Abuse on line: What are we going to do about it?

In April 2017  I wrote at length about my experiences of being harassed on-line. How my photograph was repeatedly published, how accusations were made about my intelligence, my appearance, my sexuality. All of this designed to terrifying me into shutting up.  I sought help from a number of agencies and received very little. For some reason, this kind of behaviour is still shrugged off as childish or inconsequential.

It isn’t.

I have more than usual resilience and an atypically combative nature. Even I have been shocked and frightened by what has been aimed at me. Particularly when my child is targeted.

I foolishly stated in April that this would be my ‘last word’ on the topic. I was fed up of so much of my time and energy being distracted by contemplating the ugly behaviour of some very disturbed people.

But they didn’t stop. They started publishing my address. They started to try and use outside agencies such as the Information Commissioners Office, as a vehicle for their harassment. They continued to make bogus and malicious complaints to my Chambers (it seems in the mistaken belief that I am employed by my Chambers and could thus be sacked).

I kept hearing more and more accounts of people -usually women – forced off social medial because of persistent and malicious abuse directed at them.

I made nearly 50 reports to Twitter about the people who were violating its terms of service; Twitter responded to agree that yes they had! then did nothing. The abuse continues.

On my Twitter feed this morning I see the following post from another woman driven off social media by intimidation and others publishing her private details.



Enough surely is enough?

If Twitter won’t act – maybe we can.  I am fed up of moaning about this, of nothing ever changing, of almost every day finding that I had to deal with insults, abuse and attempts at intimidation. This is particularly depressing when the main offender is a member of a regulated and protected profession – yet the profession takes an entirely relaxed approach to what has been persistently disgraceful and public behaviour for well over a year now.

So I have started this crowd funding project. How do you eat an elephant? One mouthful at a time. Lets start at the beginning. Lets get the groundwork  sorted for a clear legal challenge to either the failure of platforms such as Twitter to enforce their own terms of Service or against the individuals who so blatantly abuse the freedoms, privileges and responsibilities of having a voice.

Please donate if you can. But please do it anonymously – or you will run the risk of being targeted if seen to support this campaign.


12 thoughts on “Abuse on line: What are we going to do about it?

  1. Angelo Granda

    We need the Police to take action and charge these offenders with threatening behaviour and for spreading hate-propaganda online. There are laws against using the media criminally and the online media is no different in my opinion. Why not enforce them? Offenders can be traced as proven by the successes when Police resources are put into tackling paedophile groomers who operate through dating websites and other social organs of communication e.g. Facebook.
    The root cause of the problem is the inaction of the Authorities. Sarah, why not make a complaint to the Police and see how far you get? As a barrister you will have more chance of obtaining action than an ordinary parent. It is appalling your child should be threatened. Follow it up by a letter to your M.P.

    Meanwhile , a mass demonstration against Twitter in the form of a strike should be organised.

  2. Angelo Granda

    Bearing in mind your work on the Transparency project, CPR and adoption reform etc. and taking into account your claim that the main offender might be considered establishment being a member of a supposedly regulated and protected profession plus the fact that other big-business interests such as Twitter , the Police and CPS don’t take much interest in changing matters ignoring ( turning a deaf ‘un ) to so many complaints, have you managed to work out yet what the motive of your antagonists is likely to be? What have they against you?

    Do you think they are more likely to be pro-reform e.g. members of JFF , FASSITT etc. and organisers of Safe Houses abroad? Or do you think they are probably supporters of the Status Quo?

    I cannot really say but readers on this resource must have noticed that most of the robust, disrespectful, down-to-earth language in these comment columns comes from Social Workers etc. not from parents and mostly the more extreme, disrespectful input tends to come from professionals plus don’t forget the ilk of SWT.
    We have to remember that Social Workers are proud of the work they do and many have no interest in playing the ‘good’ Social Worker . They are hand in glove with the LA’s which direct and pay them.

    It seems fairly obvious to me that someone has managed to sabotage this website too! If you have already identified who you are up against ,please tell us your thoughts. I am sure all reasonable readers will be on your side.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      I completely disagree with your interpretation of who provides the most abusive and disrespectful comments on this site! You may get that impression because sadly I have to delete the worst comments. Which do not come from social workers.

      some people don’t like me because I speak my mind and I don’t back down. Those who like me will think these are good qualities. Those who don’t like me will think them negative qualities.

      What you also need to bear in mind that many of those I campaign against make money out of preying on vulnerable people. I threaten their income streams which is always a trigger for an attack.

    2. HelenSparkles

      “I cannot really say but readers on this resource must have noticed that most of the robust, disrespectful, down-to-earth language in these comment columns comes from Social Workers etc. ” Where?

      “We have to remember that Social Workers are proud of the work they do and many have no interest in playing the ‘good’ Social Worker . They are hand in glove with the LA’s which direct and pay them.” Social workers are not hand in glove with the LA, they are the LA’s representatives, this is not covert.

  3. Angelo Granda

    Sarah, Of course you are right I am unaware of all the abusive comments you receive from parents so I failed to take that factor into account.
    Nevertheless the main offender seems to be an establishment figure and neither the statutory agencies nor the media owners themselves will take action. They could easily enforce moderation of language as you do!
    When you say ‘ making money out of vulnerable people’ do you mean the private companies and vested interests associated with the Local Authorities or do you mean the Mackenzie Friends, independent advocates and so on and so on associated with JFF , Fassitt and the others.
    Am I right to say you oppose profit-making out of child-protection from any source? All I want to do is identify the people threatening you and your family but I don’t go on Twitter which is why I asked the question. Is it the same people behind the baby-burger issue, is it those behind the child-protection ‘industry’ or is it those who campaign against human rights ,disgruntled parents and fathers for justice etc? Really, I suppose it would need a Police investigation to find out for sure but do you recognise any names or aliases?
    Personally, I don’t understand how parents could possibly object to your campaigning and I don’t see how MKF’s would have their income streams affected. They are usually altruists helping children on an expenses only basis from what I can gather. Unlike the firms of family law solicitors I have seen but I don’t want to start going into them again.

    1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

      My major concern and complaints arise around those MKF who were indeed involved in the ‘baby burger’ case -i.e. Sabine Mc Neill and Belinda McKenzie. These are the people who certainly at some point had strong links to John Hemming and Ian Josephs. Most of them are connected. A lot of them charge money for their ‘services’. All are dangerous.

      1. Angelo Granda

        Sarah, I do hope you manage to get the effective advice you seek. Clearly there are some really big players involved who are dead set against moderating the World-wide-web ,much bigger than we citizens of the U.K. and it will be very difficult to get what you want because global interests and the ability to spread so-called fake news is involved. Perhaps they see hate-language ,trolling and the harm done by it as ‘collateral damage’.
        They were discussing it last night on the radio and the prevailing rulings of the Supreme Court ( in the U.S.A. I think) is that moderation of the internet for whatever reason would compromise the ‘free speech’ principle from what I can gather as a layman.
        However, to me it would not limit our free speech at all. The internet content isn’t speech at all ,it is broadcast signals and the signals become written material and graphic images. Magazines, newspapers, books and pamphlets and television have been controlled for years and so should the internet be. Plus if one were to stand on a soap-box at Hyde Park corner and exercise your free speech by inciting violence ,issuing threats and spreading hate you would be arrested.
        Good luck anyway.

        1. Sarah Phillimore Post author

          thank you. I think its a really important issue – internet use has grown so fast and without any clear set of rules or boundaries.

  4. Angelo Granda

    Is it possible to get an opinion from a computer expert as to whether this website has been hacked? If yes, has it been hacked illegally? If yes again, the Police might investigate that crime and trace the perpetrators. Possibly they are the same people that troll you. Or perhaps not.

  5. Angelo Granda

    Sarah, I think false information and fake news is the heart of the problem. It was predicted in works of fiction years ago how the truth will be suppressed and replaced by computer-generated data. True history and libraries to be replaced by an official ORACLE! There are more computers in our library than books nowadays. A year or two ago ,they threw out hundred of thousands of books for recycling. Who would be interested in suppressing our freedom to access the truth? The trolls are just a side-product , but who would profit from spreading false propaganda ( not only hate propaganda)?
    You tell me!

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