Online trolls have targeted the personal Twitter account of the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Jane Dowson, and put out a fake post abusing a number of communities with her image cut and pasted on it.
A troll, is someone who tries to harass by posting messages on the internet. The purpose is to excite strong emotion in an online community. This is to get a reaction from other online users, or to cause problems.
Councillor Jane Dowson said:
“This is a disgusting attempt to stir up hatred between our incredible communities in Leeds and I would not usually give such appalling trolls the time of day. Dealing with online abuse has sadly become part of everyday life when you’re in the public eye.
“Anyone who knows me knows how much I abhor discrimination or abuse of any form of any community. This is a pathetic attempt from the other side of the world to cut and paste my image on a tirade of vile abuse.
“However, this has escalated into direct threats to me which the police are investigating and for that reason I’m publicly dissociating myself from these despicable sentiments. I will be continuing this weekend with all my planned engagements meeting the wonderful communities of our great city.”
Sometimes trolling can get a user banned as it can be disruptive. Some users do it to be humorous when they know others will be angry. The best solution is to ignore trolls and to not give them the attention they want. This has become known as “don’t feed the trolls”.