Thursday 22 March 2018

Blackrock blogger Katie talks trolling live on Al Jazeera



LOCAL blogger Katie Healy, a victim of internet 'trolling', made a guest appearance on satellite news network Al Jazeera for a live debate on the issue.

Journalism graduate Katie, from Black rock (25), runs a fashion and beauty blog What Katie Healy Did. Having become a victim of so-called 'trolling' she originally took to her Twitter account to find out the extent of the problem in Ireland.

'I always welcome feedback on my blog, but in December last I stared to get really personal offensive comments posted. I wasn't sure how to handle this.'

'When I used Twitter to put the issue out there I couldn't believe how common this problem had become.'

As a result of her Twitter campaign, Katie was contacted by a producer from Al Jazeera who was researching the topic.

'Given the recent focus on internet bullying and people being targeted by online 'trolls' I was asked to take part in a television discussion on an Al Jazeera programme 'The Stream.'

Katie initially assumed the producer intended her to tweet her comments on the issue, but was soon asked to appear live as part of a global 'Google' hangout forum.

'I was encouraged to share my experiences on the programme and to ask a question to the panel of experts: Aaron James, associate professor of philosophy at UC Irvine and Whitney Philips of New York University, an expert on digital culture.'

During her appearance Katie gave a brief account of her experience with 'trolls'.

'This mainly involved rude and persistent comments about my image and weight. It was mostly minor, but it did knock my confidence,' said Katie of the completely unprovoked attacks.

'I also used the opportunity to ask how we can best protect ourselves online and if trolling has always been part of the online community.'

'It was a great experience and my first time on live TV. It aired at 7.30pm on New Year's Eve.'

'I instantly received overwhelming feedback via Twitter and email.'

'The most amazing email I read was from a self-confessed troll who said seeing me made her realise her words really can impact people and vowed never to troll again.'