Mail scribbler Martin Robinson has a cracking article about the ‘online hate campaigns’ aimed at female University Challenge contestents. Nice of a Daily Mail writer to be worried about the treatment of women – shame the article appears next to the wall of female celebrity flesh and judgement – but still, he raises a valid point. Robinson screen grabs some abusive messages from Facebook aimed at Gail Trimble – who the Mail introduce as the ‘most high profile victim of a sustained online hate campaign’ and looks at how such people are abused just for being clever. It is true the abuse she suffered back in 2009 earned her significant coverage in the Daily Mail – including a page 2 story, an editorial mention and a whole column from Melanie Phillips about how clever people are targets in dumbed-down age.
In 2009 the Mail said she was attacked by ‘internet bloggers as smug, patronising and superior’. Just one major problem with that, the ‘Internet bloggers’ quoted in the page 2 article were actually comments left on the Mail website by Mail website users. Melanie Phillips attacked the same comments. The Daily Mail had actually lifted comments from their own website, from their own readers and attempted to pass them off as some orchestrated Internet hate campaign conducted by un-named ‘bloggers’. It seems that over 2 years later they finally have some valid screen grabs of abuse not dished out on their own website, so I guess they can call this progress.