Trolls, There Are Some Things We Need To Discuss

Christopher Fowler
Merkania Dear Trolls, Yesterday the president of America introduced yet another layer of check-ups on all arriving overseas passengers, effective immediately. When I politely mentioned this on Twitter I got a tsunami of poisonous racist mail back. You called me 'Bitch' and told that London was in fact 'Londonstan'. You mailed me hate-photos of British Muslims. Which was rather a shock, because I don't remember such behaviour when I lived in your country, even though there were no trolls then. It's only right that incoming passengers should do some checking up on you. After all, you have the highest number of guns per head in the world (and not by a little, either; by a whole extra digit!) We're the ones in danger. Perhaps you could provide some reassurances before we fly? Just how at risk are we? We still haven't forgotten that you killed our Beatle. Are you aware that you have the rudest customs officials in the world? Could you ask them to be a little more polite when we enter? Maybe have a smile and a cup of tea ready? Is it a legal requirement to take dinner at 6:30pm? The earliest we eat is 8pm. Is that cool with you? We only tip if there's something very special about the service. Will the waiter get upset if we leave a sixpence? There's an elephant in the room, and its name is Trump. He seems to be insane. Is it safe to discuss politics in public? Your president is about to give massive tax breaks to your richest citizens. Our mayor is about to raise levels of affordable housing for our poorest citizens. Which do you think is the better idea? There's nowhere in England that I don't feel completely safe, even in Dover. Are there any less than 100% safe places in America we should know about? Too French We're Europeans. We like little meals, tiny tasters, amuses bouches, skinny jeans, tight tops.
We do not like great plates full of pie and fried chicken and burgers. Can you arrange something lighter for us? We get upset when you make your movie villains British. Could we suggest you pick on the French instead, like everyone else? We can see that right now trolls have a bit of an image problem. Don't get us wrong. We know that only a small, rude minority shouts hate-abuse on Twitter. But for now, while you're checking us out, we need to do the same. You understand, it's for everybody's safety. PS I am still receiving hate-mail two days after I was forced to delete the tweet.


Rachel Green (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 08:04

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Gee. I wish I'd seen the tweet, so I could retweet it.

Jo W (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 09:20

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I saw your tweet,Chris and could see nothing wrong with your simple request. However some of the replies you had received astonished me and I checked back later to see if they were some kind of spoof. Obviously not.
There are a lot of nasty people in this world,are there not ? :-(

Adam (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 09:39

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The anonymity of the internet gives truly stupid people a sense of bravado. I can't imagine the vast majority of people saying these things face to face. I'm all for rigorous and vigorous debate on opposing views, but twitter, message boards and the like don't half depress me...

Ollie (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 11:35

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Chris, thanks for this great post. I'm neither on Twitter nor on Facebook. Pity. I'd have loved to see your tweet. I'm astonished that you were forced to cancel your tweet, while these hate-speakers never bother to do so with theirs. Anyway, I endorse even every single comma of what you wrote here.

Brooke (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 11:45

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I saw your tweet; it was very much to the point. Unfortunately I could not retweet; I deleted my account when Mr.Trump began his campaign for president.

I apologize for vile responses you received. There is no excuse for such behavior.

Debra Matheney (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 18:14

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Stupidity exists on both sides of the Atlantic. Brexit, eh? There are louts everywhere, especially on social media. Trump is a disgrace, granted,and social media helped create him. Hate and fear seem to beat out empathy and compassion these days. Very sad commentary on the state of public discourse.

Ed Beach (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 20:51

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

I am so saddened & ashamed by how some Amerians( I do not use twitter and so I assume they were American responses.) Born and raised in New York and now living in Oklahoma. I feel as if I am living in a different country. I apologize on behalf of those who replied so hatefully.

Brian Evans (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 20:51

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

In USA they consider it a right to carry a gun-despite the number of innocent people killed on a daily basis, incl children.They also are determined not to have a National Health Service, despite how many people just can't afford to go to the doctor.

In Great Britain things are the other way round. In order to save lives, guns are illegal. And to save more lives we have a National Health Service. In other words, here are 2 examples of how the British try to save lives, and 2 examples of how Americans seem tp prefer seeing lives taken.

Who's stupid now?

Helen Martin (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 21:08

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Please remember that the people of the United States (or Usians as a friend of mine calls them) are not the whole of America and Mr. Trump, thank heavens, is not our president.
I did like this column and wish that the Usians could see how their country looks from outside. Driving through a US/Canada border control can be a little off putting, although we've only been pulled aside once. The time that was most unnerving was when the officer who came onto our bus was wearing aviator sunglasses and a large pistol on his hip. Two of our group didn't have proper ID and we were told to either leave them or turn around. I told the driver to just drive on and I would take the responsibility. Nothing happened, but I don't think I would try that today.

Peter Tromans (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 22:15

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

It's one of those things that it's better just to put behind you.

Human weakness takes advantage of the distance of the internet to reinforce its self-esteem by releasing the most horrible abuse. Completely innocent and factually accurate remarks can provoke accusations of supporting fascist or extreme communist politics, whichever is most in opposition to the leaning the accuser.

Many individuals, who otherwise seem calm and reasonable, have the capacity to become violently inflamed if they only suspect that the values of their tribe (nation, football team or whatever) are mentioned in any way that could possibly be interpreted unfavourably. If a group of another country are condemning the leader of their government, don't even dare to agree with them!

Ian Luck (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 22:24

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Technology has made the world a smaller place. Unfortunately, it seems to have crammed all the mindless, racist bigots together to feed off of each other's weakness, and insecurity. I think that Shakespeare was bang on the money, and, if I may alter his words a bit: 'The voice of the Internet troll is the voice of an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.'

Martin Taylor (not verified) Fri, 27/10/2017 - 23:05

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

The one thing the internet does is tear the Hoods off the Klansmen and reveal them in all their bleak sad bigotry, their world is so small and so filled with fear and anger they do not understand what they are missing through their stupid hatred. Of course what it gives the rest of us is the chance to see things we never would have and to identify new places to visit, new cultures to enjoy and new freedom.

Brooke (not verified) Sat, 28/10/2017 - 12:51

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Helen, I too have asked the members of this community to use United Sates, or U.S.--not America. I am a U.S. resident. Please respect Canada, Mexico, and other countries that happen to be on the same continent with the United States.

Rebecca Coday (not verified) Sat, 28/10/2017 - 21:19

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

From the States, I thank you.

Helen Martin (not verified) Wed, 01/11/2017 - 22:56

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

By the way, I love the mug and assume that is a prop gun, not a real one.

Ed (not verified) Tue, 07/11/2017 - 04:36

In reply to by anonymous_stub (not verified)

Usian ..... seems silly. I am aware that all people on these two continents can call themselves Americans.
However, the people of this country having been calling themselves American since the Revolution. Perhaps because they couldn't get their tonques around Usian.
Usian is about as bad as Ukians for Britons. Right now the people of the United States of America are going through a bad political patch right now. Try to understand.