Anonymous trolls are as pathetic as the anonymous "sources" that contaminate the gutless journalism of the New York Times, BBC, and CNN. Rather than call it cyber-journalism we should stop drinking this digital poison
By Robert Fisk
January 12, 2013 "The Independent" -- Recognise this chap? He is a “liar”, an “idiot”, a “terrorist sympathiser”, “deceitful”, a “disgrace”, an “insane liberal fool”, he is “on the payroll of the Muslim Brotherhood” and “on the payroll of euro neo-nazis”. He is “mad” (in Arabic as well as in English). But wait. This poor bloke is also “an ignorant Jew-hating worthless piece of shit” whose “hate can be seen in his eyes”. “Pigpiss be upon him in Hell”, is one of the curses directed at him.
He tells “lie upon lie, all of them directly or indirectly aimed at the destruction of Israel”. And he has received the following message: “The Islamist cut-throats you sympathise with would gladly slash your pencil neck from ear to ear just because you won’t bow to their bloodthirsty pedophile [sic] prophet.” And now a clue. In this same list of website filth – sent over just two days – an anonymous writer adds: “Could Robert Fisk be next?”Sick people
My sin – and the above, believe me, is the clean end of the abuse – was to write an article last week about the Middle East in 2013. Now in the old days, when someone stuffed something abusive in your letter box, you’d be round the cop-shop in no time, brandishing green-ink letters in the face of the station sergeant. Threatening behaviour, at the least. But now, merely to complain about this sort of incendiary material marks you as the oddball. “It’s because of your profile,” a friend told me. So that’s what I deserve? I’ve always said that if you report the Middle East, you’ve got to take the sticks and the stones. Sometimes literally.
But something is going wrong here. Surely this is not what the internet is for? Across the world now, anonymity – the bane of every newspaper Letters Editor – is accepted by cyber-journalism, the more hateful, the