Time Out and trolling


I’m taking a break from the Internet for a while, which means I shan’t be regularly checking my email or Twitter or Facebook for some time.

At the present time the Internet is something of an unhealthy and unhelpful place for me.

Due to a bit of Internet sleuthing (and a slip-up on behalf of the offender) the identity of a persistent troll on the Catholic blogosphere has been discovered. Whilst she’s done nothing illegal, she is responsible for comments such as these made by Dylan Morgan here,  and here  Alidyl73 here and AliDylan73 here. There are plenty more examples, but I think we have the gist.

In addition she has left many unpleasant and calumnious comments, not only on my blog (sometimes using these alias in her email), but on that of James Preece, Paul Priest and I think, Ttony of the Muniment Room.

Whilst what has happened is not in any way illegal, it has caused an immense amount of bad feeling and hurt on the Catholic blogosphere, with myself being publicly and repeatedly accused of being the perpetrator.

Normally with trolls, I take Mulier Fortis’ sage advice, namely delete and say an Ave, but what has made this situation quite so trying is that other people have not deleted her comments and they have been attributed to me and held up as proof that I some kind of evil genius. It has caused enormous distress when such a comment is left up on a blog, with various visitors clicking the yay button. Whilst I know that is indicative that I need to work on the sin of pride, it hasn’t done anyone, least of all the cause of evangelisation, any favours.

Worse still, is last year not only did Damian Thompson allude to the ‘sock puppet row brewing in Catholic circles’ and ‘looking forward to an exposure Scooby Doo style’ leading to a barrage of messages warning me to batten down the hatches, meaning that clearly a group of people were already in the know about my alleged ‘trolling’, but this mistaken idea was spread about same-sex marriage and abortion activists, as well as major journalists in an attempt to discredit anything I might attempt to achieve in the public square. I had one extremely well known atheist, skeptic, SEO expert write to me, accusing me of online bullying and specifically using one of these troll comments that referred to me, as ‘evidence’ and telling me I should expect a public exposé very soon. He did not seem to wish to entertain the possibility that I was not the culprit, but to be fair, has not yet produced the long-awaited post, perhaps out of compassion given I was so visibly distressed when pregnant last year and also because I think he came to realise that in order to ‘out’ me, he needed more than someone’s word or opinion.

Already defensive, I didn’t react well and neither have I reacted well to a repeated episode of taunting on Twitter today whereby very spiteful and unpleasant parody accounts have been set up depicting me as, quite literally a fat sow or pig, and shown suckling a litter of piglets, together with a very nasty biography, along with various people (the usual suspects) calling me mentally ill and insinuating that I am not looking after my children properly.  Anyone who has met us in real life, will confirm that nothing could be further from the case. A bit too much time spent on my mobile phone (mostly in the afternoon when they are having a nap) does not equate to child neglect. My children are in no way emotionally or physically neglected, that I’m defensive about this, is indicative that I am giving the opinion of random and certainly un-Christianlike strangers on the internet too much weight. I have tried blocking but this doesn’t seem to work, one man copies and pastes anything I say with alacrity, along with his snide comments and commentary. He simply will not leave me alone and Twitter does not seem keen to act, death threats are illegal, repeated taunting and bullying, being part of the general rough and tumble that constitutes free speech.

I can’t help but wonder about the coincidence of the fake account occurring shortly after I openly hinted that I had the identity of the troll, dropping subtle clues (that would only be known to her) and causing her to delete the account. This seems like the reaction of a person who has been rumbled together with her furious reaction.

In order to address matters scripturally, a friend wrote to her (discovering that the IP on an email she’d sent him matched that of comments left on mine, Paul Priest’s and Clare Mulvany’s blogs), explaining the devastation she’d caused and suggesting that she ought to apologise. To which she responded angrily, accusing me of defamation (something isn’t defamation if its true and besides which I haven’t named her) the IP of her email providing yet more evidence, coinciding with the IPs of a nasty comment received both here and on James Preece’s site, earlier this month by an ‘Alan McNabb’.

It isn’t just the IP that has given the lady away, amongst other things are the language and themes of her comments. Here is an extract from her email which ties in with Alidyl/Alidylan73 and Dylan Morgan above.

… what appears in the name of Catholic Blogging is shameful. The way traditional Catholic Bloggers tear into Archbishop Nichols, Bishop Conry-whom I know-The Bishops Conference, and any Priest or blogger they dislike is in no way Christian like or remotely Catholic.

I think this shows all of us why we need to ensure that we remain charitable at all times even if we feel our criticism is merited, and it is worrying if this the impression people glean of Catholic blogging, but certainly the style of writing and the themes will strike a chord with anyone who has been following this sorry saga. It may give us all some insight as to how we may be perceived or why we could be seen as ‘nasty bloggers’.

I don’t really know what to do with this information. We know the lady’s name, the area she lives in and even the church she attends. That’s not meant as any kind of threat, I most definitely do not want to ‘out’ her, I do not want to invite the storm on her head that has come my way, but at the same time, I am unable to cope with the repeated allegations that I am some kind of anonymous Internet bully. I also need to stress that all this information has been obtained by entirely legitimate means, all it took was one careless mistake and it became clear that she had a very large Internet footprint. Every time she left a nasty on mine and others’ blogs, it was picked up.

I’m not going to publicly piece together the evidence here, in case it is needed later, this is simply a very public appeal for all of this nastiness to stop, but there are several of us who are party to all of the relevant information, this isn’t a personal whim or fancy. I also know that no amount of evidence will convince those who, for reasons they won’t disclose, are thoroughly convinced as to my inherent wickedness.

Another point of note. One of the accusations was that there was simply one “trolless”. The. Catholic. Internet. Troll. The internet is a very big place and we would be foolish to assume that every single malign comment is from the same person. I was perplexed upon accusations of being a certain “Big Benny” or “Big Bertha”, having no idea what this was all about. Upon googling I discovered that poor Fr Tim Finigan had been the subject of a Tablestista  troll called “Big Benny” on various  posts, to do with the Tablet. I also saw that Father Z had experienced similar from a Big Bertha. As had Fr Ray. I don’t think we can assume that this is the same person that I have identified, the style of writing is different and I note that on Fr Ray’s post, Big Benny claims to be a clinical psychologist. I have no idea what might possess people to believe that I would express those sentiments, particularly in relation to same-sex adoption. It’s totally ludicrous and nonsensical like much of this business. I am sure all priests are wise enough to take this in their stride nonetheless and have no wish to see some sort of witch-hunt carried out on their behalf, the reason I highlight this (though wary of the Streisand Effect) is in the vain hope that sensible people can see that it’s stretching credulity to claim that I am somehow responsible. But all of this has given lots of fuel to those who may wish to attack me for their own agendas and  together with the injustice of it, continues to affect my peace of mind.

I think the answer is really to keep calm and carry on, but genuinely I’m struggling to keep things in proportion. It’s very hard to stay calm when the calumny continues and is spread about by adversaries. I have been advised to call in a legal expert on internet harassment as a result of today’s obsessive Twitter troll and certainly as a result of this  episode of trolling, of which many of us have been victims. I am not sure what remedies are available, although of course not only me, but also my husband would welcome any opportunity to be able to clear my name. I don’t even think that what has happened is even illegal. People do say horrible things on the internet, most of us are not narcissistic enough to feel the need to track down and publicly shame those who have upset us. The only reason that I have been monitoring matters is because this has caused such strife and division amongst a group of people who should be sticking together. My hope is that by exposing this to the disinfectant of light, the process of healing can begin.

Learning how to deal with the dark side of the internet is something that I’m yet to master. Not feeding trolls is so much easier said than done. I’ll be back when I’ve recovered my equilibrium. I’m off on retreat. I may be back anon, quite literally. Now there would be the ultimate irony.

36 thoughts on “Time Out and trolling

  1. This has made me feel like I want to take up blogging, if for no other reason than to get these people into a lather all of their own. (Oh dear, I can feel myself heading for the confessional already!)
    So very sorry to hear of your troubles. Have a great retreat and forget all about the world’s silly people. That’s what they are; silly.

  2. Doesn’t feel right to ‘Like’ a post which makes such horrible reading. (Horrible events, not your talking about them!) But don’t have much to say other than ‘God bless’ and you and your family are in my prayers.

    1. @cumlazaro

      You didn’t put your foot in it. We are all very sympathetic towards Caroline.
      I can’t understand why people are so horrid towards her. Jealousy, perhaps?

  3. I can’t find any good reason why these people are even doing these things. Internet really has a lot of dark sides that can hurt us and we really don’t have much of a choice but to accept that. They will even taunt you even more just for their satisfaction. I have been through that and I know it’s not easy so take all the time you need. I’ll be looking forward to reading a new post from you. 🙂

  4. I know ‘like’ is the wrong word to use but I didn’t know what else to hit to show my sympathy.

    Caroline, you are are very brave woman. I have the height of admiration for you. I will say a little prayer for you.

    If people had to use their own names this nastiness would be considerably less. They are very cowardly. Probably also jealous. If you had a face like the back of a bus they might not be so vindictive. Because you are a goodlooking young Catholic mother that riles them even further.

    God bless you.

    1. @ renee

      I realized as soon as I said that ‘Like’ wasn’t quite right it sounded like a criticism of those who had ‘liked’. Sorry! I really didn’t mean it that way!! All I meant was that I had nothing much to say other than ‘God bless’…

      You can see why I stay away from twitter: as soon as I open my mouth I put my foot in it!! Apologies again. I know we’re all struggling to find ways of just saying, ‘We’re with you, Caroline.’

  5. Maybe it’s time to out these trolls. The problem with the internet is, everybody thinks they can hide behind anonymity. They think because they can create a false profile, it’s not really them making the silly comments and posts. That, somehow, it’s some other person being nasty.
    Let’s have her name, Caroline. Let’s see how she likes it if the shoe’s on the other foot!
    All these people are nothing more than cowards.

    1. Or alternatively they think that the recipient is deserving of their ire and they actually want to cause hurt and upset. That generally seems to be the case.

      I do find a lot of the uncalled for spite and venom really difficult to deal with but my distress is apparently attention seeking, not genuine and proof that I have a mental illness. I am by all accounts a ‘professional victim’.

      I guess what I find hard to understand is why people are so nasty, is it the stain of sin, or, as so many people are keen to point out, is the fact that by all accounts so many people hate me, my own fault? This is why I need to take a break.

      As for giving a name, it’s an older lady who lives with an elderly retired priest. I’m not sure what good outing would do aside from achieving revenge? My hope is that she now desists, knowing that any further comment constitutes harassment and may well result in a prosecution.

  6. Caroline, you have a lot of courage. When I was younger I had to take some flak on the pro-life front but it was all local stuff. No Internet then. Now potentially the whole world gets to have a go at you. Please keep going – for 2 reasons. Firstly you will encourage some of us oldies to return to the fray. Secondly, you will be an inspiration to the younger female generation and they need good role models.
    Incidentally, I found my way here today on the back of trying to work out how the pro-life movement had become so fractured. Without taking any particular side I endorse your plea of a while back for some kind of common front.
    I have taken pride in the fact that I do not exist on the Internet. No Facebook or twitter – and that at least won’t change. But I am proud to place my name here clearly in your support. (At least it will appear if I have sussed out how this “reply” thing works!”)

  7. “Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of culumny against you on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you.” Matt 5:11-12

  8. Caroline, I wouldn’t want to accuse you of being a bad mother. I don’t have children, and I’m sure it’s the hardest job in the world, etc. But it’s clear that your internet activities are making you really unhappy and this is bound to rub off on them. Also, I’m frankly shocked and surprised at the way you so freely post pictures of your children on twitter. If I posted pictures of your children, you would be profoundly disturbed. But it’s really not very different. The pictures are up there for every pervert in the world to take a good look at. What are you doing?

    Definitely take a good long break from the internet. In fact I should make it permanent. Maybe that will free up some time for you to ponder just why Catholics are so nasty to each other. Take care.

    1. Laurence, it’s not my internet activities making me unhappy, rather the inability to process some of the spite and nastiness that is a by-product of speaking out about contentious issues.

      I don’t agree with the assertion that I am somehow to blame for the abuse that has come my way. What continues to shock is the way people seek to make what should be an objective issue, very personal. What has happened to me this week is that people who are ideologically opposed, instead of playing the issue, have played the person.

      Unless you are saying that I deserve to receive sexual threats, along with the various nastiness that has come my way. Would you like it if your wife or sister was called an ‘evil monster’, depicted as a pig, sworn at, attacked and blamed for something they hadn’t done? What you seem to be doing is blaming me and/or saying it’s my fault for passionately advocating pro-life issues on the internet.

      This comment feels very much like you are attempting not only to cast blame, but also to try to ensure that I no longer engage. Why would that be?

      As for posting photos of my children on Twitter, call me naive, but is it therefore my fault if perverts see them and think terrible things? Or do I not need to put temptation in people’s way. Or are you claiming that I am inviting harm in their way? Sharing photos of children with friends isn’t sinister unless you think that most people are potential perverts harbouring pedophilic fantasies. Do you think no parent should post photos of their children on social media? What do you think is going to happen?

      In terms of why Catholics are nasty to each other, I think all close-knit communities have their factions, but yes it is disappointing that many chose to leave their faith behind when they log on, or forget the Christian message. It’s proof of sin.

      As for my children, as you said, it’s not your place to tell me whether or not I am a good mother. That I have difficulty coping with Internet bullying, does not affect their welfare or happiness, aside from my 9 year old not understanding why people want to be awful to her mother. It’s counter-intuitive when you tell children to stand up to bullies, yet on the Internet have to ignore them. Staying away, simply lets folk win. I find your comments quite unsettling in that clearly you are attempting to imply that my children are somehow suffering at my hands. This is exactly the kind of accusation that is distressing as it strikes at the heart of every mother who wants nothing but the best for her children. The only reason my 9 year old knows is because thanks to ongoing harassment, I have at times been concerned. When you open an email telling you that you deserve to die and expressing that hope, (whilst not divulging contents to children) it’s perfectly natural to express dismay.

      But thanks for your thoughts. I shall keep you in prayer too.

      1. Caroline, you are not sharing photos with friends. You are sharing them with the entire planet. I don’t even have a twitter account, and I can see them all, including the ones where your children are a little under-dressed. One day, they might not thank you for this. Maybe wait until they are old enough to provide informed consent?

        The other thing they might not thank you for, is having to learn a load of stuff that isn’t true. Because the claims of religion are false, and nothing indicates this better than spiteful behaviour between believers who ought to be the model of Christian charity, but so aren’t. Wearing my conspiratorial hat, I would like you to continue tweeting because you are damaging the image of the church in a small way. My appeal for you to stop is as a human being.

        I am truly sorry for all the abuse you have received.

      2. Laurence, I have not posted photos of the children looking a little under-dressed. I am always quite scrupulous in that regard.

        I’m quite shocked at what you seem to be suggesting.

        As for whether or not I am damaging the image of the Church, that’s obviously something to think about, but I think you’ll find its not me engaging in the abuse or dishing it out, more struggling to cope with it. You’ll also note that most of it emanates from non-Christians. Where Catholics have become involved is that a tiny minority of them, for reasons best known to themselves last year decided to whip up a major storm and took pleasure in so doing, whilst I was pregnant, accusing me of allsorts of which I was entirely innocent. This post attempts to address a particular and very upsetting accusation that was made.

        I actually feel quite sick by your insinuations. You claim that I am abusing my children by posting the odd snap of them (they are not underdressed in any photo) but your beef is also that I am bringing them up Catholic.

        Social media is a part of life. Many people post photos of their children. I cannot quite fathom your insinuations. Who looks at a photo of a baby or toddler and thinks ‘hmm a little underdressed’. The only one I can think of is my newborn in her nappy. That’s not what I would consider to be in any way provocative or embarrassing in later life.

      3. Caroline, I really don’t feel I am insinuating anything. I’m saying it out loud. I can see seven photos which are inappropriate (not counting toddlers and duplicates). I could link to them, but I’m not going to. Obviously I don’t move in these circles, but I’m just surprised. I thought everyone was down on this sort of thing now. A few years ago, I unthinkingly took some photos at a carol concert, and had my knuckles metaphorically rapped. (And I never said you were abusing your children. Please don’t exaggerate.)

        I don’t see your online abuse coming solely from unbelievers. I see you and Damian and Cranmer, and the way you all seem to hate each other in different ways. It’s a terrible advert for the love of Christ. Nobody’s got the time to work out who’s right and who’s wrong. It’s just a huge turn off.

        Give it a rest. Concentrate on the only four things that matter. Everyone wins.

      4. Once again there are no ‘inappropriate’ photos of my children on Twitter. I’m finding your focus on this a little alarming if I’m honest.

        As for Damian and Cranmer, I hate neither of them. I used to get on with both, Damian turned quite unpleasant having been silly enough to believe the fantastical rantings of his acolytes, Cranmer took offence after I pointed out that I was perceiving some of his commentary as seeming a little anti-RC, around the O’Brien affair.

        I don’t follow you on Twitter, I don’t know who you are aside from a secularist journo, but I am getting the impression that you are trying to persuade me to stay off the Internet, couched in language designed to hit my psychological weak spots. It’s a bit disturbing.

      5. I’m not on twitter, and I’m not a journalist. People often confuse me with a film critic from Leeds. I suggest you run your photos past an objective friend for a second opinion.

      6. Hang on. You aren’t on Twitter yet you’ve specifically logged on to look at my feed and see how many inappropriate photos of my children you can count? Besides I haven’t posted one of them ‘underdressed’ for months.

        That’s troubling…

      7. Although I’ve come across this sort of thing before, the tone of faux concern for you and your children’s welfare from someone who’s clearly a secularist nut job creeps me out.

        If you are genuinely trying to be helpful, Laurence -and frankly I doubt it- I’ve got to say it isn’t working.

      8. Thanks Lazarus. I confess to feeling really unnerved. My husband has no problem with the photos I’ve posted.

        I think Laurence is engaging in gas lighting. He knows I’m a bit vulnerable and he’s trying to capitalise on that to keep me off the web. It feels really unpleasant. 😦

      9. @ Caroline

        I think there’s a simple rule in these cases: you trust what someone who cares and knows you thinks (ie your husband) and you ignore what someone who ‘thinks the claims of religion are false’ and who turns up out of the blue on a Catholic blog suggests (ie Laurence).

        Ashamed to say that it’s a typical male tactic: attack women where they’re most vulnerable (and that’s almost always through their children and their worries about being a mother).

      10. For Christ’s sake Caroline, there’s no need to log on to anything. Twitter is completely public, as far as I can tell. It really is beyond absurd that you are making me out to be the problem looking at photos which you have posted for 7 billion people to see. The more “troubling” and “unnerving” you find this, the more it suggests that you had better remove them without further ado.

        You really don’t need to worry about me. Catholic priests maybe . . .

      11. It’s unnerving that you have gone onto Twitter specifically to look for months-old photos of my children in order to fuel a personal attack.


      12. Laurence, I deleted your previous comment and marked as spam. It’s clear your agenda is one of personal attack and bullying. Attempting to co-opt my children into that is low and vile and proves my point nicely. You seem to be part of a most unpleasant mob which seeks to behave in a spiteful way towards those with whom you ideologically disagree and then blame your target for said hurt.

        Attempting to pin the blame on me for being the target of your venom and attempting to attack my children or claim they are at risk, is the hallmarks of gas-lighting.

        I have no idea how I came to your attention, as an atheist in favour of liberal abortion, but I strongly suggest that if you wish for civilised discourse you adopt a shred of decency. Further comments from your IP on this thread have been set to go to spam.

    2. What nonsense. We don’t all have suspicious minds, nor can we be governed by people like yourself who do. Children are a beautiful and precious gift, and sharing the moments that bring joy to us with others is a way of sharing that gift. If some weirdos get off on it, so what?

      I can only suppose your spiteful and personal attacks on Caroline and her family are based on fear and jealousy: fear that people like her are making a positive difference in promoting a culture of life and joy, and undermining your tragic culture of nihilism and death, and jealousy of what your fruitless lifestyle and hollow value system has denied you.

      Oh, and if Caroline wasn’t unhappy to live in a world in which Liberal Democrats exercise a disproportionate amount of influence in comparison to the statistically insignificant amount of public support they enjoy, there would be something wrong with her.

      1. Though still supportive, I am no longer a member of the Lib Dems. But taking the last general election, Lib Dems gained a 23% share of the vote for which they received less than 9% of the seats in parliament. So yes, they definitely have a “disproportionate” influence.

        Hope that helps, and thanks for the personal abuse.

      2. What personal abuse? The only personal abuse I can see is that directed by you to religious people, and to people who have children and celebrate them.

        That’s the thing about secular fundamentalists. They don’t have children, but they expect people like Caroline to have them. Then they expecting them to raise them. Furthermore they hope that those children are raised as Christians so, when they are old and in need and have no children of their own to look after them, those children will look after them in the spirit of Christian charity.

        People of the culture of death have no business telling the people of life how to raise their children.

      3. Michael, if you can’t see that your comments are abusive, then there’s no hope.

  9. Hi Caroline,
    I’ve read your posts a few times but never commented, also seen you on TV as a ‘catholic voice’ a few times.

    Firstly, if you have received sexual threats and abuse then you are quite rightly upset and outraged – but I believe you have a civil and moral responsibility to report it to the police as it most definitely is a crime. Indeed, violent or sexual threats carry a custodial sentence up to five years I believe. Rightly or wrongly, I think the label of ‘professional victim’ you attract is partly because you appear to complain repeatedly but not take the appropriate action. In this particular case, I would strongly advise contacting the police and not blogging about the incidents as showing the abuser that you are upset only motivates them to continue. However, let me be clear that I consider what they have done to be very wrong and understand your anguish.

    Secondly, I nearly wet myself laughing when you stated that you had been accused of being big benny / bertha because I can reveal now that I am him /her – or rather I was. It was my blogging personna a few years ago used while I should have been writing my PhD. I am slightly delighted that I must have caused such big waves (or ripples) that I have been remembered 5+ years later. I used a pseudo-name (and still do) so as not to identify myself from a professional point of view (because I could easily be tracked because of my uncommon name and professional profile), but also because of fears regarding credible threats of violence, stalking and harassment. For example, I believe Elena Curti received a number of deaths threats and unpleasant emails and delivery packages after published her article about Fr Tim. Other catholic reporters have experienced similar incidents.

    I am rather upset though as being labelled as an ‘internet troll’ by you, as I am and was nothing of the sort. I am a moderate (perhaps ‘liberal’ leaning in some aspects) catholic of good standing who has posted different points of view on various traditionalist catholic websites and blog-sites. I also post comments on less traditionalist sites (although noticeably l have never received abuse on those and have been able to engage in meaningful debate and dialogue about differences in these forums). On a number of occasions in the past I have tried to engage with topics being blogged on – often posting comments to correct factual errors in what certain bloggers have reported, usually around the interpretation of sex or sexuality related research (which as a practising clinical psychologist working clinically and involved in research within this area I am very qualified to do). Always I have found that having a different perspective has attracted ridicule, accusations of being a tablet editor / part of an international conspiracy etc, abuse of various kinds, and ultimately when they cannot contest your facts or arguments by reason – they block you and bad mouth you without any right to reply. Perhaps you can explain why you characterise me as troll?

    What is noticeable among these traditionalist blogs is the casual way they bad mouth people and mis-represent others’ views/opinions/actions in order to score a political point. A good example would be the recent blogger who posted ‘Archbishop Nichols tell abuse victims to stop complaining’ – which, of course, he never said any such thing. The tradosphere claims to want to preach the truth but the reality is that anyone that doers not parrot their insular small minded interpretation of Catholicism is set upon bullied and ridiculed. Btw, I consider some of the people you mix with eg the Diabolical Tribe of St Tibulus the Scribe (or whatever ridiculous narcissistic title they have invented for themselves) to be among the worst offenders. I am not surprised that another catholic blogger is behind these awful remarks and gossip about you. All I can suggest is that you distance yourself from them and from the uber-traditionalist catholic blogs – many of whom are actually SSPX or sympathisers and (as Archbishop Mueller recently clarified) therefore ‘not catholic’. As far as I am concerned ++Vin was correct and his remarks entirely proper. There is no reasoning with these people and by trying to engage with them, all you are doing is providing oxygen to their noxious fire. Perhaps, you might want to reflect on why you continue to place yourself in such a position, what is it you wish to achieve?
    With best wishes and kind regards, big benny / bertha (real name and current pseudo-name withheld for obvious reasons).

    1. Wow, thanks for that Big Benny.

      To be honest, I never considered you a troll per se, I had no idea about who you were, though I disagree with some of your comments, I didn’t see them as being deliberately abusive or provocative.

      I think one of the reasons that I have become so upset/embittered/embattled and distraught is that last year I repeatedly went to the police who were extremely sympathetic.

      I sat with a WPC who looked at a certain Twitter feed and couldn’t believe what she was seeing, one madwoman was literally spewing out one defamatory accusation after another, as well as following this up with manic blog posts and contacting all sorts of people with paranoid emails and accusations. The general feeling was that here was someone with mental health issues who should be stopped.

      I then had to write an extremely detailed statement, together with screenshots, a specialist harassment lawyer advised me here was a clear-cut case and yet, the police in the end, were not willing to do anything, because they felt that there was no actual physical threat. I had my university chaplaincy contacted and attempts made to interfere in my husband’s formation process amongst other things. The police did however did however strongly suggest that I sought a civil remedy for defamation, for which I lack the financial and emotional means.

      I repeatedly went to them last year when it was very clear that I was a victim of Internet harassment and stalking and I guess because this sort of thing is becoming increasingly common, together with diminishing resources, they didn’t have the desire to pursue it, much to the disgust of many. One such sexual threat has been excused under the guise of being an obvious joke and you’ll see a comment above, which whilst not abusive, is rather alarming in its insinuations about my children. A friend has verified that I never post anything untoward in that regard.

      Apparently a common occurrence amongst victims of stalking and harassment is that they become as obsessed as those who are hounding them. I have recognised that I am in danger of falling into this trap, struggling to get over and heal from the lack of natural justice, so prayers would be appreciated on that score.

      Do I think you are a troll? No, not really, it’s just that was the accepted meme. I think you have been conflated with the lady who had been making some terribly unpleasant comments as well as anyone who used alliterative names. There seems to be a lot of conspiracy theorists about and whilst an unpleasant comment is hurtful we need not to get narcissistic about them or go on a witch-hunt. Please accept my apologies for misrepresenting you in this way.

      What was I trying to achieve? Unity, I guess. But I definitely think you have a point re comms boxes.

      Ultimately the last year, combined with a difficult pregnancy and 3 years of very unsettling personal circumstances have upset my equilibrium. I too hate to see the Bishops and others attacked in such an uncharitable way by many.

      But thank you for taking the time to comment here. As I said, there are a few who refuse to be dissuaded from the belief in my inherent wickedness. (And yes, I am a sinner). No doubt your comment will be scrupulously analysed and used as proof that I am secretly you after all. 🙂

  10. Firstly, I would not consider the comments above to be sexual threats. I read it as a suggestion about posting photographs of your children in public forums, without any malice intended. However, if you have actual received threats of sexual or other violence and the police have neglected to investigate or follow-up, I would recommend making a complaint to the commanding officer – they can handle it in a formal or informal way. They most certainly do have a responsibility to act even if it is a ‘friendly warning to desist’.

    Secondly, there is a good post on the catholic commentary site about traditionalists bloggers as the alternative magisterium which I concur with, you may wish to read:

    1. No the above isn’t a sexual threat but I was not alone in finding it malicious, especially the remark I did not publish.

      The specific sexual and violent threats were all reported but to no avail and we did appeal to the Inspector’s boss. Hence the touch of defensiveness, unless one is a high profile celebrity it seems the police lack resources although this might interest you. http://www.theargus.co.uk/news/9565228.Brighton_dad_sets_up_cyber_bullying_charity/

      Re Joe’s post, I think he’s right especially in terms of colonisation of the Internet.

  11. One of my sisters sent me a photo by iphone of my nephew on the day of his Confirmation. I had to go online on my desktop to access it. I had to use a code. I think she had placed some kind of a lock. I don’t have an iphone.

    I don’t do twitter and l gave up facebook because it was taking up too much of my time.

    I will pray for you.I guess l should pray for your enemies also that they may see the errors of their ways. It is nice to be nice. They should remember that.

    God bless.

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