Rachel Riley libel appeal: attack of the trolls

While we wait for my Counsel to finish writing the grounds and skeleton argument for my appeal against the High Court judgment against me, let’s talk about the strange behaviour of some characters on the social media.

Be warned that some of what follows contains language you may find shocking.

I have to admit, I haven’t been paying much attention to what people have been tweeting in response to my articles about the judgment and my plans for an appeal, so the following came as quite a jolt, when I received it from a friend on November 30:

For those of you who may not be able to read the words in an image file, it contains a tweet from somebody who stated, on the day the judgment against me was published, “May I be the first to say, tough shit Siver, you snivelling little turd. And to all those mugs who donated towards the £233,830 fundraiser he siphoned from you gullible fools, tough shit to you all too. Have a really shitty day.” This was followed with six “thumbs-up” emojis.

Below it was a message from Twitter stating: “VIOLATION FOUND. We looked @[this person’s] account for breaking our abusive behavior rule. We found they broke ourabusive behavior rule through different reports we received about their behavior. They can’t Tweet, Retweet, or Like content, and we’ll ask them to remove the reported content if they want to regain full access to their account. Your safety is important to us.” And so on.

I understand there was quite a flurry of tweets similar to this in response to the judgment – and there have been a few saying similar or worse things after I announced my intention to appeal and started raising funds for it.

So, after I published my most recent update, “Appeal against Rachel Riley libel judgment set to be filed next week”, I decided to pay attention to the responses it received. I was ill (my fifth cold since the start of September) and had little better to do. And I didn’t have to wait long.

“Rejection of appeal to be reached the day after, still good grift, well played,” tweeted an anonymous Twitter user, seven minutes later. This person provided no name or identifying image, was following just 69 people and had only eight followers, and had joined Twitter that month.

Notice the use of the word “grift”, echoing Rachel Riley’s assertion that I am a “grifter”, which is defined as “a person who engages in petty or smale-scale swindling”. There is no truth in such an allegation, of course – so you can draw your own conclusions about this person’s reason for being anonymous.

It’s classic “troll” behaviour, of course – leaving an insulting or offensive message in order to upset someone, get attention or cause trouble.

I decided to engage this person in conversation: “Why are you trying to tell me what I do? It can only be because you are trying to fool other readers into believing your nasty little story.”

The response indicates a willingness to twist words to create a false impression: “I’ve … not told you what to do, simp.” A “simp” is defined as a “silly or foolish person” and the use of that word is further demonstration that this person is a troll – the use of insults being intended to provoke an emotional, and possibly foolish, reaction.

The conversation continued, with me pointing out: “You have a vested interest in broadcasting untruths. Are you being paid for this? If so, by whom?”

This seemed to incense the troll who had launched an attack purely to get an emotional reaction from me: “Ooooh, are you intimating there’s a CONSPIRACY, Mikey?”

“Not at all. Asking if an anonymous troll is being paid to cast shade on a fundraiser for justice seems perfectly reasonable,” I replied.

Funny how these trolls hate being called out on the reasons for their deliberately-offensive behaviour. It is a reasonable question: why else would a complete stranger join Twitter anonymously to attack an attempt to secure justice? What does such a person have to hide?

You see, they can’t claim they need to be anonymous for their own protection because it is they who are deliberately trying to cause provocation; to upset me and to put people off contributing to the fund supporting my appeal.

So, why hide behind a fake name? There has to be a reason. Am I right?

There’s really only one way to combat behaviour like this – and that is to win the case. And the only way to do that is by having enough funding to pay for an appeal. That is, after all, the only reason these trolls are attacking me – to discourage you.

So, please help me foil them by doing any or several of the following:

Make a donation via the CrowdJustice page. Keep donating regularly until you see the total pass the amount I need.

Email your friends, asking them to pledge to the CrowdJustice site.

Post a link to Facebook, asking readers to pledge.

On Twitter, tweet in support, quoting the address of the appeal.

Use other social media in the same way.

And don’t forget that if you’re having trouble, or simply don’t like donating via CrowdJustice, you can always donate direct to me via the Vox Political PayPal button, where it appears on that website. But please remember to include a message telling me it’s for the crowdfund!

Tomorrow I expect to see details of the appeal that my Counsel is writing, based on my own observations of the judgment and his expertise in law. No doubt its arrival will spur the trolls to new depths of absurdity.

Let’s give them a reason to think twice before they lower themselves further.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.


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