Belfast Telegraph

Online bullies who hide behind anonymity

By Una Brankin

Bullying is part of human nature. It might be more blatant in the animal kingdom, where the runt of the litter is pushed aside and abused, but it's alive and well in our world too, from the creche to the corporate boardroom.

The despicable and ill-informed trolls who took to the internet this week to taunt Oscar Knox's family over their football allegiances, and to clobber the well-meaning personal trainer Danielle Johnston over her innocuous Facebook post about health and fitness, are invisible bullies with a chip on their shoulder, cowards hiding behind the screen of cyberspace.

The ignoramuses who sent death threats to Danielle for innocently mentioning young Oscar, ruining the run-up to her honeymoon, have taken her benign comments on health and fitness completely out of context and twisted them to suit their own warped agenda.

Other morons have gone the mass knee-jerk domino route and simply poured bile upon the existing venom, without even bothering to read the gym owner's comments.

Her Facebook post didn't even mention her Balmoral Road premises, yet some of these idiots have accused her of trying to promote it on the back of the child's tragic death.

Some people seem to get their kicks giving off and being negative.

There are plenty of examples of flag and anti-march protesters here who clearly enjoyed the violence on the streets.

No doubt hapless Danielle Johnston will think twice before posting on Facebook again, but as long as the internet is uncensored for incitement to hatred, the bullying and abuse will continue to thrive.

Some of us with internet access just aren't very nice or very smart people.

Belfast Telegraph

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