Anonymous Haters and Trolls on Social Media

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In a heated exchange with the leader of an online hate group several years ago I scorned his comment that “The wars of the future would be fought on social media.” But these days I am not so certain he wasn’t being uncharacteristically prophetic. Social media is proving to be a fertile ground for anonymous haters, trolls and abusers to spread their vitriol without fear of censure. Facebook and Twitter in particular attract a highly undesirable element who conduct themselves on the internet in a manner they would very likely not dare to in a face to face environment.

Broadly speaking, the people spreading hate on the internet fall into five distinct categories:

The Ignorant

The first group of problem social media accounts genuinely believe what they are saying. They are willing to involve themselves in discussion and make some attempt to offer evidence to back up their assertions. The trouble is that they are ignorant in the sense that they cannot discern genuine facts from fake news and bias.  They quote from secondary sources, blog sites and tabloid newspapers and frequently mistake opinion for fact.

The Easily Led

In this category I would place the people who have no particular convictions but who are responsible for sharing and liking a lot of the hate that becomes popular on social media. A prime example of the Easily Led would be the people who share click bait pictures and memes from Britain First and, thus unwittingly, give more oxygen to organised hate groups.

The Fame Hungry

For some individuals online hate is a method to propel them to notoriety. We have seen this with extremist characters like Katie Hopkins and Tommy Robinson who put out more and more extreme posts in an attempt to build a platform for their hate. Their overriding objective is personal fame. This can also be seen with a lot of accounts who use hate speech to gain followers and, therefore, popularity on social media platforms.

Prejudice Promotors

In the modern world of the internet – racists, homophobes, Islamophobes and Anti Semites no longer need to lurk in the dark shadows of their local pub sharing views with a handful of people. Social media is the perfect tool for this category to spread their genuine hate and prejudicial views.

This category absolutely believe in what they are saying and actively attempt to convert others to their way of thinking. Unlike the Ignorant these people are not being swayed by propaganda – this lot are the ones creating the propaganda.

Trolls

Trolls basically just like causing trouble. They will take the most contentious side of any online debate but have little interest in anything other than the reaction they will cause. They will throw insults, harass and target people in the hope of causing distress. They are usually pretty thick.

In order to combat the rising tide of hate on social media it is important that all these different categories of people are tackled. Each category needs to be approached with different tactics.

In the case of the Ignorant it is important to educate them. Link to quality news articles, statistics, and fact based media to encourage them to challenge their views.  It is also important to humanise the victims they are dehumanising. Share personal accounts from individuals in minority groups who have experienced hate and discrimination so the Ignorant can understand the very real impact their hate has on others.

Don’t get downhearted if they openly reject the information you provide. It is more important to get them thinking than it is to emerge the victor in a Twitter row.

Education is also the best tool against the Easily Led. Don’t be afraid to tell friends and family why you found that meme or picture that they shared offensive. In some cases they may genuinely not know that “Like and share if you think this puppy is cute” is actually a cynical marketing ploy for hate pages to acquire more likes and followers.

The best way to react to the Fame Hungry is not to respond at all. Any reaction will give them the result they want which is increased exposure for their views. Sharing their posts or retweeting them – even with a view to shaming them – will just enable their hate to be seen by more people. There are exceptions to this, Resisting Hate and other anti hate groups will sometimes share hate posts in the full knowledge that our followers will report the accounts where they breach social media Terms of Service. (Be careful however not to openly ask people to report as this can get your own account suspended. We usually just highlight the offensive post and then trust our followers to make their own judgement about reporting.)

Prejudice Promoters clearly need stopping. There are a great many places where the perpetrators of online hate can be reported. Reporting these accounts can help to limit the spread of their influence and will also deter them from making new accounts to spread their bile.  Not only can hate be reported to the social media platforms themselves but in cases where a post on social media is breaching the laws of the country it is often worth bringing it to the attention of law enforcement too.

Resisting Hate often contact the employers of radical haters with screenshots of the views they are promoting and this has tactic been very successful in establishing clear consequences for the publication of discrimination and prejudice using social media accounts.

Most social media platforms also have the function where problem accounts can be muted or blocked. Take full advantage of these tools. You have every right to engage online without being subject to abuse.

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK
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Hater Forgets Own Posts

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We find a lot of haters are delusional but this one we encountered today took the cake as well as the biscuit as he actually managed to forget the content of his own time line. Resisting Hate pointed out he was an Islamophobe, an allegation our hater vehemently denied, asking us to prove it.

So we did….

 

We would remind our readers that all of these tweets have been put onto a public social media platform by the individual himself with no amendments or alterations by ourselves.

 

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Sickening Social Media Comments

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Right. All of you know what happened yesterday, no one could have logged into Facebook, Twitter, looked on TV, seen papers, internet news etc…without seeing it.

As you would expect, the medical, police and fire service were praised (as they should be), there was a gathering of COBRA, statements from the PM, Queen, Heads of State from over the world and a general outpouring of sadness over what has happened as it was truly tragic and an evil act.

But what I am also seeing is the outpouring of idiocy, ignorance, stupidity, mind numbing moronicness being expressed on social media.

It all started within minutes of the event. I was plodding along happily on my Halal Kitty account on Twitter, answering ignorant idiots like I normally do. Suddenly the first report is made. Not from a news agency but on Twitter, as is the speed of the modern age. Within 3 minutes of me seeing one of the first posts about an “explosion”, a troll who had been trying to engage me for 36 hours or so started off with “Looks like it’s your religion of peace again“.

Ok, water off a ducks back. Feel free to think what you like, your ignorance with that kind of comment is clear for all people with more than 2 brain cells to see. But they were then joined by a second person, then a third, I went off to make a cup of tea and by the time I got back I had been tweeted by almost 40 ignorant idiots. It got so bad that I had to turn off the notifications on both my phone and iPad as the idiots debated between themselves about whether or not “Liberals will agree this time that we have blood on our hands“. (You may well say block the idiots, but believe me, as soon as you block one, another takes its place, or they jump on a second account and engage from there)

And then we come to Facebook. As you would expect, within my own account there was no rubbish however I jumped onto the Mock The Right and Resisting Hate pages to discover that trolls had decided to make some quite disgusting comments. After fighting against a tide of ignorance and bigotry for a good hour or so I had enough and decided that rather than give my customary warnings about hate speech, doxxing and comments made purely for the purpose of giving offence, I would just ban idiots from the page with no warning.

It still surprises me that people with the attitudes that I have seen in the last 24 hours can function in society. Muslims have been part of our country for quite a while. Looking into the history during a ‘polite altercation’ with a bigot last week, I saw that Muslims have been here before Elizabethan times, so pre 16th century. In fact it was in Elizabethan England that Muslims are first recorded as openly living and practicing their faith. These idiots who think that the Islamic faith has only been here for the last 20 years or so are totally wrong (although apparently the far right believe liberal scholars have changed history to fit in with our liberal belief system.)

Anyhow, I have spent the last 24 hours collating information for the police in relation to hate speech and reporting it so they can take action (I have given an overview of some of the comments above below but have deleted the identities of private individuals so that this post can’t be reported. Needless to say that these plus a lot more have been passed to the police 👮– some were so bad that even with masses of editing there was no way I could post it on a public website.

I do hope that one way or another the people involved see that there are those of us who not only report posts but who also openly say that these things are unacceptable. I really hope that some of these haters feel ashamed about what they have said today in the wake of this tragedy (although I don’t really think they will).

If I was filled with this kind of venom I would hate to have my family, employer, neighbour, passer by know that I held these views. I would want the earth to swallow me up.

I hope that they slither back into the vile hole that they came from.

Halal Kitty


Halal Kitty is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate, and a regular contributor to the group’s activities on Facebook and Twitter.
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AMD – Why Debate When You Can Block?

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Anne Marie Waters is the director of Sharia Watch, an anti Islam organisation with links to Pegida UK, Tommy Robinson and (after being rejected by Labour) UKIP.

We encountered Ms Waters on Twitter the other day and engaged in a brief debate with her.

We were discussing the news headlines in relation to child abuse and grooming gangs in the UK. This has been a great concern to many people and we explained that our group oppose paedophilia from any community or religion.

We have strong views on child safety and support tough penal sanctions when children are found to have been abused or harmed. But Anne Marie seemed less interested in the children than we were as she repeatedly insisted on making the discussion about her anti Islam views.

 

We explained that we do not support child marriage because it is both wrong and illegal but Anne Marie was only interested in using the discussion to justify her negative views toward Islam.

We had to repeat ourselves to her followers who also seemed keen to jump on the anti Islam bandwagon.

Anne Marie went on to try and justify her hate by claiming she knows more than we do. A rather juvenile debating tactic but to be honest by this point our hopes of a good quality debate were not high.

We explained our philosophy. The idea of integration between communities is very important to us and integral to our group belief that all people are equal. But the concept of division was just a buzz word as far a Anne Marie was concerned. She was much more interested in telling us about the “religious misogynist rapists” that she believes all Muslims to be.

At this point Anne Marie became angry when we pointed out the flaws in her logic and told her we believed her conclusions about Muslims to be erroneous.

She challenged us to prove that she blames all Muslims so we showed her this.

We had made our points succinctly and (I like to think) politely but at this point Anne Marie decided to resort to the good old argumentum ad hominem and start to insult us rather than debate the points we were making.

Our level of intelligence seemed her choice of theme for some time as she struggled impotently to bluster her way out of the hole she had dug for herself.

And then of course her followers got in on the act…

Eventually the penny started to drop that she was making a bit of a prat of herself

And yes, you guessed it…Blocked

So there you have it. Not the most eloquent display of intellect but then to be fair we weren’t really expecting it from a UKIP candidate. Bias, bigotry and balderdash seems a fair summary of her views…

 

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK
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Acceptance And Understanding

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As a co founder of anti hate group Resisting Hate I encounter prejudice every day. Social media is rife with bigotry toward Muslims, Jews, the LGBT community, People of colour, women and indeed just about every demographic and community in the country.

It is important to be clear that the peaceable majority of people, both on and off social media, do not endorse prejudice and hate. The voices of the vociferous minority can be and are tackled regularly by those of us who stand up for the values of equality and diversity and who reject the idea that anybody should be persecuted for being true to who they are as an individual.

However it is important that we combat prejudice in the right way. I am concerned that the criteria for acceptance is all too often intertwined with the need for personal understanding. The rationale is – If you can make me understand why you need to do something then I will defend your right to do it. But this is narrow minded because what it is actually saying is that in order for your actions to be acceptable they must be validated by my values, not yours.

To give a specific example of this, I witnessed a discussion on Twitter the other day between a practitioner of the Jewish faith and a (rather belligerent) individual who objected to the practise of ritual animal slaughter under Kosher laws. The objector was asking a string of questions demanding the Jewish person explain the belief itself, why he felt it necessary to follow the practise in his personal life and whether he thought religious slaughter was in keeping with British cultural values. The expectation was that in order for the objector to accept the right to religious slaughter he must first have it explained to him in such a way that made it compatible with his own personal world view.

I encountered something very similar after publishing my article on the rights of Muslim ladies to wear the niqab. A lot of the comments I received were directed at the perceived need for Muslim ladies to explain why they felt the need to cover their faces. The implication was that if they could justify this need to the satisfaction of the niqab detractors then that would make the practise more acceptable.

The trouble with this way of thinking is that is bases the concept of acceptance on the personal views and ability to understand of those questioning the practises of other faiths and cultures. This is effectively prejudice in itself because it is denying the rights of others to self validate. It is my view that accepting the practises of other faiths and cultures should not be based on their ability to explain themselves in such a way that makes them palatable to Western values. We need to respect the rights of others to determine what is right for them based on their own values and beliefs.

To return to the example of the niqab, it is not necessary for me to understand why a Muslim lady would want to wear it or to have any desire to wear it myself in order to respect her right to make the choice that covering her face is appropriate for her. If I make this issue about my understanding and my cultural values then I am essentially saying that my values are more important than hers which is, of course, just reinforcing discrimination and prejudice.

Defending a person’s right to practise their faith or culture is not about understanding why it is they do what they do. It is about appreciating that people have the right to act in accordance with their own cultural values even if they cannot easily be understood by others. What we as battlers of prejudice should be doing is defending people’s rights. It was not necessary for our Kosher law objector to understand why it was important to the Jewish practitioner that their food be kosher. It should have been enough that it mattered to the Jewish individual, that it worked for him and that he was acting in accordance with his own world view. It was his right to act as he deemed fit, regardless of anybody else’s inability to understand why Kosher slaughter was important to him.

This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t ask questions about other faiths and cultures. To the contrary I am very positive about the fact that a greater level of knowledge of other cultures will help break down barriers and tackle prejudice. But it is important that we do not underpin our acceptance of others on our ability to understand them.

True acceptance and true respect must be based on the principle that even if you do not understand what is necessary for someone to actualise themselves as an individual, you support their right to make the choice and you defend their right to it.

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK
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2017 GE UKIP Candidate Posts Hate Tweets

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Caroline Santos was the UKIP candidate for the Scotland constituency Argyll and Bute. She plans to contest the Rutherglen/Hamilton West seat at the 2017 General Election.

We came across Caroline very recently when this tweet was brought to our attention by an anonymous third party with concerns that an individual representing a mainstream party should not be expressing such divisive and discriminatory views.

We looked deeper into her timeline and found a series of tweets containing Islamophobic content including:

Further research back on her Twitter time line shows that these are not isolated examples of her bigotry

It would also appear that Caroline’s issues do not end with Islam. She also likes to share her racist views on Twitter too.

We are surprised to see UKIP endorsing a candidate with such hate views, as the party have made several claims that they do not identify as an anti Islam party. Paul Nuttall, the UKIP leader, recently defined the party as “pro integration.” The views of Caroline Santos appear to promote anything but integration. It is hard to imagine any community wanting to integrate with a candidate who calls their religion a “cancer” and the individuals who practise the faith “savage barbaric bastards.”

We asked Caroline if she would like to offer a comment on her tweet. Initially she did not:

However – after she agreed to a call from a freelance journalist who writes for The Independent – she offered us the chance to call too

We did try to ring but the line was engaged. However we are more than willing to update our article if Ms Santos would like to offer any comments explaining how she believes her rabid Islamophobic views would be of benefit to either the UKIP party or the constituents she hopes to represent.

The issues raised here can only be explained in one of two ways. Either UKIP are intentionally recruiting Islamophobic bigots as candidates to represent them or Caroline Santos’ tweets are not indicative of the UKIP ethos in which case she is misrepresenting them and should be asked to stand down. We shall look forward to either an admission from Nuttall that UKIP actually is the racist, Islamophobic party we and other critics believe it to be or a resignation from Caroline Santos confirming her extremism is not compatible with the UKIP manifesto.

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Katie Hopkins Your Hate Has Gone Too Far

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Accustomed as I am to reading the attention seeking articles and tweets from Katie Hopkins with a sharp intake of breath, her online antics this week have taken me even closer to an apoplectic asthma attack than usual.

Few of you will need reminding of the tweet I am referring to:

It is important to put some context into this. This isn’t an isolated example of a journalist having a strong opinion and expressing it unwisely, this is the latest in a garrulous and spiteful sequence of online hate tweets, abusive newspaper articles and bigoted radio appearances displaying mockery and cruelty to people from different community groups to Ms Hopkins herself. It is, in short, hate speech.

Ms Hopkins rejects the idea of online hate speech. She claims “There is no such thing as online hate crime. Just cowardice and illiteracy from intolerants.” Ms Hopkins is wrong. Hate speech is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “Abusive or threatening speech or writing that expresses prejudice against a particular group, especially on the basis of race, religion or sexual orientation.”

It is my belief that all these tweets published by Katie Hopkins fit this definition of hate speech.

The laws of the country relating to hate speech are clear. The 1986 Public Order Act states:

A person who uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or displays any written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, is guilty of an offence if they intends thereby to stir up racial hatred or having regard to all the circumstances racial hatred is likely to be stirred up thereby”.

This was amended with the 2006 Racial and Religious Hatred Act to add “A person who uses threatening words or behaviour or displays any written material which is threatening, is guilty of an offence if he intends thereby to stir up religious hatred.”

I would argue that this recent tweet by Katie Hopkins and indeed many of the older tweets in her Twitter time line are in clear breach of UK law.

There are good reasons why we have laws against hate speech. The laws are there to protect the persecution of innocent people and to promote safety and security in society by prohibiting speech that may incite public violence. When we allow Katie Hopkins (or anybody for that matter) to openly, consistently and publicly flout the laws of the land we are risking not just the security of the people but the integrity of the UK legal system itself.

I would be prepared to bet that Katie has no stronger personal views on the Islamic celebration of Ramadan than she has on any of the topics she so freely espouses with her trademark venom. She jumps on the bandwagon of controversy with any topic in the news (see her disgusting comments on the parents of Madeleine McCann) and sees making cheap Islamophobic jibes as a way to raise her profile. Such hate rhetoric is ignorant and dangerous enough when spouted by the small fry Twitter accounts that Resisting Hate often get suspended. Talk like that coming from a journalist employed by the Daily Mail, the most read newspaper in the country, takes danger to simply unacceptable levels.

Many people say the only way to deal with Katie Hopkins is to ignore her. I disagree. I am not willing to ignore hate speech published in the newspapers and social media. I am not willing to allow our Muslim communities to be slandered with these lies and hate inciting tweets. I am not willing to turn my back on this rubbish and neither should you be. We have laws in this country for a reason. This woman has broken these laws time and time again and she needs to be held accountable for her actions.

If not now, then just when do we draw the line? Just how much hate are we going to watch Katie Hopkins spout before enough is enough? I have reported her to both the police and Twitter. If you agree with me that she is guilty of hate speech then I suggest you report her as well.

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK
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Paul Watson – @PrisonPlanet

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Today our featured hater is Budget Milo himself, Paul Joseph Watson – aka @PrisonPlanet.

Some of you may have seen his videos, short snappy little numbers where he rants and raves about “lefties” and “the evils of Islam”. He has his own YouTube Channel with quite a following of people who like his posts. He has in excess of 750,000 people and over 160,000,000 views since starting his videos.

Back in November 2016 Watson stated that he considered himself to be a member of the “New Right” rather than “alt-right”. He had commented previously that he was libertarian but ceased that self description saying that Gary Johnson (ex Republican who went on to be nominee for the Libertarian Party in the USA) made the word one he didn’t want to be associated with.

Watson was originally from Sheffield and moved from there in November 2016 to Battersea in London. From his London premises he has established himself as a public supporter of Trump but usually concentrates on attacking Trump’s opponents. To give a good example he pushed on with the “news” that Hillary Clinton had brain damage despite this being confirmed as a hoax. This clearly shows that far from being reliable, Watson does very little fact checking and often ends up with egg on his face.

In addition to the Clinton news, Watson also wrote and posted an article regarding Donald Trump using racist and sexist language which was allegedly caught on a recording made by the Secret Service. Rather than fact checking, Watson published the story on the InfoWars website. This was actually a hoax news story which was created to a Scottish gentleman. Details of the publication are on the BuzzFeed Site.

In February 2017, when news of “mass rapes in Sweden by immigrants” hit far right websites and Facebook pages, Watson posted a tweet offering to pay for any reporter to visit and stay in Malmo in (what he called) crime ridden migrant suburbs. Out of all the people who said that they would go, he chose a man called Tim Pool who got $2000 from Watson. The Huffington Post did a report on their conversation with Pool on the 21st February and looking at the comments Pool has made so far Watson may well get a different response to the one he was likely hoping for.

A quick scan of the website Watson writes on (“Prison Planet”) gives a clear idea on his stance in relation to society. Recent stories include:

1. The Deep State War on Trump
2. Proof: Muslims Celebrated Terror Attack in London
3. My Last Ever YouTube Video
4. Facebook Helps Pakistan Identify Thought Criminals
5. Joking About Nazis Makes You a Nazi, According to the Left

Now, as you can imagine, these posts are mind numbing and full of opinions dressed up as facts. Also, he posts a hell of a lot of content which is just plain fake (as well as using a confusing combination of upper case and lower case words in his titles). I did get hopeful about post number 3. I was hoping that it was going to be about him planning to disappear but no such luck. This was a clickbait post where Watson asked people to share it as much as they could because the ‘establishment media’ is pressuring YouTube to censor Alex Jones and Paul Joseph Watson as they are ‘extremists’.

Unfortunately it wasn’t Watson’s last video and he has actually made a further 7 videos in the last 6 days. (Wonder if he can be got for a breach of promise…? 😂)

In addition to plain old Islamophobic posts, Watson also shows he is both racist and a clueless conspiracy theorist. Now, we would never accuse anybody of racism without proof so our rationale of the accusation is as follows:

On the 5th January 2017, the Black Lives Matter group were accused by the far right of being involved in the kidnap of a white man by 4 black people, who were arrested the previous day. They used the hashtag #BLMKidnapping when talking about the kidnapping despite no actual connection having been made between the Black Lives Matter group and the 4 people arrested. Watson was one of the first to post, tweeting his followers to use the #BLMKidnapping hashtag to get the report trending. When he subsequently wrote an article about the case, he included a shot of his tweet but didn’t mention Black Lives Matter or how he tied them to the kidnapping, despite a further tweet being posted by Watson describing the victim as a “BLM torture victim”.

Further posts by Watson which show what a conspiracy theorist he is include (from the InfoWars website)

1. 4th May 2011 – Top Government Insider: Bin Laden died in 2001, 9/11 a false flag
2. June 8th 2010 – Evidence Points to BP Oil Spill False Flag
3. 2nd May 2011 – Inside Sources: Bin Laden’s corpse has been on ice for nearly a decade
4. 3rd August 2015 – Why Are Feminists Fat & Ugly? find out what science has to say

As you can see, Watson is obsessed with conspiracies, especially those relating to the Sandy Hook massacre. This is all something that needs to be kept in mind when listening to his rants about Muslims, rape gangs and the laughable “evidence” he tries to provide for ‘creeping sharia.’

Unfortunately, a lot of people believe the stuff that Watson writes, which sadly says as much about the people who share his stuff as it does about Watson himself. Hopefully as more people realise he is so poorly informed it will reduce the number of people who share it online.

Halal Kitty is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate, and a regular contributor to the group’s activities on Facebook and Twitter.
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Joe Cater – The Titanic Has sunk

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Joe Cater is the author of the not so well selling, self published pdf on Amazon called Titanic Britain – Left Wing Liberal iceberg. Up until 2 days ago he also had a Twitter account with a large following but this has now been suspended (as have the three attempts he has made to reincarnate his Twitter presence.) His latest attempt to circumvent the ban has been to pose as his own fan (@raise_titanic) which has caused much hilarity among our group members although, to be fair to Cater, his new Twitter account has already managed to attract more followers than the 34 who have liked his Facebook page.

It is no secret that Resisting Hate object to authors who seek to demonise those with politically left leanings and, worse, those who would oppress and denigrate communities based on their culture and/faith. Cater is yet another example of an individual jumping on the band wagon of hate and trying to establish a reputation and make money at the expense of spreading lies and misinformation about the current climate in Britain.

His book however is well worth checking out, not so much for the quality of the writing but for the hilarity of the reviews. We have posted the best ones here for posterity…

Roanna is one of the founder members of Resisting Hate. She is the author of the majority of our articles, and also publishes a blog on Huffington Post UK
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Pompous from Swansea

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This particular hater would, under usual circumstances, not have been considered for the Resisting Hate Rogues gallery as he is somewhat of a lonely fantasist as opposed to the hate activists we normally feature. However having given us the laugh of the decade with his recent video threatening members of our group (posted below, watch it now as it won’t be up long…) we thought we’d let him have a spot.

Jonathan Jennings of Swansea is well known to his local police Dyfed Powys.for his far right and anti social views and he has enjoyed the hospitality of police custody on several occasions.

Jennings promotes his hate views at every opportunity he gets including on his You Tube site (his video concerning the promotion of white genocide has recently been removed) on Twitter and on GAB.

These are a selection of the views he likes to express:

Death Threats

Threats of Violence

Baffling Lies

Anti Semitism

Pro Hitler/Naziism

Homophobia

Jennings fancies himself as an “Edgelord” Unfortunately his bombastic delusions of grandeur are not well suited to a man who has achieved nothing edgier than posting pro Nazi views from the computer in his local college library (You really do need to do a better job of hiding that IP when you send us threats Jennings).

Pontifical Jennings (Allegedly known to his local police as The Purple Pimpernel) likes to ring up local radio talk shows to share his thoughts on topics of the day. We also like it when he does this as he is entirely oblivious that every person tuning in is laughing at him. He takes himself extremely seriously which results in a hilarious pomposity (although his YT videos are even funnier than the radio shows as they have the benefit of showing him in his trademark 1970s style purple shirt).

Have a laugh on us

Here is the video of Jennings making threats to our group. 6.25 is the timestamp where he really loses his cool. One can only imagine the frustrated and impotent nature of his rage as he filmed his funny little rant.

22.2.2017 Update on Jennings. This are tweets posted today. Will likely cost him his account but also gives a further insight into how extreme his hate views are:

 

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A Well-Travelled Syrian?

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I was on Twitter this evening (yes, it happens sometimes!) and happened across the following tweet. The Bluehand logo, for readers who are unaware, is a warning sign that the account is run by a racist idiot.

Sure enough, the tweet in question was implying that we, the British taxpayers, were subsidising the lifestyle of this Muslim family. A little fact checking ensued…

Google has a handy image search function, if you’re browsing in Chrome simply right click an image and choose Image Search. The results for this particular image were fascinating:

Sweden

Here on this Swedish right-wing website he’s referred to as a 49 year old Syrian, who arrived in Germany (via Turkey) in 2015.

Norway

Published a day earlier on a Norwegian website is basically the same story. In fact it’s  exactly the same story, as if the Swedish site was just copying it directly.

Australia

Without any apparent sense of irony, some Australians really object to immigration (they tend to be the ones who don’t like the native Australians who were massacred by the European settlers). Here, published a couple of weeks before the above posts, the same family photo is used to illustrate why Australians shouldn’t be supporting refugees. In fact they go one huge step further, and suggest sterilising them on arrival! In the name of Freedom, would you believe?

Germany

Stepping back in time another few days, here we see the same image used, again, to illustrate this so called Syrian refugee, who is apparently receiving around €390,000 per year in benefits (yet strangely still has a 90’s CRT TV set?) This time the website in question is barenakedislam.com, a clickbait and fake news site devoted to spreading hatred of Muslims.

Denmark

Something strange now happens, I’ve been posting these photos in chronological order, with the most recent first. Remember our Syrian, who came to Germany in 2015? Well, somehow he travelled back in time a few years, to appear on a blog post dating back to 2013. How bizarre, almost as if somebody found a photo of a large family on the internet and just used it to embellish a story that may or may not have ever happened?

 

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Colliding With The Iceberg Of Hate

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A guest article submitted by one of our friends.

Did Warren Beatty think the song was about him? Given the vivid force with which Carly Simon sketched his character it is not difficult to believe that he did. Similarly, if I were to name the person who triggered and centred in the following events, he would probably think this is about him, and he would love an opportunity to sell the book he thinks is the centre of the controversy.

Controversy there was – and is- but it is not the book (controversial as it is) that is at the centre of this story, it is an idea, or rather the growth of an idea – the realisation that, even with a very busy home life and living in relatively isolated circumstances, I too can engage and support the development of a voice which is resistant to hate, resistant to the growth of racism and fascism and to the nihilistic self-interest which appears to be sweeping the West at this moment in time.

The growth of misanthropy which underpins all that has happened in the West in the years since the crisis in Capital has resulted in an exponential rise in the wealth of the top one percent while the rest of us struggle, red in tooth and claw, for the crumbs that remain.

Out of this dog-fight we have witnessed the resurgence of a populist nationalism combined (as always) with a virulent racist, homophobic, ahistorical, apolitical, antagonistic way of looking at the world.

This resurgence has been garnered by the past demolition of any organised socialist political force combined with the lack of a credible socialist narrative in mainstream media.

This lost narrative of the left is what has led many to seek to compensate by adopting social media outlets such as Twitter, to voice a way of seeing the world which is alternative to the mainstream and to the nihilistic right.

It is within this context that this story unfolds.

Like most using Twitter, I dabble amateurishly: knocking out a tweet now and then on the issue of the day, retweeting the odd meme, getting into the odd squabble with odd-bods whose views appear deranged and to whom, in the real world, I would never give the time of day. The normal run of the mill twitter stuff.

I recently asked a friend why he has never used Twitter. He said: “I did once. It was a shit storm”. This story is about one such shit storm and how I passed through it. It began when I came across the account of a man who was intent on using Twitter to flog a book. Let us call him Joe.

The first thing I noticed about Joe was his contempt for the libtards as he would label that broad range of thought and opinion usually described as the left – and the contemptuous manner with which he dismissed the most reasonable of approaches and questions to his opinions.

Then there were his contributions: the usual mixture of Islamophobia and disdain for others this time combined with a visceral hatred for the underclass particularly for those among this class with the audacity to “breed”.

That Joe is childless is clear from the time he spends on Twitter trying to flog his book and from the rants which reveal a bitter racist, driven ironically by the politics of envy.

As I watched Joe engage with his followers and detractors, I noticed how he used rhetoric to discourage attempts at critical exploration by focusing on the basest of human fears and anxieties. As is characteristic of the right: life’s essentials: housing, health, education, are starved of resources not by a system awash with wealth, but by the threat of the other – the immigrant, the European, the undeserving and in particular (yes he does use this genocidal refrain): the infection of left.

His comments for the most part are attempts at satire that lay bare (to anyone with eyes to see) his bitterness with the world. And his bitterness is mainly focused on this “infection”. By contrast, he presents himself and his “guys” as normal. This classically fascist delineation is to his mind (and to that of his most ardent followers) an illusion of those who are othered – those who are on the outside of his group.

Joe’s account has been on Twitter since April 2016.  But how could an obvious personality-challenged ignoramus like Joe have 19k followers? His strategy is surprisingly simple: follow as many like-minded people in the expectation that most of those will follow you back. In this way, Joe intended to build a base from which to flog his book and grow more followers.

But why did so many followers remain, and how could he be gaining 100 followers a day? What most piqued my curiosity most was how Joe used language to his advantage…

Joe’s timeline consists almost exclusively of his retweeting others’ comments with his added commentary. This ensures the conversation focuses on him whilst offering followers the attraction of engaging with his wider audience of followers. In reality the conversation is tightly controlled by this strategy so this wider audience remains exclusively focused on him.

This central control provides an air of leadership reinforced through language. Joe assumes an ordering role: he refers to his followers generically as “guys” and the “guys” are invited to offer opinion – through Joe – who selects and presents contributions of what is considered a normal (a favourite word of his) viewpoint.

Joe assumes a level of knowledge he does not possess. He once informed his followers of his degree in Geology (specialising, he claimed, in climate change) to lend an air of credence to his climate-change denial. In reality, Joe graduated with a mediocre BA (2:2) prior to climate-change being a significant feature of any syllabus.

Continuous retweeting with commentary provides an illusion of conversation similar to a radio DJ with an audience. The speaker may occasionally include another’s voice, mediated through Joe’s selective prism. Conversation this is not. There is no narrative, no story, no ebb and flow of ideas, no progression of thought toward ever greater depth or sophistication. This is the bastardisation of conversation.

Retweeting one comment after another ensures thought and language remain superficial and unsophisticated. The most complex of issues: immigration; Europe; climate-change; economic and social policy: all are subjected to the same process of one-liner commentary before moving on to the whim of the next follower. Until of course some lefty tries to enter the fray with a question or a thought to provoke discussion.

Then the strategy of drawing in is revealed for what it is in reality: the setting of a boundary – a wall, if you will, – a way of ensuring people are clear about who is accepted, who is acceptable, or to use one of Joe’s favourite phrases, who is normal – and who is not: who is left outside, other than normal, who is the infected left-facing libtard. The questioner is retweeted with some attempted satirical quip – and offered for his followers’ amusement and further disdain.

It was into this fray that, angel like, I chose to tread.

I had been curious about this book Joe was so desperate to flog, so I ventured on Amazon to take a peak. I read the introduction. An introduction is the author’s sales window; the hook to draw you in to the book– here the essential nature and style of the book is presented for the would-be buyer.

I was shocked. There is a spelling mistake in the first line. Throughout the syntax is clumsy and the jarring nature of the prose is exacerbated by an apparently unconscious disregard for punctuation and the rules of grammar. The voice is weak. There is an attempt at simile that a child might wince at. Joe describes an oxymoron, and reveals he does not know what one is. It was immediately obvious this was a vanity publication. What surprised me most was that, prior to publication, the author appears not to have asked someone to cast an eye to offer advice. The most rudimentary oversight reveals a truly child-like grasp of language and content.

Bolstered by my judgement of his work I approached this Joe with my usual humility. Yes, I fully intended to treat him with the same scorn which he reserved for the left.

As is his way, Joe was dismissive. In spite of the fact that I had witnessed his tactics so many times before, I was affronted. How dare he treat me with contempt for the entertainment of his followers? I persisted. And so did his scorn. Eventually, I challenged him to debate his ideas. (Yes, I can be a bit of a drama Queen. You have to understand, I was highly indignant).

Joe ignored me. I challenged again. Again, nothing from Joe. Occasionally, a follower would intervene with some insult. This kind of exchange lasted for twenty minutes before Joe himself decided to respond to dismiss my challenge as beneath him. I decided then not to let this imposter continue arrogantly, unchallenged.

Later that same evening I returned to Joe to challenge him to defend the views. Then things began to change quickly.

I have said that I approached Twitter in an amateur way. For professional reasons I use Twitter anonymously. First Joe, then one, then two then three of Joe’s followers challenged me about my anonymity. I explained to each and everyone I prefer to remain anonymous for professional reasons. My explanation fell on deaf ears.

D0xing is a term I am now familiar with. Then, I had never heard of it. Joe’s d0xers had found my name and used google to locate where I live. Then the intimidation began. A personal picture was posted on line. The d0xers began to comment on the picture of a “typical bearded leftie”. The image was of a man in his sixties; a decent-looking, handsome man with a kind face. An obvious family man. A man who appeared to be many things. One thing he most certainly was not though– he was not me. The address they posted was not mine. It was the address of this kind-looking old man.

One d0xer invited himself to my home. Then another decided he too would like to pay me a visit. I am not a big man or a fighter but to show weakness in such circumstances would clearly have been a mistake. Although the picture of this old man they repeatedly posted was not me and the address was not mine, there remained the possibility that they may obtain my true identity and location and so I did what any “normal” person might do in such circumstances and suggested that should they come to my house I would give them a welcome they would not forget.

This of course spurred them on to explicit threats and intimidation. I retired that night with the thought that these strangers may in fact be intent on offering serious violence to an infected libtard who had ruined their Country. I was concerned for myself and my family.

Still concerned but determined to face down my intimidators, I returned to Twitter the following day. Sure enough they were there. Such cowards hunt in packs. The intimidation and the hate continued for another day. And for another day (to their obvious hilarity – I was after all clearly over 60 and unable to defend myself against young, healthy men) I stood my ground in the face of their intimidation and threats.

By the third day, I was beginning to feel quite stressed – and my family were beginning to feel the brunt of my ire, the root cause of which, obviously, I kept to myself.

I should say at this point that from a tweet later discovered when browsing Joe’s timeline, that Joe had orchestrated this whole charade. With the words operation destroy troll Joe initiated and orchestrated this whole event. Joe himself was noticeably absent from this activity.

There was however one particularly persistent d0xer. We’ll call him Dave. Over the course of this third day Dave must have retweeted the same tweet “you fascist, communist (something or other)” 30 times. This beside a whole range of tweets on topics ranging from my cowardice, the infection of socialism from which I suffered and my family.

I was beginning to gain a sense that this person was slightly unhinged. I was beginning to believe that such a person may well persuade himself to pay me a visit. Then, suddenly, things began to change.

I had only recently began to follow an account (we’ll call him Charlie) so I did not know Charlie very well. He approached me in his usual quiet, understated way with a direct message (one that the others could not view) and said: “I don’t normally believe in d0xing but what these guys are doing is wrong and they will get what they deserve. Step back and watch what happens.”

Minutes later another account appeared. We’ll call him Kaz. Kaz presented a direct no-nonsense business-like approach. Kaz flipped the situation immediately. Kaz set about intimidating Dave and Dave was, I was so pleased to see, obviously flustered. Then another account entered the conversation: Baz. And then a baby ape joined us.

Kaz, Baz and Baby ape were white knights. They set about Dave and his entourage with a passion and vigour matched with wit and intelligence that I could only marvel at. And what they achieved in a matter of a few hours was astonishing.

Baby ape began in a very quiet voice to ask Dave if he believed in Karma. Dave was at first confident in his response. But his confidence began palpably to ebb when he was presented with an image of himself smiling with his child.

Baby ape very thoughtfully and very kindly provided me with information about Dave. I was pleased to be in a position to provide Dave with a picture of his home and engage him in conversation about how much he had paid for it three years earlier. I provided Dave with his place of work and he was not pleased to learn of my intention to contact his employer and the police with the evidence of his on-line harassment of an elderly man.

Thanks to those three white knights Dave and Joe’s entourage melted away as quickly as they appeared. Joe remains. Joe is regularly questioned by me about his views. He still refuses to engage. He continues to hold Court with his followers, arrogantly posturing and dismissing the infected left interspersed with unsubtle racism, homophobia and general fascist intolerance. But he is challenged. And his challengers are heard.

That happened about three weeks ago. I now follow Kaz, Baz and Baby ape. My eyes have been opened to another, darker side of Twitter. A side in which hate and intimidation is resisted and challenged. A side in which on-line fascists are questioned and those engaging in the threat of violence or in real violence are subjected to the same kind of exposure.

As you would hope and expect, having had my eyes opened to this constant theatre of political struggle, I now try to do my bit to support. So should you.

Resist hate. Expose the tactics of fear and intimidation. Help keep social media free of ghouls so that the socialist narrative can be heard among the cacophony of fears and anxieties which are the hallmark of the racist and fascist right.

 

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