Through A Veil Of Tears

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From top: Bloggers Unveiled logo; Áine Carroll

Áine Carrolll writes:

On July 29, The Sunday Times ran an article about ‘Bloggers Unveiled’, where a beautician named Ramona Tracey from Offaly denied being behind the controversial Instagram account.

By way of response, I reached out to a number of people who were involved in Ms Tracey’s alleged exposé.

This is their story.

“I don’t remember a lot of the detail of what happened, but I remember the feeling – the feeling of being worthless. She told me to kill myself.”

Christine Hanley is speaking from her apartment in Toronto. Last weekend she paid close attention as the Irish online scene buzzed to the sound of another big hitter takedown.

The identity of the person behind the controversial Bloggers Unveiled Instagram account had allegedly been revealed and a name was circulating online.

It was a name Hanley had been familiar with for the best part of a decade.

In 2010, Hanley lived here with her Irish husband. By that time she was a long term member of now-deleted internet message board, a place where the members joined as teenagers and grew to be friends by their early 20’s.

One person who joined later, Jess, stood out. Her pictures featured a very beautiful woman – but she was domineering, posted a lot and was always online.

Christine says that Jess soon started picking on her publicly, using details Christine had previously shared with the group to convince everyone that she was, basically, a loser. “All of the threads she was on descended into abuse,” Christine recalls.

This all happened around the time that Facebook started to become popular. Knowing how small Ireland is, Hanley only added people after checking to see if they had a beautiful friend named Jess.

This woman was starting to make her feel uneasy. Christine’s blog reads “the vitriol she spewed was astounding. I was one of her favourite targets.”

Hanley wanted to block Jess from connecting with her on Facebook, to contain the abuse she was getting in the message board.

And then one day, after some careful snooping, she found it, the face of her bully, on Facebook. Except this person’s life was completely different – and her name wasn’t even Jess.

It turned out this girl – whoever she was – had gone on to compete in the Rose of Tralee. When Hanley saw the interview with Ray D’Arcy she knew immediately that the ‘Jess’ she knew from the message board had stolen this person’s pictures.

The woman who had gotten inside her head had been using a mask all along.

Hanley explains how she was relieved when the mask finally slipped. She went on to write a blog, jessisfake.blogspot.com, where she called “Jess” out as a fake and shared it with her real friends in the group. It turned out that “Jess” had hurt a lot of the other members.

Ten years ago on that blog, Hanley published a name: Ramona Tracey.

Recently, a number of people who have achieved success in their social media following and online careers have been publishing what they believe to be proof of a sustained and sophisticated campaign of online abuse against them.

While only a handful of people would come forward to be interviewed, sources inside the beauty and blogging world confirm that many have been dealing with targeted abuse for years now, well before the controversial Bloggers Unveiled account was created.

For a long time, many of the people receiving the abuse suffered, in the true sense of the word, in silence. Eventually, the abuse tipped some so far over the edge that they started sharing details with their followers.

Patterns in the abusive messages, sent from every social media platform, raised suspicions that a lot of it may have come from one person, who was hiding behind the mask of potentially hundreds of fake accounts.

A crowd-sourced investigation by scores of users on social media eventually made enough connections to narrow the abusive accounts to a handful. Some claimed to have evidence to support their suspicions that these accounts were connected to Bloggers Unveiled.

Last weekend a woman featured in the Irish print media, claiming to have been wrongly identified as the person behind Bloggers Unveiled. That woman’s name is Ramona Tracy.

She alleges that she has been wrongfully targeted by people online, and that she is being harassed and claims to have received threatening mail to her home.

But this story isn’t even really about Bloggers Unveiled – it starts way before that account was created.

The real story here is the psychological damage that can be inflicted when one person believes they have a right to dehumanise others from behind the safety of an anonymous social media account.

Aoife Dooley is an illustrator, author and comedian based in Dublin. She started receiving nasty comments on her YouTube videos towards the end of 2017, the week after her father had unexpectedly passed away.

The comments were public and made outrageous reference to Dooley’s appearance and personality. She started receiving similar hate-filled messages to her other social media accounts around the same time.

The amount of abuse led her to believe that a large number of people not only disliked her, but hated her.

“It made me feel like what I was doing was shit and that nobody was interested in me. I just didn’t understand why so many people were coming on to message me, saying all these nasty things, because I’d never done anything on anyone.

I believed that there was a whole bunch of people out there who hated me for no reason and because I was getting the same thing from so many different accounts, I didn’t feel safe. I cancelled gigs,

I didn’t want to go outside the door I was so nervous. I was looking over my shoulder and wouldn’t play music in my ears when I was walking around town in case someone came up behind me.

I wouldn’t go out late at night – my friends would make plans and I’d come up with some stupid excuse because I was afraid to go out and of who would be there.

This wasn’t just someone on Twitter giving their opinion and saying if they didn’t like my work, this was different: this made me feel unsafe.”

Aoife says the guards have “opened a full investigation” into the harassment she received.

Rosemary MacCabe is a blogger and social media personality. She tells me by email that she doesn’t want to talk about it anymore: she is “done”.

Sources told me that MacCabe has been receiving hate mail about her blog for years, and one of the worst accounts was under the username ‘Lexie’.

A post from MacCabe’s Instagram reads:

“I’m really tired of wasting my precious energy on a woman I don’t know and hopefully will never meet, who has spent years of her own life trying to ruin mine (among countless others). I’m tired of thinking I wasn’t good enough because anonymous Internet trolls declared it; I am so sad that I started thinking my face was horrible because they said so.

I left my career behind because I was too scared to stay standing and I stayed in my house for months because I was too paranoid to leave.

I cancelled plans and I let people down…And now I’m so angry that I let someone so small feel so big…I need to get back to trusting what I believe about myself. I need to get back to doing what I love, when for so long I felt I wasn’t good enough for it.

I need to get all that back, because I should never have let anyone take it from me in the first place…We all made enough waves to be targeted by someone with nothing better in their lives, but her suffering is possibly greater than ours.”

Lindsay Hamilton is a social media personality and co-host of a podcast that she and long-time pal Jenny Claffey created together, said:

“I would go on my laptop or my phone and I would be just enveloped in a huge amount of hate, and you can’t really talk to anyone about how you feel when that mob mentality hits. I was crying, Jenny was crying, it was awful.

There was so much public hate in the aftermath of [that episode] that we were getting private messages from people saying they were afraid to say publicly they had sympathy for us.”

Hamilton gives more background to a now-removed podcast episode, telling how one of her followers started to get friendly last year, just when the show was really taking off.

Hamilton, thinking this person genuinely appreciated what she was doing, was friendly back and the two women struck up a rapport.

She explains how later on the woman started to pursue her, on multiple platforms, by tweeting her, emailing the podcast, and sending posts through to Hamilton’s popular Facebook group.

The communications came regularly, were worded very exactly, and the repeated interactions were causing Hamilton to feel that this person was in distress.

They repeatedly said they had been the victim of an act of extreme violence, and kept referencing a blog post from a popular Irish influencer – Rosemary MacCabe.

Against their better judgment, Hamilton and Claffey recorded and published an episode about sexual consent, and frankly, the whole thing blew up in their faces.

Amid the torrent of abuse they received, a message came in claiming someone was in hospital because they had hurt themselves after listening to the podcast.

The message told Hamilton and Claffey that their names had been passed to the guards. These were then screenshotted and posted online by an unknown user.

The onslaught of abuse towards the two women ratcheted up again, this time with even more ferocity, because now someone in hospital.

Despite repeated offers to help this person, the co-hosts were denied access or information of any kind about the alleged patient.

Hamilton was later contacted by relatives of the girl on Facebook, from accounts with no pictures and no friends, that looked like they had been set up only days beforehand.

Hamilton says she now believes that the person who kept contacting her, repeating what had happened to her, was the same person who caused all the nuisance about a fake girl in hospital.

Hamilton says:

“She left comments like two days ago, slagging me off. It’s left me really really scared, and I can tell that is irrational but it just has made me fearful. I don’t really sleep very well now. I wasn’t an anxious person before, but it got me wondering if [my social media] was all worth it.

Now though, in the last few weeks with all that has come out, where everybody has come together to figure out that it’s all been from the same person, it’s frightening because it’s like what’s the end – what’s the point of it all?”

Claffey says she believes whoever was behind the messages to Hamilton got a kick out of watching all the drama unfold.

She said:

“That’s the whole point: they win when they get a reaction. She terrifies me – I do think she is dangerous.”

Claffey and Hamilton own their decisions around that episode of the podcast, but claim that the username of the person who kept messaging them was ‘Lexie’.

When Aoife Dooley started to recover from the stress of losing her father and dealing with the online abuse, she started digging around online.

Some of the accounts that were sending her hate seemed to be repeating themselves, and were abusing her with similarly worded and similarly structured language, often putting her name, Aoife, at the end of a sentence, after a comma.

More investigation led to similarly abusive comments on other Irish bloggers accounts, from usernames she recognised, also written in a similar style.

When Dooley realised it might be just one person sending abuse, she says her fear escalated into wondering what this person was capable of.

Dooley doesn’t use Snapchat anymore, because of everything that happened, but before she deleted it she decided to set some traps for her abuser, telling followers back in April that she had been to the gards due to targeted harassment.

Suddenly the profiles that had been sending her messages started to disappear or change and she felt like she was making progress.

One day, after setting a trap, a message popped up. It was from the popular new Instagram page, Bloggers Unveiled, an account where an anonymous admin posted pictures supposedly calling out unethical behaviour and practices in the beauty and blogging world.

Dooley feels foolish now, because she told Bloggers Unveiled everything. All the person behind that account wanted to know was – what did the guards say?

A lot of people were speculating about who Bloggers Unveiled could be, and the page might not have drawn as much scrutiny had the person behind it not revealed some nasty character traits.

The page started to increasingly divert away from its earlier purpose, which had initially been to call out beauty bloggers on what some people believe to be unethical business practices.

Each time the page posted up an exposé, its gained thousands of followers, and at times Bloggers Unveiled even made the news, at one point triggering a statement from the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI).

By the time it was removed by the person who created it, the page had amassed 223,000 followers, a huge number for the Irish social media scene.

Even though the posts were very carefully worded, they often contained a veiled implication, and the real damage was done in the comments.

A Dublin-based clothing company has reportedly begun legal proceedings to try to find out who was behind the page, in order to sue them for damages.

Jason Kidd and his partner, Paul Stenson, founded a popular Dublin cafe together and have amassed a large social media following.

Despite its ratcheting success, Kidd says he didn’t pay much attention to Bloggers Unveiled in the early days. “Initially I agreed with the concept behind it because I thought the industry needed to be more transparent. It was good in the beginning.”

Kidd and Stenson however quickly came to the conclusion that whoever was behind it was shady.

Stenson says,

“The first time I became aware of it was during the very bad snow. On the Wednesday night you could still drive so I drove Jason home and on the way he was snapchatting the snowy roads. Bloggers Unveiled posted that video 24 hours later, during the red weather warning, to make it look like we’d been driving dangerously. Some of our friends were harassed incessantly.”

At this point, Kidd and Stenson say they knew it had strayed away from someone performing a civic duty into something more sinister. They decided to look deeper into who was behind the account and soon, Aoife Dooley had an ally.

Someone approached Kidd and Stenson, telling them she had been receiving abuse to her online business, and after snooping through enough threads, accounts and comments, she had eventually come up with a name.

She told an old friend of hers, now living in Toronto, what was going on. That friend’s name was Christine Hanley. Turns out Ireland really is a small place.

The person declined to give Kidd and Stenson a name, but instead directed them to an Instagram account, and it happened to be a certain beauty business in Tullamore, County Offaly.

The guys were surprised when the account was set to private, meaning users had to send a request in order to access the shared content.

They sent a follow request from their White Moose  account, which is famous in the microcosm of Irish social media – and almost immediately got a message.

Despite the fact they had simply followed the account – and had not sent any messages – the beauty business launched straight into a denial, and it included the following:

“I know you have been told I am behind the bloggers unveiled page, but I’m not…I’m doing my best to prove that it isn’t.”

Not long after that, the cafe received another message, this time directly from the Bloggers Unveiled account;

“It has come to my attention that you are following innocent people in an attempt to intimidate them…The young girl you have set your sights on this week lives on her own and has been receiving prank calls and random adds to her business account, all motivated by someone who has an agenda against her for years.”

Ramona Tracey, the person who was in the papers last week, is the owner of that business. There are screenshots linking her to some very questionable comments, and others where she admits she is scared to be outed as the person behind Bloggers Unveiled.

There are more screenshots available linking the person behind Bloggers Unveiled to a Reddit account, where she is known to her friends as ‘Lexie.’

There is no smoking gun to prove that any one person was behind a lengthy and damaging campaign of harassment against Irish social media personalities, and there is no definitive, publishable proof that the same person capped it off with an episode of super-trolling when they allegedly created the Bloggers Unveiled page.

But how can there be proof, when it was all done anonymously, behind a digital interface? Until an IP address is produced, these are nothing but allegations, backed up by reams of screenshots.

The demise of Bloggers Unveiled might to a lot of people seem frivolous, and maybe it is. But Bloggers Unveiled isn’t really what this story is about.

It’s about how dark web users feel completely impervious to the standards of common decency that hold the fabric of society together.

The mask of anonymity brings a thrilling sense of power and from behind it, strange people can create untold mayhem and sadness in other people’s lives, without ever meeting or laying a finger on them. It begs the question, for what?

Some people have suggested that this is a style of professional trolling, whereby the assailant always ‘punches up’ and looks for reaction from people with a lot of followers.

Any reaction is enough, but seeing people crying and miserable is the ultimate goal. Essentially, dark web users take pleasure in witnessing the physical and mental torture of others. One can only speculate about the inside of these people’s minds and the quality of their face-to-face relationships.

As much as technology is creating distances between people that didn’t before exist, we share some of our most intimate details online, and most of it is lost in binary code soup of the self-affirming masses.

It’s not really that risky, unless you have enemies or someone is out to shame you. But this is the currency that the catfish troll trades in: shame, lots of it, and always someone else’s.

In time, they learn how to manufacture shame, and bank what they learn so they can do it all again, next time on a bigger scale, all the while increasing their own feeling of power.

When they have enough shame in the bank, and when they get powerful enough, real damage is done, and from behind a digital interface the internet is their playground.

They brag about these exploits in groups of similarly minded people and climb the ranks to become the biggest troll.

There are screenshots doing the rounds where a Facebook user named Santa Paws admits to

“being on this website (since deleted) called brawl hall since I was 15 which was basically a training ground for trolling. I spent 7 years learning the art of trolling and getting into flame war battles with other equally as good users and winners of those would move up in the trolling ranks.”

A follow up message reads,

“she is literally fucking with the wrong person.”

The Santa Paws account only recently changed its name. Up until a few months ago, Santa Paws was called Ramona Tracy.

We hold the uncertainties of life together by policing ourselves; we save each other from our deepest insecurities by being kind.

We support each other to overcome vulnerability by filtering our thoughts, and by biting our tongues, and decent people at least make an effort to live their lives to the fullest without stepping on the souls of others.

The alternative is chaos, and that’s when evil wins. We each have a responsibility to monitor this delicate arrangement for cracks, because it only takes one loose screw to undermine the careful scaffolding that stops the whole world from falling apart.

We may not ever fully understand internet trolls, but the least we can do is teach each other how to recognise their unique depravity, so that ultimately they disappear without the oxygen of acknowledgment.

Áine Carroll is a journalist and freelance writer who lives in Dublin. You can follow Áine on Twitter here

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77 thoughts on “Through A Veil Of Tears

  1. Rep

    My wife follows Aoife Dooley and has been telling me about the abuse she has gotten. Some people are really weird and seem to revel in nastiness seemingly designed to cause as much mental anguish as possible. A lot of freaks out there.

    1. Rep

      So it would seem that online bullying is bad unless the victims are bloggers or influencers, then they can go and jump seemingly.

  2. Daisy Chainsaw

    “On Wednesdays we wear pink.”

    Interesting to see “White Moose Cafe” Stenson playing the victim. “Influencers” and bloggers in their own little circle jerk of importance.

    Anything important going on in the real world?

    1. Ironballs_McGinty

      Can’t wait for the audiobook – “And then I was like… and then SHE was like…”

    2. Christopher

      Absolutely! The man cries when he and his partner are the victims. Social media is such a pile of crap.

  3. ivan

    my own High Court judge moment came at

    “Bloggers Unveiled posted that video 24 hours later, during the red weather warning, to make it look like we’d been driving dangerously. Some of our friends were harassed incessantly.”

    If I’m reading that correctly, friends of Kidd and Stenson were harassed incessantly ‘cos Kidd posted footage of them driving in the snow.

    Really?

    REALLY?

    That stuff happens?

    Crikey, everyday’s a schoolday, isn’t it?

  4. Alan

    For some people trolling is an addiction, I guess, and like alcohol, eventually the bottle begins to drink you.

    As an aside, I indulged in some probably-actually-not-too-awful trolling on this website, for a couple of weeks, years ago, because of some wrongly perceived (and frankly silly) slight I felt. In my defense I was under a lot of work stress at the time and I suppose it was a way to lash out at someone/anyone.
    I was eventually identified by one of the admins of this site (not doxed, but confronted face-to-face) and I was rightly embarrassed by the whole thing. I never indulged again, but I’m almost certain it was put about that I was a professional troll. Over the subsequent years, I have been accused of setting up fake (and nasty) parody accounts of people, as well as sending torrents of abuse to random personalities, by more than a few people. It’s pretty poo poo to be thought of in that way and it’s been a pretty hefty price to pay for a spot of stressed out sniping in the comments section of a website more than five years ago. None of which takes away from the obvious awfulness of who(m)ever has been behind all of the genuine horror stories being revealed in this saga. They might just need help though, not just vitriol.

    1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

      Alan, I am very sorry you got stick over that. It was over when it was over and I don’t harbour any bitterness whatsoever. In fact, looking back, some of the early ‘comments’ on Broadsheet, although often violently phrased and wishing us a quick death, contained very practical advice (spelling, grammar, photo sizes, content not funny enough, more cats, etc) that helped us. Thank you.

        1. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

          Nothing about it was minor and it went on for months. As the comments got darker and increasingly scatological I discovered the person was working in the same building as the ‘sheet’. He was known to me as a decent fellow I would see every day. I felt sufficiently creeped out to intervene, but did so, I recall, politely and without rancour. It was weird but it was a weird time.

          1. Janet, I ate my avatar

            that’s not who sprung to mind actually
            I was thinking about the more recent incarnation of ” johnny”
            memes for whatever his faults were very different

          2. John 'Preposterous' Ryan

            Janet, may I get away from the extreme stalkery end of trolling for a moment because i think we all agree that that is horrible?

            I think old-school trolls can help non-trolls develop and improve their ideas (this has happened to me many times) and I think trolling can be usually policed online through wit and smarts and what have you.

          3. Janet, I ate my avatar

            Ok but would you agree it feels like the pendulum has swung a little too far the other way lately here and got quiet nasty ?
            it’s such a shame, I have always enjoyed this site, but recently I don’t even want to open up a page and let that negativity in instead of the craic, semi trolls and interesting debate I feel used to be more the norm. I have watched certain commentators be hounded and it’s not pretty and I’d like to think not who you guys are.

          4. Nigel

            Oh my God the trolling was coming from INSIDE THE BUILDING.

            But, yeah creepy. Sounds like you handled it well.

          5. Wellness

            hehehe Thanks for the help with the spelling , but I’ll pass on the death threats.
            Any chance you could beam “BS on the telly” from the office? I would love to see it.

          6. Janet, I ate my avatar

            maybe because this could be a voice outside of the spectrum that throws up important issues and has integrity,
            at least that’s what I used to think

      1. Alan

        It was indeed over when it was over, at least as far as I was concerned. My sincere apologies either way. And Tom, he was right to confront me over it, it was silly carry on. Over and out.

  5. Anne

    I have no idea about this wider issue but I do believe bloggers unveiled did a fantastic job of highlighting how fake a lot of influencers are and how fake their opinions are too. One example of a blogger I followed who would link to dresses and products that I thought were products and clothes this person genuinely used. Since bloggers unveiled this person now puts #ad beside ALL their recommendations. This changes the scenario from ‘I love this dress’ to I’ve been told to say I love this dress in the hopes you will buy it or ‘I find this product great for dry skin’ to ‘I’ve been paid to tell you this is great for dry skin’. The #ad only started after bloggers unveiled started to call people out. I also think it is great for social media users – especially those more vulnerable I.e teenagers to see the edited and unedited photos bloggers unveiled posted. I for one had my eyes opened.

    So I would take issue with the author saying that bloggers unveiled called “out beauty bloggers on what some people believe to be unethical business practices’”” bar the bloggers themselves I would think everyone could agree that showing false images and not disclosing that they are being paid to give certain opinions and pass these off as their own are definitely unethical business practises.

    You could say well who cares or more fool me for buying into the lies, but I followed some of these people on social media as I was looking for a new ‘beaut.ie’ which was a website that provided unvarnished reviews of products and where (as someone useless with skincare makeup and fashion) I learnt about products and styles I still use today. Since bloggers unveiled everything seems to be #ad or sponsored posts so I’ve just unfollowed them all and thank bloggers unveiled for opening my eyes (and hopefully the eyes of many others).

    On another note. I’ve no idea why anyone has an interest in keeping up a public presence online in the face of abuse. It doesn’t make any sense. These people afraid to go outside etc. just delete your public media profile and enjoy real life.

    1. ThinkBeforeYouType

      Considering some of “these people” use social media as part of their business platforms to help make a living I don’t see why they should have to leave social media. They shouldn’t be afraid of being abused in the first place. If they do leave that just means the trolls have won.

      1. Anne

        If someone is suffering severe anxiety and is afraid to go outside because of their job then they would be advised by friends, family, counselors etc that they should leave the job and find employment elsewhere that they are more able to deal with and that doesn’t have such a huge impact on their quality of life and wellbeing. I myself have left a job like that and felt a huge weight lifted once I did. Staying in a job like that because otherwise ‘trolls will have won’ doesn’t make any sense. You only get one life. Honestly are you saying you would advise a loved one in the above scenario to just stick it out in a job that made them feel like that.

        1. ThinkBeforeYouType

          If someone was being bullied in a job it would HR’s responsibility to help fix it, and family and friends would encourage you to report it and have the bully removed or reprimanded. Online bullies hide behind masks because they wouldn’t say to a persons face what they would say from the safety of their screen

          1. Anne

            In the real world often HR are no good and people leave their job. It happens all the time. It’s not fair on the person being bullied but unfortunately that’s how it is. Similar to a child being badly bullied in school – the end result is often the parents moving them to a new school. But as you say there are structures you can at least appeal to for help in the real world but there aren’t online so I can’t understand anyone saying to their loved one to continue feeling afraid to go outside, to walk with earphones in, turning down nights out with their real live friends etc so the trolls don’t win instead of telling them to delete their account, that it’s not worth the trauma and focus on improving their wellbeing and surrounding themselves with real people who know and love them.

          2. Marie

            I do agree that their is a rocketing amount of online bully’s (People who revel in putting others down) out there who target bloggers as a sport. However, I also believe that no matter where you work you will encounter the good and the bad. If people like a high majority of bloggers want to exploit their followers to gain social media presence, popularity and higher income by advertising items they don’t use, wouldn’t wear and also items they don’t #AD then people have the right to comment against them. Often some of the comments referenced as bullies are people who feel they have been duped by someone who’s opinion they respected only to find out they are lying or hiding the truth. Being in the public eye comes with the good and the bad comments no matter what area. You cannot be a social media influencer and only expect to receive good comments on your blogs/posts especially when you have added fake birds and but a fake sun in the top of your picture (Sosueme). If you cant take the negative then you cant take the job.

  6. Tom

    This girl sounds like a top troll and I respect that. They’ve spun a web of madness and that’s what it’s all about.

  7. edalicious

    Wait, is there anything to prove that BU was ever actually doing anything other than calling out unscrupulous bloggers? People have accused yer wan Ramona, who had previously been harassing people, of being BU but nobody has actually confirmed this, nor did BU seem to be directly harassing anyone (who wasn’t taking part in shady blogging practices) herself. I was only half paying attention to this when it was happening so happy to be corrected on it.

    Also, does anyone know what the craic is with Irish Fit Fam Failures? He disappeared not long after BU did too.

  8. SOQ

    Good stuff.

    Trolling is dismissed as naughty and mischievous but in the main, it is nasty and vindictive bullying. There is always a control head game at play and it is interesting how behind the anonymity of a keyboard, these people create fake personas around themselves. While it may not be a mental illness, I am pretty certain that there is some sort of personality disorder involved. Narcissism and lack of empathy are two common traits of a sociopath and it will be interesting to revisit the subject in five or ten years when the health professionals have had time to catch up.

    I include several commentators in their various guises on this site in the above of course.

    1. Tom

      Trolling is about causing strife and disruption for amusement. It’s not about bullying or abusing someone. I’m going to start a trolling lobby because it’s sad to see its decline.

      1. SOQ

        Sorry love but Trolling is most definitely abuse. There has been at least two suicides in Ireland because of it.

      2. rotide

        That’s what the term used to mean Tom. It’s now become a synonym for abuse mainly due to the masses on twitter not having a clue what the word is.

      3. Janet, I ate my avatar

        there is nothing amusing about gratuitously served abuse,
        if you think there is I’m sorry for you,
        people should have a platform where you can respectfully disagree and discuss, that’s what trolling prevents

        1. Tom

          It’s a form of arguing that is usually targeted towards the self important and thoughtless types. They end up ridiculing themsleves by taking the bait.

          1. Janet, I ate my avatar

            ideally possibly,
            however I have seen it just become a trend of targeting commentators that throw up a different argument,
            and be ridiculously personal low brow and intended to main, how is that ever productive?

  9. rotide

    Twitter drama, involving ‘influencers’ , woefully underresearched and written by someone who doesn’t know what the ‘Dark Web’ is but insists on continuing to bastardise the term so that it will eventually be as misused as the word ‘trolling’ is.

    It’s hard to care even a little bit.

    Does this make me a troll?

      1. rotide

        Well it used to mean what Tom said it meant, a form of argument specifically used to get a rise and annoy people. Charger and Jimmey Russel are particularly good examples of the genre in different ways. Neither of them are overtly abusive and both generate oceans of data over stuff they are not in the least bit bothered by.

        What it means now, and what I read it as when people use it nowadays is a synonom for abuse.

        1. Janet, I ate my avatar

          Jimmy NEVER got personal and always stuck to very sarcastic see through stuff, it’s the personal attacks that bother me , it’s vile and lowers the whole sites tone

    1. Frilly Keane

      ‘could be worse Rottie

      You might be classed as an Influencer
      In which case you’d have ta’ tell us who does your eyelashes and what concealer you’re using

      And provide regular wax regime updates

    2. Janet, I ate my avatar

      TBH Rotide , I don’t think you are, you are a regular, you have decent observations on subjects, I might not always agree.I feel like this is more a protest about Avery different breed of malicious people with an end game in sight who want to scare of anyone who doesn’t agree with them from having a platform. It is too pointed and malicious not to have a goal ?

  10. Lilly

    Guess where I won’t be getting my nails done next time I’m in Tullamore.

    When will trolls realise that they can hide behind multiple user names all they like, but they can never disguise who they are. Their signature brand of vitriol always gives them away.

      1. SOQ

        Or, how abut the site just joins names, email addresses and IP ranges on an Excel look up table?

        You are heading up a cul de sac lads and it is one you will be reversing from double quick, assuming you actually can of course.

      1. Wellness

        I think ” Alan ” and Co have taken out the yarn and are spinning a web on a Monday evening. BS don’t have an office.

  11. Lilly

    I’ve just done a search for BS trolls of yore, only to find that archived posts are stripped of comments. Pity.

      1. Janet, I ate my avatar

        I feel like they were small fry now and played the ball rather than the fellow man

      2. Lilly

        ABM, hated de wimmins.

        Luke Warm, changed his name often, but always dripping with bile.

        I was wrong about the comments btw, still there if you scroll down.

  12. Lilly

    The poster who irritated me most here wasn’t even a troll. Since gone – a Kiwi, Don Pidgeoni (or something similar)… nails on a blackboard, her self-righteousness knew no bounds. I’m not proud of my antipathy, but what can you do.

  13. Monaghan Man Ultan

    Interesting article:

    How to handle a troll … and neuter a sea lion

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/aug/18/how-to-handle-a-troll-and-neuter-a-sea-lion-dealing-with-online-attacks-astroturfine-trolljacking

    How’s your Russian? Or your Gaeilge, maybe?

    However, the litany of “abuse” above is that transparent or complex. Some gave as good as they got.

    Some did not disclosure their background, motiviations, support, and so on.

    Rosemary McCabe (listed) was afforded a platform by the Irish Times called Fash Mob for example(The IT has stopped all that blog stuff now).

    And blogging about fashion anyway? Looking for trouble through a medium – Blogging – that is a dead activity of the mainstream and is no left to the unemployed and wanna be third level “digitial” marketers. The only decent blogs that remain are niche, specialist ones. And why the need to be anonymous?

    Think of the web snipers of old – Twenty Major, Curly Dena, Jane Ruffino, Bock the RObber Leo Traynor, etc… nothing good can come of this stuff. Twenty Major writes a book – and like the Revenue will give you an artists tax exemption to somebody called Twenty Major. Damien Mulley – every second word for c- or f- and for years for away with me. Don’t hear much about him now…Traynor (who is a real person) destroyed himself online with the anti-semitic troll story echoed by Guardian and the Irish TImes, but ultimately did not stand up.

    Look: If you want to be a blogger great. I have. It takes time, effort, priorities to research, draft, and craft a blog. Hours daily. A job. But do it in the open, be transparent, state your mission, objectives, disclosures, and so on. And face it – in all probability you’re not funny, have no real insight, and will never retire off it.

    Whatcha gonna but on your CV – I was CEO of Boggeds Veiled? (Sorry, watching Rose of Tralee at the mo),

    This is s storm in a teacup. A playground tiff amongst amateurs who at best could aim for an opinion piece in the Sunday Independent, once.

    Leave it to the Kardashians and take up baking.

  14. Ramonaiscrazy

    Jesus… She is even here in the comments.. Give it up Ramona, you had a good run but you’ve been exposed. How’s business these days?

  15. Not Ramona

    why can’t people just block/report/ignore someone trolling? i think the whole “i was too afraid to leave the house” / “i’m afraid for my safety” stuff is a bit much. The BU one just seems like an immature gossipy nutter. if she was ignored it would just be another fool shouting into the ether. How was she listened to so much? also, absolute LOL at the illustration of BU for the Irish Times (also pictured at the top of this article)

  16. Joe Small

    If I hadn’t had personal experience of being stalked for 2 years I’d be a bit sceptical of all this. This personal had several sim cards, dozens of email addresses and made up to 100 calls a day. There were search warrants and court cases. I didn’t even have much of an online presence but my work and family were targeted, Its amazing how much damage one determined person can do, although I could never understand their motivation.

    1. Áine Carroll

      What bit exactly are you skeptical about? I can answer questions if you like. I wrote it. What happened to you sounds awful, but no one is being accused of stalking. The Gards have however opened an investigation after deeming Aoife Dooley’s case to be harassment

  17. Dalkey123

    The surname is ‘Treacy’, not Tracy or Tracey!
    She was Lexieonrale on boards.ie but changed to Shoesdayschild a few months ago.
    Previously she posted on boards as Storminateacup.

    1. Fanks

      It gets confusing, because the girl whose photos she stole way back in the day, was named “Tracey”

      Then, her facebook profile used “Tracy” for some time (prior to being changed over to “Santa Paws”, though it used to read “Treacy”. Her real name is, indeed, Ramona Treacy.

    2. Blaze

      That’s bizarre. I looked at the Storminateacup account on Boards. Had no idea that was her. Under that account she has posted about being pregnant, giving birth, naming her children etc. and refers to being pregnant for what seems to be baby number 3. But I actually don’t think she has any children at all. I never had the impression that she does under her next account, Lexie/Shoesdays account. Googling her does bring up the death notice of her parent and there is no mention of grandchildren. But the level of detail she goes into about her pregnancies/giving birth under the Storminateacup account is astonishing. It definitely is her account.

      1. Dalkey123

        es, there looks to be a lot of fantasism going on there all right. The Lexieonrale/Shoesdayschild account always seemed realistic to me, no real reason to question any of what she posted. It was antagonistic at times and actually a lot of anti-child posts in it where she criticises other people kids but never mentions having kids of her own, or wanting to have kids or fantasising about having kids.
        But given what we now know about her other online life we would have to wonder what is true and what is not. And why. That is the key question for me – why bother going to all that trouble to maintain a heavy online presence on boards.ie, on various facebook chat groups (ma’s that drink etc), Instagram (BU)…while still finding the time to maintain her personal and business and many fake troll accounts and then to bully and harass innocent people? She seems to be in a relationship with a Guard and has an active circle of friends (if her posts as shoesdayschild are to be believed) All the time while running a salon in Tullamore.
        I think she has issues and needs help to be honest.

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