Considering that I had previously thought of bloggers along the same lines as those people who whistle in the supermarket, it could look a little superficial me blogging, but it’s for a reason.

The need for this arose out of my fight for fairness from some unkind fake profiles on Twitter. One blogger thought my stance was, her words, ridiculous, well, needless to say i thought this needed addressing. I had not been named in the blog, in fact I was referred to as “one tweeter whom I shall decline to name”. Personally I loved that, it gave me a feel of ‘She who must be obeyed’ from jolly old Rumpole.

I felt it appropriate to respond.  My response is below, You’ll note I refer to other parts of the blog post that you might not be party to, forgive me please, but here goes: – I am the tweeter you decline to name, perhaps you’ll let me clear up something that’s been misconstrued.

I do not insist that all tweeters use only their real name. Where I know the people behind the pseudonyms, I engage with them. Examples are readily available.

When I don’t know the person behind the profile I do not engage and I explain why. Some get upset, others prove who they are without issue.

I am well aware that you have seen pseudonymous accounts make unkind unnecessary comments to people, or even as we’ve seen in my own case, blog unkindly about my wife and parish, and set up a fake and very unkind profile for my wife. To date I am told by anyone I speak to about this, such behaviour should not be endured or encouraged. Sadly though, some then go into their shell, or even stay sniggering behind their own pseudonymous profile, justify their behaviour in blogs and conveniently forget the words of Edmumd Burke “all it takes….”
Fake accounts tend to latch on to others with whom they become friendly. The friends give the fake accounts a credibility which in turn emboldens the faker to behave ever more inappropriately.

Take for example the tweets to Maureen Clarke by an anonymous account on 21 July. Some of the comments made to Maureen at that time were outrageous, unchristian and juvenile. But while this was going on the account is tagging you in, a “Catholic Voice”, you make no attempt to be removed from the conversation which could be perceived to give said fake account some esteem.

On 17 August a second account, again anonymous, took a wholly inappropriate swipe at Mary Clarkson when she entered into a conversation with you. Others defended Mary’s words. Your own standpoint was to simply asking for a cessation of the conversation. This might be interpreted as you defending the anonymous account. I suspect you saw it differently but it was the view of the person who pointed me to the exchange.

After your tweet on the excellence of the Southwark Vocation Service on 15 August, another account took an opportunity to have a dig at Fr Stephen, the director of the service. The account purports to be a former seminarian, even giving a name, however, attempts to reach the gentlemen through known legitimate channels are proving fruitless.

More importantly Fr Stephen is a friend of Fr Terry Martin, vocations director for the diocese for which <close relative of blog owner> might be ordained, this could prove a little awkward for the two gentlemen who we can be assured work closely together in sharing best practice. Surely it would be appropriate to distance yourself from such anonymous activities.

You may feel you can dismiss my sensitivities as ‘ridiculous’ but when misfortunes happen to me, my instinct is not to bleat and cry victim but to work to prevent anyone else from enduring the same. If that makes me ridiculous I’ll happily accept the charge.

As you say, an injustice is an injustice regardless of the semantics. If we don’t speak up, like More, then we are simply in cahoots with the bullying, ridiculing unkind people who employ anonymous accounts for improper ends. I have the parody accounts and screen caps of the deleted blog posts to prove it and look forward to the harping of said accounts should you publish this in your comments box.

Finally “It cannot be much of a surprise that the majority of non-clerical Catholic tweeters and bloggers employ pseudonyms which they zealously guard” I think if you look you’ll find again the ‘majority’ of these blog posters, who are in fact a minority and simply identify as Catholic, do so for inappropriate use such as sniping and bullying others anonymously which is not something I will align myself to.
I hope that clears up things there.

A reply came the same day

Thanks for your comment Deacon Tony.

You seem to expect me to act as ‘Twitter police’.

I tweet in the capacity as an individual. I do not have time to be admonishing others for the contents of their tweets, where a conversation makes me uncomfortable I remove myself from it.

The two anonymous accounts to which you refer belong to real people. While I do not condone all their comments, neither may I be held responsible for them and where a conversation takes a turn I do not like, I put an end to it.

I would remind you that those two accounts are also followed by other tweeters who engage, including Catholic priests. Are they equally responsible?
Generally speaking, it is better to deal with issues outside of social media, therefore if I believe someone is perhaps behaving inappropriately, I would deal with it by other means instead of causing a fracas.

My response was well received by Fr Stephen and I am sorry but I see your attempt to link in others such as my husband as trouble-making and an attempt to create problem and conflict where none exists as well as threatening. The same with a colleague of mine, you are sowing discord and division where none exists, by trying to prescribe what you believe my actions should have been. The best solution to conflict is not to publicly feed it. Removing myself from the situation was the best solution in both cases, making clear as I did, that I was not comfortable instead of pouring petrol on the fire. Re the tweets tagging in Mrs Clarke, I may not have even seen them, that lady is blocked as she has spent every day for the past 6 weeks monitoring my timeline and sending me a barrage of aggressive tweets as well as hectoring me.

I note you are following my timeline avidly despite being blocked, an activity which is unhealthy.

May I remind you that as a Deacon of the Roman Catholic Church last year you repeatedly accused me of having ADHD, asked “when are people gunna wake up and smell the Ritalin coming from the South Coast” and said that you had worked with enough children with ADHD to recognise attention seeking when you see this. How do you feel justified in using a condition to pathologise and attack someone you don’t like who had never been rude or unkind to you? How would the parents of those at your school who have this condition feel? How appropriate is it to diagnose strangers of mental health issues over the Internet and then use such presumed issues to attack them? For the record I do not suffer from the condition.
When one ‘Caral James’ tweeted about Madame being found out, you tweeted in response ‘what other accounts does she have. Let’s screencap the evidence, DM me’. You also tweeted ‘I see people are waking up to the foibles of Madame de Marionnette de Chausette sur le cot de sud, Bon bloody bon”. To whom were you referring if not me? If you believed I was responsible for these ‘sock puppet’ accounts then the Christian action would have been to approach me first, instead of accusing me all over Twitter. You’ll be aware that your holy orders give credence to this.

For the record I was never responsible for ANY sock puppet account but you used your intuition to join in part of a terrible campaign, claiming that my pregnancy was no excuse ‘she wasn’t pregnant last year when it started’ was your response. Actually in 2011 I WAS pregnant and in any event was not aware of any sock puppet scandal then. The accounts you accused me of having involvement in, tweeted repeatedly when I was on air several times and also when I was in the operating theatre giving birth! The ‘narwhalmaria’ account began tweeting when I was at an Ordination Mass, I remember returning to find myself subject to a barrage of accusations. It also tweeted whilst I was on a diocesan pilgrimage in Lourdes in the company of several people, with no Internet access.
Shortly after my daughter was born you RTed an Eccles’ post with the added comment in caps “HOW DOES SHE DO IT?”. You later admitted that you believed me to be responsible for Bruvver Eccles. Can you not see your habit of public accusation, having involved yourself for well over 17 months in publicly slandering and accusing a Catholic wife and mother and as you note, the wife of a seminarian, does not fit with your public office?

That’s before we come to calling another woman abhorrent names like a “skank, a dog, a horse, a venomous and heinous individual”.

You’ve also repeatedly accused real individuals of being sock puppets and demanded that they provide you with credentials such as real names and addresses and publicly derided them to all your followers. Why should people be obliged to do this?

There’s the other matter of attacking people of good faith for tweeting prayers, accusing them of false vanity.  So while out of 50,000 tweets in 4 years a few may not have been great on my part, it is not fair of you to expect me to act as some kind of Twitter policeman and if you are going to take me to task over whom I interact with, you need to do the same with others, including priests, who can verify that people whom you deem fake, are in fact real.

I would suggest however that policing others on Twitter is not in the cause of the New Evangelisation nor the model of service.

Recently you referred to two anonymous accounts as ‘pieces of sh*t’ without using an asterisk and then tagged me in to your next tweet as if you were holding me accountable. They were both genuine people of good will, one later DMed me to tell me she had never received any emails that you had claimed to send her and was so upset, she deleted her account. The woman had never tweeted anything aggressive or unkind.

Perhaps when you rather aggressively refer to my bleating and calling victim*, you may wish to consider that having been repeatedly accused of something of which I am wholly innocent upon the grounds of no evidence, and your deciding that I need to waste my time reporting to you, that perhaps I may be one.

Your aggressive comment here, calling me to task for not getting into further twitter spats and not attacking other people, your attempts to cause and stir up trouble where none exists, not only for my husband but also in my relationships with others, reinforces that.

I really have nothing else to say Deacon Tony, aside from screencaps of how a Deacon in the Catholic Church repeatedly attacked a woman who was heavily pregnant and clearly distressed, can be provided.

Through monitoring my timeline you will have been aware of when I gave birth. I was not gratified to receive an email out of the blue (you never told me from where you procured my email address) when still in hospital, 3 days later, following a difficult and complicated c-section, you took me to task for the tweets of other people to whom once again, I did not respond neither had I solicited a conversation.

That you continue your crusade, attempting to implicate and involve me in a non existent conspiracy causes both me and my family enormous distress along with your trouble making.

I hope that clears things up.

There were other comments under the posts, but all of them from anonymous posters, so I was not interested, in fact I felt they helped to highlight my stance.

I deny none of the posts that have been pointed out but something had, I am sure erroneously, been omitted.

I threw an asterisk in there, it was to remind me I had not said anyone else cries victim, it’s just something I won’t do.  I took to heart that I must watch how I present things.

I started musing my response.