Be careful who you troll

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If you’re a Twitter user then you will have no doubt stumbled across the Twitter exchange between an boxer Curtis Woodhouse and a troll yesterday.

Former Birmingham City footballer-turned-boxer Curtis Woodhouse reacted to the abusive tweets sent by @jimmyob88. He became locked in an on-going battle with an internet troll, who demanded he retire after he lost his English light-welterweight title on Friday.

The troll posted: “What is funny is you put so much effort in, sacrificed all of that time and failed to defend your Mickey Mouse title”, “Retire immediately, you are a complete disgrace”, “Haha, you lost you silly mug, fight a 10-year-old next time if you want to actually win.”

So, what happened next? Woodhouse then claimed to have turned up at the man’s house and posted a picture of his road sign on Twitter, while he waited to confront him. The troll, who calls himself The Master, then backed down and began apologising to the boxer on the social networking site. Cue the thousands of tweets congratulating Woodhouse, including Joey Barton.

Whilst entertaining, this latest troll episode acts as a reminder of two things – the type of abuse celebrities are subject to across social networks and how ‘keyboard warriors’ can be easily exposed in the digital age we live where information about us is spread across the Web and social media.

Just a few backs I (@DP_Walsh) was having a Twitter conversation with a journalist friend who writes for The Sun where I was ribbing him about Reading FC. He has a decent following so after tweeting him that I think The Royals were going to be relegated, I received around 20-30 tweets from Reading fans telling me how wrong I was. That’s fair enough. However, one user jumped in and decided to get abusive. He used foul language and after a quick check on his other tweets it seems I was just another in a long line of users he’d trolled.

It felt really strange. I’d never been trolled before and it did bother me slightly – I had no idea who this person was and yet they felt they could do that. I was always of the opinion that celebs shouldn’t moan about trolls as it goes with the territory. I was wrong.

I had a dilemma – tweet back, block or take action. I chose the latter. I checked his profile, got his name and spent 10 minutes searching the Web. In no time I’d found out where he lives, where he works, where he went to university and even what his missus looked like. Leave it there? No. I decided to call his work and ask for him. He came on the phone and we spoke about it. He soon crumbled and couldn’t apologise more. At one point I actually felt bad. But I’d made my point and left it at that. It’s very easy to hurl abuse at someone from behind a keyboard and like Woodhouse’s troll yesterday, when faced with confrontation these kind of people soon back down.

I did think after that perhaps I took it too far. Maybe I did. Whatever happens, I’m pretty sure he won’t be doing that again in a hurry. Massive hat tip to Nero and The Kernel for this – http://www.kernelmag.com/topic/trollwatch/.

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About MUSTARD PR

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Posted on March 12, 2013, in MUSTARD PR, Social media and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Don’t feel bad – tracking someone down to have a sensible conversation about something seems very reasonable to me.

  2. Thanks, Nicholas. Interesting debate. My experience has certainly made me think differently about the issue.

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