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Posted on September 16, 2019 by staff

Gary Lineker and Rachel Riley: ‘don’t feed the trolls’

Gary Lineker and Rachel Riley: ‘don’t feed the trolls’

Gary Lineker has 7.4m Twitter followers
Gary Lineker has 7.4m Twitter followers

Celebrities including Gary Lineker and Countdown’s Rachel Riley have joined together in a pledge not to quote or share online abuse on social media.

The presenters join a group of celebrities, politicians and campaigners who will now block, mute or report abuse as it is received.

The pledge follows new research which suggests hate speech and abuse on social media platforms such as Twitter are simply spread further when quoted or shared.

Instead, users are being encouraged by the group to ‘starve the trolls’ by reporting the worst cases to police and forwarding lesser abuse to platforms including Twitter and Facebook to add pressure on them to act.

Lineker said “Don’t rise to the bait, block the trolls and take some time out.”

Richard Osman, Pointless quiz show presenter and now proponent of the approach said: “Mute them, block them, whatever you need to do – don’t feed them.”

Former home secretary Alan Johnson, London mayor Sadiq Khan, anti-FGM campaigner Nimco Ali and comedian Eddie Izzard have also shown their support for the new approach.

New charity, the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) is behind the ‘Don’t Feed the Trolls report’.

The charity is advising that those affected by abuse turn off notifications and take a break from social media before deciding if the abuse should be taken to police.