The Daily Mail did a long piece on Twitter harassment of women last August. I generally avoid the Mail, but this article is worth it.
Some of those involved in the recent tirade against Miss Criado-Perez , two female MPs, and other high-profile women, are exposed today following our investigation into this dark sub-culture.
They are indeed; names, pictures, cities, jobs, the works.
On Monday, less than 24 hours after Miss Criado-Perez was targeted by Johnny@beware0088, she received another message: ‘Back to the kitchen, you t***.’ In subsequent tweets from the same ‘troll’, she was called a ‘slut’ and a ‘prostitute.’
He also made a revolting remark about her anatomy. And there was more. ‘Go and tell all your followers to go and wash all their faces with acid including you [Miss Criado-Perez] as well.’
It wasn’t hard to discover who was responsible. For the culprit tweeted using his real name: Neil Law@NeilOfficial. Law, in his 20s, is a plumber from Aberdeen. On Facebook, he is pictured partying with his arms around attractive young women, with one friend dubbing him ‘Stud Law’.
Like Carl Attard, he was utterly unrepentant when taken to task by appalled Twitter users. Asked whether he thought his behaviour was ‘normal and made him proud,’ Law insisted defiantly: ‘Yes, yes I do. And yes it does make me proud.’
It is an offence under Section 127 of the Communications Act 2003 punishable by up to six months in prison to send an electronic message that is ‘grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene, or menacing character’.
Gosh. That certainly is an offence that gets committed a lot.
Even though more than 3,000 people have been prosecuted over the past two years or so, the statistics cover all forms of electronic communication, including phone calls.
In reality, there have been few prosecutions for actual internet trolling. Presumably, this is why Law, a Manchester United supporter, didn’t feel compelled to hide behind a pseudonym.
But Neil Law, we can report, was in for a nasty surprise. Someone discovered, from Facebook, that he worked for Barratt Developments and reported him to his employers. He may now face the sack.
‘These are extremely serious allegations against one of our employees who has now been suspended pending a formal investigation,’ said a company spokesman. ‘Barratt has strict policies against any form of harassment or threatening behaviour and any employee that’s found contravening them would be subject to the appropriate disciplinary action.’
Serious? I thought we were supposed to just laugh it off. Even if that means we have to laugh 500 times a day, we were supposed to laugh it off. I wonder why Barratt doesn’t think so.
Wesley Meredith, 30, is an instructor at the Royal School of Military Engineering, the main training establishment for the Royal Engineers.
He lives in Brighton with his partner and young daughter. Alongside a photograph of the youngster on Facebook, he has written: ‘Proud as punch.’
Yet last week, he sent a message to the Twitter pages of The Everyday Sexism Project, a website that catalogues women’s experiences of sexism, whose founder, Laura Bates, had just appeared on Jeremy Vine’s lunchtime Radio 2 show.
The message read: ‘I’d say she [Miss Bates] needs a good rogering if you ask me.’ Meredith also sent the tweet to Vine’s radio programme…
Meredith’s partner was fully aware of the tweet, but seemed unperturbed when we called at their home on the South coast this week. Answering the door, she said he had been ‘very careful’ about the wording, and had even taken the trouble of checking the precise meaning of ‘a good rogering’ in a dictionary.
That’s nice. A woman thinks it’s fine for a man to respond to a woman’s ideas with saying she needs to be fucked. It’s not that she’s wrong, it’s that she’s defective in the “good rogering” department.
There’s a poignant little portrait of John Nimmo, too, the one who just pleaded guilty.
It’s all very edifying. Take a bow, humanity.