only the term "troll" was used the wrong way - I guess since it's become a relevant issue in recent times, they wanted to jump on the bandwagon "Hey, we caught a troll!". Also, how is it legal, to "expose" someone like this? Like you say, there is no formal accusation, they haven't been on trial, and then being declared guilty. The media is supposed to inform, not accuse someone live on television. It's all very wrong in my opinion.

  3. I watched them doorstep her and it made me feel uncomfortable. I wish the news people would just do their job and read the news and not make the news x

  4. It's sad how it turned out for her but you can't say anyone else drove her to it, she posted those comments, which led to her being confronted (even if that was somewhat tasteless and cheap journalism) which led to her taking her own life, she is accountable for her own actions.

    But saying that, to doorstep her like that was wrong, and just reeked of a journalist trying to self-promote.

    As always, there is wrong on both sides, but I would say that even though I do feel a bit sorry for her, her actions had a reaction and she dealt with that in the way she saw fit.

    Nobody wins in a situation like this. x

  5. I think this is a prime example of two wrongs not making a right. The actions of both the woman in question and the media are in my opinion very similar in this situation. She used social media to express her opinions about the guilt of the McCanns, based only on heresay and guesswork to back up her theories. I think the idea that because the McCanns are not on twitter, thus not exposed to what she had to say is not a defence for her, any more than you could say she could have simply not watched Sky News, and so not seen.what they were saying about her. The McCanns are obviously aware of the conspiracy theories and there reputations are damaged because of the theories.
    The behaviour of Sky News is no more defendable. They maybe able to argue that what THEY were saying was actually the truth, they still had no right to hound her. It should have been left for the police to take the appropriate action.

  6. I'm not going to go into my feelings about the McCanns here as it'll cause me grief I can well do without, but I think Sky did go too far and so did LBC.

    I think the word troll is used a bit too frequently. This woman was very opinionated, but so is half of Twitter. Her misfortune was she dared go after the untouchable McCanns, and she's dead because of it.

  7. She was opinionated, she was passionate, she was out spoken, she questioned things, but she wasn't a troll. For the life of me, I don't know why she was singled out, but the powers that be were stating in the days before hand, words to the effect, that people would be made an example of, or something like that. She seems to be the fall guy, which is terrible for her and her family. Very sad indeed. Good on you for being brave enough to write this post x


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