Showing posts with label trolls. Show all posts
Showing posts with label trolls. Show all posts

11 September 2015

My Fat Shaming Week

Trigger - comments shared about fat shaming - having a much needed vent

If you are fat, this has been one helluva week.  From Nicole Arbour's video, to the usual backlash against fat people because of it through trolls who surged like a swarm of locusts in delight at being to hurt a little more than usual.  

Then there was the whole #PlusisEqual campaign from Lane Bryant whose message that it was time to represent the 67% of women who are unrepresented on billboards; only then to use "socially acceptable" sized models in their campaign photograph.

I cannot help but think that while Lane Bryant may have an inkling of what their message actually means, they are not brave enough to carry through with it.  Ultimately they want to sell, that is their business.  But I know I, for one, would have seriously considered buying from them if they have been truly representative.  

I am not going to lie, this week for me it has been hard being a fat woman.  Not because I feel any less confident this week or feel any less about myself; but more because going through this week has been like being surrounded by jellyfish, not knowing when they are going to sting.

It started by seeing the "Dear Fat People" video shared on my Facebook timeline, by people who I know, progressing by troll attacks on my blog and Facebook page following my post about it (see here ) which I spent all yesterday's lunch time deleting.  

Comments that I am "glorifying obesity" simply by existing on the internet, that I am a whale that needs to be put down, that I am a gross and disgusting woman who will never be loved and that I need someone to shut my big fat mouth (never going to happen fuckwit).

While I do get trolled occasionally, I have been lucky, if lucky is even the right word in that it doesn't happen too often.  So to find so many comments this week has been hard; although sadly I did half expect it because of my posting about a video that has been talked about worldwide.

This was also a week where I have been targeted by the general public more than usual too.  From the woman who openly laughed at me to her friend as I walked past (get a life and work on your own issues sweetheart), to the man who commented to his girlfriend that I had a pretty face, only for her to comment "Yeah but look at the fat!".  Insecure much love?

This week culminated in me blowing my top when a teenager passing in a car with her presumed parent shouted out of the window at me as I crossed the road "Oh gross, she is huge!".  I turned around, gave her the finger and screamed fuck off at her.  I was half expecting the mother to turn the car around and have a go at me for shouting at her daughter, but she didn't.  Hopefully she was ashamed of her daughter.  I know I would be.

This week now comes to the near end.  I leave it still happy in myself, still confident, still wearing bloody amazing dresses and feeling awesome while wearing them.  It also leaves me sad and hurt.  

Sad that there are still people who use fat people as a vehicle for clicks and subscriptions, sad that trolls get their kicks from trying to hurt others.  I am also hurt that people I know, as well as random people on the street think it acceptable to share hateful videos and comment negatively about me right to my face, or behind my back; as if either my feelings do not exist or they are of no consequence.

Next time you make a fat joke, next time you share a derogatory video that you think has no consequence because "fat people deserve it", next time you troll (ok, there is no hope for them), look into the eyes of the person you want to insult and ask yourself:  What kind of human being do I want to be?  Don't be a dick.

15 January 2015

Where is the Love?

So, I just finished watching Cyberbully.

If there is one thing that I have learned being online it is that no matter who you are, what you do, what you look like and what you say, someone will always find a reason to send hate your way.  Not because you are fat, thin; happy; sad; successful; or down on your luck but because they are looking for their next victim and are trying you on for size.

This line from The Breakfast Club springs to mind and still rings true today:

Whether you are a teenager getting hassle from bullies at school, a blogger sharing your thoughts and photographs online or an actress who gets her stolen naked pictures made viral; someone who wants to hurt you will find a way to creep into your heart and afflict hurt.

So what do we do about it?  You cannot stop trolls.  A trolls is like a hydra, but on the internet.  Cut off one head and two more shall take it's place. 

I have had a small sharing of trolls.  On my pictures, on my blog; all pathetic creatures who have only one aim: to hurt me.  Having known how it feels to receive it, I cannot even imagine what a sustained onslaught would be like.

So again I say: what do we do about it?  My small part is this.  From now on, whenever I see someone who has been trolled, bullied or made to feel less than what they are online, I am going to send them love.  Whether I know them or not.  Just a simple message telling them that they are worth more than the troll who is feeding on them.

Will it stops the trolls?  Of course not.  But will it make that person feel better?  Maybe.  I know that it has for me in the past when people have sent me messages of love when I have received hate.  It helped.  It really helped.

All I do know is that I would rather send something positive than look, think "Oh no that's awful" and then scroll past.  Love is more powerful than hate. 

Whilst I may not know what a torrent of abuse feels like, and don't pretend that I do; what I do know is what is feels like when you are surrounded by a black cloud.  You feel like you are all alone, lost in a fog you cannot except from. But then sometimes, someone, even from the most unexpected place turns a tiny light on, and suddenly you have a new place to look, a new focus.

Anyone fancy joining me?

18 March 2014

Guest Post from Just Me Leah

Morning all! 

Today I am happy to say that I have the fabulous +Just me Leah guest posting on my blog today, so I will hand you over to her.

Hi, I’m Leah and I blog at Thanks to Vicky for giving me the opportunity to guest post on her blog.

As bloggers, people who comment on blogs, or people who use social networking pages and forums regularly we’re all at risk of coming into contact with people who share a very different set of values and beliefs to us, which can lead to conflict. For this post I will be writing from the perspective of you being the one who’s on the receiving end of conflict. 
If you’ve been active online for a long time and haven’t come into conflict with anyone I’d hazard a guess that you’re in the minority. The first time someone sought me out over something I’d said was on MySpace almost 10 years ago. Someone called me an emo (and much worse) because one of the many bands I said I liked in my introductory post in a group about rock music didn’t fall into the rock/metal category according to them. There have been many occasions since then where someone has felt the need to tell me how wrong I am about something, the last of which was very recently. The circumstances each time have been different and have warranted differing courses of action.
There are three categories of people you may come into conflict with.
1.  The person you’re in conflict with is using an anonymous profile. I would advise caution, because you have no idea if the person in conflict with you is a slightly pissed off keyboard warrior, someone having an off day who might later regret their comment, or an unhinged person with an agenda and nothing better to do than pick your life apart for their own amusement. I don’t allow anon comments on my blog as I think it gives people the opportunity to do their worst. If your blog or social media page has an option to pre-approve comments, think hard about whether you want to publish negative ones. Do you want to respond to the person if you publish it, or leave it there and have someone else possibly stick up for you and get drawn into it? What effect might getting dragged into a slanging match have on you and the other people who can see it?
2. The person you’re in conflict with is well known to you. How you proceed depends on their relationship with you and how your response might affect things outside your relationship with them. For example if you fall out with a friend of a friend, how will that affect things with your friend? If a family member has said something out of order, is it worth making life awkward for the whole family? Think hard and take a little time to breathe before saying something you can never take back. If they’ve said something unconscionable, I would suggest blocking them rather than having an ongoing conflict. The break might do you good and at a later date a reconciliation might be possible. You never know. But if it's someone on Facebook who's overstepped the mark, the choice is yours to reply or delete their comment and/or block them.
3. The person you’re in conflict with is using an account or username you can Google search. You’ve just hit gold, my friend! Everyone using a regular username leaves breadcrumbs you can follow, and most of us are creatures of habit after all. If you can Google their name/username, within a few clicks you can find out whether they’re trolls who do this a lot, or it’s somewhat out of character.
When someone took exception to a throwaway comment I made on someone else’s blog recently I Googled her username, and something very interesting became apparent. She rarely commented on a post to say anything good. In fact she rarely commented on a POST at all. Instead she’d find something contrary to say to someone who’d posted in the comments. I had been contemplating replying to her, but when I saw she was the kind of person who mainly looked for something to argue about, I knew the kind of person she was and decided I didn’t need to go there. Know your ‘opponent’ where possible because it will dictate your course of action.
Things to remember:
·  Some people are trolls, pure and simple. They enjoy getting a rise out of someone and if you respond it’ll make their day.
·  You have the choice to delete and ignore the comment, reply once and say your piece in full and never comment again, or be drawn into a dialogue which might go bad like milk in summer. There’s no right or wrong decision – just take a few deep breaths while you decide what to do. It’s hard to be calm when you feel under attack but you can’t unsay something once it’s on the internet.
·  I’ve regretted answering back a couple of times but have never regretted deleting a crappy comment and forgetting about it.
·  There are some people who ALWAYS have to have the last word even if they’re wrong. These people will gain pleasure from keeping a row going until you give up. Then they think they’ve ‘won’.
·   There are some people who don’t even care what subject you’re talking about. They have a superiority complex and will argue to prove to themselves how great they are. They will argue about the colour of the sky for the joy of arguing. Leave them alone in a room and they’ll argue with their shadow. Avoid.
·  There are some subjects which are so contentious you and the other person could debate/argue for months and still NEVER see eye to eye. You have to work out if there’s any point in wasting your energy on someone like that.
What are your tips on dealing with conflict? Feel free to let us know your troll horror stories in the comments.
Thanks for reading.

9 August 2013

Shouting Back

Unless you have been living under a rock, most people by now will have heard of and seen the horrendous abuse and threats that have been sent to Caroline Criado-Perez and others.  Not just insults or abusive comments, but physical threats. 

In case you are not aware of the background, Caroline had successfully campaigned to maintain female representation on a bank note and appeared on various interviews thereafter.  For that she was inundated with threats of rape, assault and murder. 

Caroline chose to shout back rather than stay silent and to alert the police rather than be scared into submission.  The reaction to those measures by fellow Twitter users, the media and the public has stunned me. 

Victim blaming isn’t anything new.  It has been going on for years and whilst I thought that in more recent times, people were a little more enlightened, it seems that couldn’t be further from the case.

Comments like “Being on Twitter is like walking down the street naked” which I saw this morning on not what you would presume (The Daily Fail) but in The Times, by people whom you would presume would know better.  So by that, if I were to walk down the street naked should I expect threats of rape?  Is the commenter saying it would be acceptable behaviour because I was naked? 

Other comments such as “if you don’t like what is being said, leave Twitter” have been bandied about by many.  Personally, I don’t see why you should be forced off anywhere because of threatening behaviour.  

If someone was threatening you in a restaurant with rape or murder, you wouldn’t ignore it, you would report it.  It wouldn’t stop you using the restaurant again.  If someone was using menacing behaviour against you in the workplace, would you leave work and find another job rather than speak up?  Of course you wouldn’t.

Insults and abuse you can ignore, block and indeed feel pity for those who have little else in their lives other than to hurl abuse at others.  Because that is trolling.  Trolling isn’t illegal.  Threats to physically hurt you aren’t trolling, they are illegal.

Those are just some of my thoughts on the matter.  I am not a “man hater”.  I am not, as I have others been accused of “moaning about every little thing concerning women”.  I just believe that everybody, men and women alike have a right not to be physically threatened, be it in the street, in their own home or online.  If it happens, it should be reported.  Being online does not mean that laws suddenly do not apply.

What are your thoughts?


16 August 2012


Trolls.  Not the kind featuring in the likes of The Hobbit who turn to stone when the first rays of sunlight hit them, but the human variety.

The type of people who prey on the weak, who delight in the misery of others and court controversy. 

We have all heard many stories about trolls before, from stalking celebrities to posting comments on RIP sites that would sicken you to read them.  Over the last 48 hours the troll "in thing" appears to be announcing that certain people have died. 

I have seen in the last couple of days death announcements, supposedly from the Twitter feeds of well known newspapers, that Matt Smith died of a heart attack in his flat, Margaret Thatcher has died and finally yesterday, that Prince Philip had died after his arrival in hospital.

I personally don't believe that any "trolling" activity is right.  I know someone who loves nothing more than to write on someone's status on Facebook or Google+ with something rude, purely to get the respondent to "bite".  They don't see that as a wrong thing to do.  I see them as baby trolls.

I have found though that you can get your trolls on their own, and then you can get "trolls united".  A mass of people, who for one reason or another like to ridicule others, who all send messages to the same person or site of a nasty and derogatory nature.

This was the case with a blog I read recently with a 17 year old who has a fascination for Formula One and likes to write about it.  Being an aspiring journalist he has created a website for his work.  I certainly couldn't have done anything like that at 17 and I admire his confidence, his work ethic and his will to succeed. 

He was unfortunately a target for a mass troll attack over the last day or so with people critising his writing, his website, himself as a person.....  This person is someone in college who is making something of himself and planning a career.  He wasn't sat around doing nothing and expecting the world to do things for him.

The majority were just regular people who had seemingly jumped on the band wagon of hate.  These people have normal lives with family, friends and social lives except once in a while, they seem to enjoy making nasty comments.  That doesn't make them normal, that makes them trolls.

In the end, I think what we all need to do is ignore them.  In the case of Twitter we have the ability to ignore, report and block.  In other mediums they can be reported or ignored. 

Whilst the human trolls don't turn into stone, maybe if we don't feed them by "biting back" at their jibes, they may wither away and go back to their own, let's face it, very sad and probably lonely lives.