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Caroline Flack: James O'Brien's moving monologue about the effects of tabloids and trolls

Caroline Flack: James O'Brien's moving monologue about the effects of tabloids and trolls
I rely on

flack

40 years old and in many ways not that long ago she had the world at her feet I know nothing and I know more than you do

about

any of this so I can't sit here and tell you it was because of that or it was because of this I do have some rather negative opinions views beliefs

about

the British tabloid media but given that I Wang on

about

those almost every day I don't think today needs any any special mention the the public narrative is is one of social media at least as
caroline flack james o brien s moving monologue about the effects of tabloids and trolls
much as tabloid media my view on the tabloid media is is is not new we and I used to be a show business editor on on a national newspaper albeit that I did so at a time and with an editor that allowed me not to indulge in the sort of excesses and abuses that are commonplace in the profession I I'm going to be completely honest with you that was luck right had I been in the chain of command on a different newspaper under a different editor with the same personality and the same ambitions I
don't think I would ever have said no I'm not doing that on principle not as a younger man because I I mean you know that it's alright we'll find someone that will and I'd have been back measuring inside legs by tea time which is you know a little bit embarrassing but I think it's very important to be honest this this sort of holier-than-thou position that that some media critics adopt is probably bogus I'm lucky that I didn't have to do the stuff that I would now
feel soiled by but I don't think I would have had the financial security all the moral confident to say no so the stories and again I just briefly it going in on the tabloid tactics before we move on to other areas of

Caroline

flax tragic death the stories that used to make me snigger but always with a slight sense of discomfort profound discomfort and they do you know you you you would get people almost boasting

about

doing a so-called death knock and trying to steal a photograph of the
murdered child from the mantelpiece of the mourning family now some of this might have been exaggeration some of it might have been embellished but there will be a kernel of truth and that was a kernel of truth that was present 10 years ago 20 years ago 30 years ago you could probably trace it back to when Rupert Murdoch bought the Sun and put a man called Larry lamb in charge that is really when things began to change and Rupert Murdoch realized how much money could be made from commoditizing
caroline flack james o brien s moving monologue about the effects of tabloids and trolls
to be kind fetishizing to be a little less charitable death and tragedy and and given that the story which actually turned Murdock's head involved the murdered wife of his best friend it's a particularly interesting period of British media history but again it's not necessarily what we should concern ourselves with today what interests me is whether you as a consumer of media both traditional and social think that anything profound has actually changed and and I actually just want to
know what you think but that will be question number one if you are I mean and also this is such a weird conversation to be having with regard to Instagram Instagram is quite nice right you don't get do you get bullied on Instagram is there nastiness on interesting you do get nasty nice nice again forgive me my field of experience is confined exclusively to Twitter on Facebook I'm only in in touch with people I already know Twitter is very much part of what some people would laughably
describe as a brand it's part of my job it's it's part of the platform that I used to get out there and you take the rough with the smooth on that and you can of course walk away I only discovered this morning that my friend Amanda Abbington the actress is no longer onto it so I had to be monitoring where where she'd been but given that her former husband or former partner is in the news talking I think quite responsibly if that's not an inappropriate word to use in this
context talking quite responsibly

about

the fact that he's hit his children I thought I better see what Amanda's got to say

about

this and then sort of discovered or remembered that she's waltz away having previously being on it a lot so you can't always do that and there's no point pretending otherwise but it is a little bit to me at least it's a little bit different from all that's gone before because it gives a sort of loudhailer to people who I think most of us
caroline flack james o brien s moving monologue about the effects of tabloids and trolls
would be baffled stroke really troubled and concerned by if you are dedicating more than what two minutes of your day to trying to hurt people that you have never met because they happen to be quotes famous end quotes or quotes in the public eye end quotes there's nothing new

about

that impulse there's nothing new

about

that it's probably close to an illness isn't it I mean depending on how much time you're dedicating to it but there's something

about

social media that
has magnified phenomena that have long existed in a way that does to me as a former fleet-street show business journalist and obviously now as a professional gob on a stick with half a million followers on social media it does feel a little bit different but my goodness me I to leap from that to the rather dangerous and irresponsible and directly contrary to the advice that the Samaritans give us when dealing with stories like this - it's a claim that one single issue could have provoked an
act like this is is not only highly unlikely but also highly irresponsible so the issue that intrigues me the most perhaps is anonymity I mean it shouldn't really bother anybody if they're getting gypped from someone who hasn't got the confidence to put their own name on their own communication so I mean it shouldn't but I can prove to you that it does if you received death threats through the post this morning you wouldn't really care whether it was signed or not would you
so there is always an extreme I can read for to illustrate the point that I'm trying to make if you received a note through your letterbox saying oh I really hate you you ugly mean man it would probably hurt more if it was signed doris at number 37 then it would if it was signed Doris over three four six seven eight six six six six two or I don't know England's rose or up the Christian West or something like that I mean there is something quite comical

about

anonymity up to the point
where people actually get worried and you might be worried

about

an extant threat or all I think in this case the focus has been drawn to the question of mental fragility you know vulnerability and and I heard a clip from Mark Wright who I think his famous for being on The Only Way Is Essex earlier in the morning it was playing out on our own bulletins that was quite actually moved me a bit I mean I think having a Fleet Street background means when you get nonsense on social media you're
almost proud of it you know the the idea that people think you're this important is almost flattering but if you come from a different background if you come from a non journalistic background it must be really weird and to hear him say it does actually hurt made me a little bit embarrassed actually because the you know the giggles and laughs that you can have at people probably overlook the fact that other people might really get hurt by this stuff sticks and stones may break my bones but
words will never hurt me is probably one of the biggest lies humanity has ever told itself and yet we all sang that in a way in the 1970s in the in the 1980s you