Ruth Dudley Edwards: Misogyny alive and well among the Twitter trolls
While the abuse is nothing new, the method of delivery has changed, writes Ruth Dudley Edwards
In olden days -- well, 20 years ago -- when I first began writing about Northern Ireland and became a hate figure for republicans, the abuse mostly came by post. It was an early stage in the peace process and critics of IRA/Sinn Fein were routinely attacked as warmongers. Initially, I was a bit disconcerted by the venom, but I toughened up quickly, recognised it as a perverse compliment and learned to laugh at the absurdities.
My favourite was from someone enraged that I was questioning the sincerity of the 1994 IRA ceasefire: "I can't wait for the boys to get back to work and blow your ugly fucking head off."
The methods change but the misogyny lingers on. Nowadays, the preferred medium is Twitter, where you can send a tweet to your followers and to named individuals instantly. They, in turn, can retweet the message.