Hello all, shall I start this with something like a confession at alcoholics’ anonymous?
I cannot stand up to say it as I am sat typing at a P.C. and these days my old legs are not so good but here it is:-
My name is Eileen and I created a Jeremy Corbyn supporting group on Facebook a couple of years ago.
Phew that's better, confession being good for the soul and all that.
I have started in light-hearted mode not because I view all allegations of abuse as trivial or non-existent but rather because this is a heavy subject.
So firstly why create a group?
Why not there are tons on Facebook? Everything from dogs to politics to sex to D.I.Y and more.
Political groups can be a good place for sharing information, keeping each-others spirits up through any election defeats and so much more.
Political supporting groups have been on Facebook for as long as I have been a member but probably longer and from its humble early beginnings.
Some are lovely and friendly others feel like a jump into a lion's den but that is why some members love them.
Some people you know like to chat about politics anywhere and everywhere
But one reason is a positive group like ours helps counteract nasty ones such as Jeremy Corbyn is a Twat, Jeremy Corbyn is a Total Twat and Jeremy Corbyn is a dirty old man, which originally had a more abusive title linking Mr Corbyn to paedophilia re his young supporters. There is of course no evidence of that but those are just three right-wing groups on Facebook all pedalling hate, all reported to Facebook over and over again and which continued to cause offence, house trolls and be abusive, who knows perhaps all just for a laugh?
Funnily enough those groups seem to have been taken down today or recently. Interesting?
However you know Facebook.
Always able to find bits and bobs that lork after a deletion.
Perils of running a group
For a group to work you need a good admin team that all sing from the same song sheet and are there for one purpose only, in our case supporting Jeremy Corbyn on his path to being our next Prime Minister of the U.K.
Some Facebook users prefer to just have a laugh but being an admin is at times no laughing matter.
In our case we are now a small group of Corbyn supporters all working together as a great admin team, but along the way there have been bumps and hurdles.
We manage a group of over 4,100 members and some members are active online 24/7.
We obviously are not.
Our admin team includes the retired and the young working. With the best will in the world we cannot police our group day and night 24 hours a day.
We opted early on to add some restrictions to our group which means shares into the group have to be approved and so do new member requests. We added a couple of questions as to why a person might want to join us but people often tell lies on social media, don’t you know.
So we check profiles and do our best to make sure the person is a good fit for our group before we open the door and say come on in.
We do not always get it right but once a mistake is clear we remove that person a.s.a.p.
Then it is mind the door does not hit you on your way out!
In the two-years we have been an active group the admin team has changed more than once. This may mean we have stuff lurking in our basement which we really should bin.
Again we work to try to keep on top of that as and when we can.
But we do have open commenting and that can be a problem.
It means as long as you are a member of the group you can comment on a thread any time of day or night.
Whilst we check and delete offending comments some occasionally get through.
It has been a learning curve for us all including our members.
People are hurting under this cruel Tory government and when a person is affected themselves they lash out.
Is there any wonder ordinary non-funded, non-affiliated Corbyn supporting groups on Facebook get it wrong at times?
Our group has a great mix of people though all with the common aim of supporting Jeremy Corbyn. We are old, young and in the middle, varying ethnicity, well, not so well, vulnerable and people with disabilities, highly educated, not so educated and under educated; we are in fact a great cross section of the general public if you exclude the fat-cats.
And 99.9% of the time we all gel as one.
It is not only hurtful but sad to see such poor journalism in The Times today. It used to be such a great read quite a few decades ago now.
But these days it is under the leadership of Richard Murdoch former boss of the now defunct scandal rag the ‘News of the World’, still boss of the most hated publication in all of Liverpool ‘The Sun’ and long-time friends of high-ranking Tories and Mr Tony Blair.
Now that is not a conspiracy theory. A cursory search through Google images online will confirm it for you doubters.
In February the Daily Telegraph reported that the Tory Party was going to hire paid trolls to work for them on social media.
They were getting desperate to beat Mr Corbyn's unpaid band of faithful supporters.
We have all got used to being called a crazy cult, rabid trots and more sometimes by people within the Labour Party.
It is not called abuse though when it is directed at Jeremy Corbyn supporters for some reason. Odd that.
But I think we must all be getting like Jeremy. He has shown strength and resilience; When the going gets tough the tough get going.
In our hearts we know Mr Corbyn offers so many people in the U.K. a much better tomorrow, much better than more of the same old tired politics of other political parties including now old new Labour. We also know our man is not for sale and so do the likes of Rupert Murdoch.
Easter Sunday as many decent people who support Jeremy Corbyn are trashed by the mainstream media and have their names splashed in some cases across Rupert Murdoch rags it is hurtful to see supposed comrades joining in the abuse.
It's a fact some people are silly, some hateful, some fifth columnists and some genuine. Sorting out who is who online can be tricky.
If you see or experience abuse in any Facebook group or elsewhere online report to the admin, the site and if necessary the police so it can be investigated.
And do so no matter where the abuse appears to hail from.
A few images from our group have been used in this report. Some may be funny others more serious but hopefully non will cause offense.
Humour and satire can be a useful tool but also misjudged and misused at times.
Think back to Charlie Hebdo and have a long hard think.
If you are a Jeremy Corbyn supporter and use Facebook why not drop by and give us a knock?
We may just open the door and give you a huge welcome or we may slam the door in your face.
In our group there is never any offence intended; we just want to keep our safe and secure place where we gather just that; safe and secure.
For Background to this story:
In the Murdoch press:
Exposed: Jeremy Corbyn’s hate factory
Vitriol and threats of violence: the ugly face of Jeremy Corbyn’s cabal
Racist comments ‘should be investigated by police’
Luciana Berger: Four types of vicious abuse; just one way to deal with itJeremy Corbyn’s online army: the Facebook groups peddling hate
Targets of the trolls
On this website:
Lord Sugar you should be fired from Twitter
Jeremy Corbyn supporter looks back at this week
Where did you get that hat?
Lies, Damn Lies and Corbyn’s Anti-Semitism
Jeremy Corbyn Wins Apology And Payout From Tory MP Ben Bradley Over 'Communist Spy' Tweet
Minister's relative gives Tories £816,000: Labour
Tories hire army of tweeters to take social media fight to Labour
All things Corbyn
Latest news, views and more