MAY 8, 2013

Trolling Tom Pride


I came across an interesting Twitter-storm this morning. One that has been going on for the last couple of days and is still ongoing at the time of writing. It appears that a well known Daily Mail and Express journalist made a couple of statements on Twitter on 6th May regarding her ability to obtain the personal contact information of other Twitter users

Those tweets are here:

And a few tweets later:

Clearly, it is of interest when an established journalist and broadcaster claims publicly, so soon after the telephone hacking scandal and Leveson, to have “contacts” who are prepared to trace and provide personal identifying information (which they believe to be held privately by Twitter) on other Twitter users, including telephone numbers and presumably names and addresses. Further, it seems clear from the tweets above, that this has occurred and the information has been both provided and then utilised by the journalist in question

Is the journalist exaggerating? Did she really use “contacts” to trace other Twitter users so that she might ‘have at them’?

I am sure we have all over-egged the pudding on occasion but, if this was the case here shouldn’t the journalist have just admitted it? Would it really have been a big deal?

It seems from the journalist’s tweets, prior and subsequent to those pictured above, that she had taken issue with the people she has obtained the personal information on, describing them as “trolls”. She also goes on to provide in a separate tweet the full name of at least one person and adding, in most likely unintentional Yoda-speak: “Not a spine to her. Scared of me. Hiding after that last call

I have to be clear, I do not know whether the journalist is making it all up or has actually obtained personal information on other tweeps, whether legitimately or otherwise. However, her public claim that she has obtained what is privately-held information and the rather aggressive tone in some of her tweets does I think merit some further consideration

One tweep said the journalist must have obtained the information from Twitter itself, however this seems highly dubious given that Twitter will not release any such information unless you have jumped through a considerable number of legal loopholes and nor has the journalist herself confirmed that this is how she came across the information

My other interest in all of this is the way that other Twitter users are involving themselves. Most importantly, the role of a core group acting in support of the journalist by muddying the discussion; continuing – now into its third day – making ad hom attacks on the blogger who first contacted the journalist and seeking to head off any proper exploration of the central issue (the journalist’s tweets) by any casual Twitter users that happen to come across the exchanges

As far as I am aware, there has still been no satisfactory explanation from the journalist as to why she made the comments in the first place. Not that she need explain on Twitter, of course. But it might have prevented the level of fallout

This is all happening right now. If you are interested then I would encourage you to read the original blog post by Thomas Pride and then work your way through his Twitter timeline, beginning with his tweet in which he initially raises the question with the journalist. You will quickly identify the core actors. What is noticeable as you read through the conversations is the way in which the blogger is accused of “spin and distraction” of “being sneaky“, and far far worse. All entirely unsubstantiated of course, but thrown in nevertheless. There are also some very good examples of concern trolling going on that are worth noting for future reference

Just having had a look now at the grief he is still getting, it appears that blogger Tom has certainly struck a nerve. What isn’t clear, is precisely whose nerve he has struck…

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  1. MAY 9, 2013 – 5:36 AMadeybob

    My name is adeybob / monadTime. My phone was called by Sonia, and she threatened me, then went a bit ranty. My phone number is not even in my name, and has never been publicly available. But this blog appeared after:
    A less kind man would suggest that Sonia wrote it because her @rse was flapping, and a mate let her use it. Some mate.
    When she called me first time,she forgot to withhold her number,the idiot, and she had to call back, so I’m pretty sure the Muppet has left her IP address on the blog.
    Saying “Does anyone know where it lives so I can physically attack it” would get ME ARRESTED…yet this is the kind of comment I get from Sonia’s New Twitter buddies all the time…along with my address and my facepic.
    And why did Sonia abuse her position of power to scream down the phone at me? All because I tried to warn her that her new buddies were going to make her look like a complete tool.

    • MAY 11, 2013 – 9:52 PMOutlaw

      Is this the same face pic that you posted on ypur own Facebook page Adey? I know you are a stranger to the truth so it is impossible to believe anything that comes out of your mouth can be taken seriously. You are accusing people of being MI5 troll teams and David Rose for God’s sake. :-) It is getting far too easy to track you down Adey as all one has to do is look at a blog or Forum where you find Janette Scharenborg either liking or commenting. Adeybob is always to be found trotting along dutifully behind doing her bidding… You and your friends are becoming a rather tired and totally sick joke now Adey, it is about time you found yourself some gainful employment :-(

  2. MAY 9, 2013 – 6:49 AMMFOGlasgow

    Pity you never looked at the timeline and the Pride story and realised the Tweets were manipulated . Anyway.Before you keep rambling and supporting Thomas Pride who was offered the truth but refused to reply to me, please read the truth if you dare. nancyheart26.wordpress
    Mr Pride omitted that referral from his story

  3. MAY 9, 2013 – 8:36 AMPaul (@LazySavant)

    You may not be looking hard enough for the spin. Mr. Pride has done this before, and is doing it again.

    Please do not align me with either camp. Though I agree with one side on this occasion, I have my issues with the other too. It’s easiest to say that I think a lot of these people involved just have nothing better to do than act out a drama on twitter, and in their blogs.

    To the point though: there is definitely spin going on. Being sneaky, maybe not. I see Tom’s methods as too transparent to call them “sneaky”. That’s not to say the other lot aren’t full of their own underhanded methods too.

    Ultimately, the truth of this whole thing is that it isn’t worth all the fuss. It would have been useful if Sonia had just given some answer, but it’s her right not to. In fact, Tom has refused to give info on how he has acquired information in the past, citing exactly the same reasoning as Sonia did.

    I can, however, see your point about it being interesting with regards to phone hacking etc. (especially to Joe Public who has no idea about the technology/simplicity involved behind either case) – BUT – Tom knows that too; that’s why he’s taken advantage of it and spun a story.

  4. MAY 9, 2013 – 11:03 AMAll Roads to Hades are Equal

    Sonia Poulton – that lovely woman who is defending the suspects in the murder trial of a teen boy. Danny O Shea was set upon by 10 adults with bats and knives (one of the attackers helped Blair with his anti knife campaign), but Sonia is certain that her friend who is accused of being one of this group, is a nice man who wouldn’t do that sort of thing.

  5. MAY 11, 2013 – 9:39 PMOutlaw

    I am afraid that I have to disagree with the part of this that states that Twitter does not release personal details. If somebody lodges a complaint to Twitter they have to complete an online which includes their personal details Name , Address, Telephone number etc. There is a disclaimer included that the person that has been complained about will be sent the details, and you have to agree or disagree to this before the complaint is registered. This particular complaint was a matter of somebody posting ‘Intellectual property’, namely a photograph which was taken from a Facebook page in the public domain. I was also contacted by Twitter as I had retweeted the said image and also have a copy of the E-Mail from Twitter which indeed does include the details that Tom Pride is blowing a gasket over. The details of this person, who incidentally has been abusing and harassing victims of childhood sexual abuse for months, so as a courtesy I shared his details in order that he could be approached in order to make him stop his campaign. If you want a copy of the e-mail you can contact me. So no hacking, no nefarious Internet snooping was involved in obtaining this number… Just Tom Pride creating controversy over what is after all a very simple matter….. Again.


    Great blog, and now, to bring you bang up to date, you really must read the comments towards the botttom in the past few days here

    It is now time for the dutch and UK police to arrest, question and criminally prosecute the vile turtle neck twitter supertroll Sonia Poulton.

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