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Richard Bacon opens up in a moving interview about Caroline Flack and online trolling

Richard Bacon opens up in a moving interview about Caroline Flack and online trolling
joining the studio now by

Richard

bacon

TV and radio presenter

Richard

it's great to have it back in the studio in sad circumstances you came to mind very quickly when I heard the dreadful news

about

Caroline

Flack

at the weekend a because I know that you know her but also you were one of the first people I know anyway who did some serious journalism

about

trolling

what it is who they are what types of be they are what they do what they did to you yeah take me back to that that was a few
richard bacon opens up in a moving interview about caroline flack and online trolling
years ago I was because we used to work on the radio together and I just taken over from Simon mail on a radio show and there's just a troll who was threatening my life and not in any meaningful way but but they were very aggressive messages than lose one of my I just my son Arthur had just been born and was threatening to kill him and stuff like that so I I tried to look into it and I made a documentary which I tried to track them down and then I spoke to experts and and it became it would
yes it was before

trolling

is as prominent as it is now Billy I'd never heard of it until you did that so it must have been just under eight years ago I suppose and it was you know I learnt a lot and I think there's definitely something

about

a combination of access to an audience and anonymity when you put these things together that have a keyboard an audience generating a reaction from an audience then people not really knowing who you are that those things together bring outside of
human nature that is horrible and it somehow magnified by the process and I think with you said you saw it with

Caroline

as well that there is an instinct in in so many of us and I and it's not just trolls to be honest which is to make very simplistic snap judgments

about

a situation there's actually really complex and

about

which we know nothing and and often when we don't know the person in the slightest yeah I think that really upset me

about

the

Caroline

case and people trolled
her and but it but to be obviously as I say it was lots of people were having these conversations people I know we're having these conversations there was an element of when she got arrested and there was that incident involving her boyfriend that people were enjoying it that they were treating it as as gossip and my first thought was partly having made that documentary but also this is will seem like a bit of a sigh tone but I've been to AAA a few times and if there's if you go to
AAA can't guarantee that you'll stop drinking forever but there's if there's one thing you you do learn from AAA it's because it's a process of people sharing stories it's when you hear a story like

caroline

's that your first thought is oh well there's a vulnerable human being that needs some help and and that is how I think we should all react to those stories that whether you knew her or didn't know her and especially if you employed her you what
you're dealing with is someone who's vulnerable who needs some help so while starting point should be one of concern and even if you can't empathize with the allegations you can sympathize and and and beware that they are allegations at number whether allegations anyway beware that she's famous beware that she's going to be attacked by trolls and just be aware that she's fragile and and I think if we could it's

about

empathy isn't it in a way and it's

about

if
richard bacon opens up in a moving interview about caroline flack and online trolling
we could just stop treating stories as if they're funny if we can stop being judgemental and piling in on things we don't really understand I think if we just just stop and help vulnerable humans we'll all be in a better place I remember in the early days in the training course actually of my career I I one of the questions I asked one of the teachers on the course was why is news local news in particular obsessed with road accidents and he said it's it's the jungle it's
I'm up in the tree safe watching the road accident happen I'd like to hear that the road accident has happened not like - but when I hear it I feel safer because it hasn't happened to me and I wonder whether there's a kind of version of that going on when we see that famous people in particular in trouble we think ah for a moment I'm the righteous one I'm better and also because they're famous it's it's it's a strange relationship that they've now been
brought down because they were famous and they had what you imagine is a sort of gilded existence and now they've fallen on their face and so therefore there is just an instinct

about

piling in and definitely finding it entertaining and as I say I never want to sound better than anyone else but I am applying my experience you are all right okay sure but I'm trying to apply my experience of that documentary but also of the having listened to painful stories in places like hey and I she
was obviously vulnerable and I I I don't know what happened with ITV for example I haven't absolutely no idea what the response was but I do he'll I do hope that sure I get why you suspend someone from the television but I just I hope she was offered help she may be she may not taken help I don't know enough

about

it but but I just hope that she was treated as a vulnerable person well they the statement from ITV and from LA violent talks

about

her in very dear term mmm so
let's hope that was reflected in what they may have done everything correctly I simply don't have the information but you do see some try to say I do and to go back to your documentary in to

trolling

was there any because we're talking this hour

about

how we control what appears to be an uncontrollable beast the you know the internet

online

social media it did you look to get this person prosecuted they have I did they've threatened your child first art I went to the police and
the police couldn't do anything

about

it because the person was using a server in Canada and that's often it's very hard for the police a troll can operate in our country but if they use a server from a different country the police have no jurisdiction over that country and can't find the person just can't find them and so you often can't track the people down that's the reality in the case of that documentary I think he or she got frightened because I put it on
richard bacon opens up in a moving interview about caroline flack and online trolling
television which was just something that I could do that other people can't do but it is with

trolling

it's it's hard to track them down what I hope we can do is maybe just tackle human nature a bit more and I do as I've already said I think all of these things should be lessons in empathy just just stop and reflect on the impact of of these stories the impact of gossiping and talking

about

someone and just remember that you often don't know what people are going through on
the inside that I to be honest I would say almost every single adult in the world has got some sort of inner turmoil they're not sharing with you and and these situations tend to be very very complex and when someone gets into a mess all we should do is help them and when you going back to your troubles all those years ago briefly at Blue Peter that was pre social media wasn't it oh yeah so that was bad enough I guess even before social media was coming but it's a different world now
isn't it even much worse as it would have been here I guess I'm not telling you and I were fake sacked when we weren't so I did find that very gutting actually well it's because it's also

about

what is difficult I think is when facts are reported

about

you that you know aren't true and it's really hard to correct them isn't it yeah and you you've got to be resilient in the face of those and when that happened to me for the first and only time that happened to
me really in any significant way I was resilient in that I still knew how to fight back but I felt devastated by it yeah and and and I think you know and if you actually take that as an example that is relatively it was a tiny tiny thing by comparison to to

Caroline

and many other stories and yeah and yet you know from that experience how devastating that was and actually you imagine that magnified up and had power yeah yeah to millions and to someone who was already vulnerable I know this is a
petition going around which in which they're trying to I think the

Caroline

's law yes it's to get a government inquiry into how public figures are are reported upon and I think it's probably a good idea I would probably assume that celebrities by and large or rich and having a very nice life but there is something

about

putting yourself out there that that makes you vulnerable and I think it wouldn't be a bad idea for it I don't know what the answer is but I think think

about

it yeah I don't think celebrities should have kids gay thoughts I don't think celebrities should have special protection from for example if they've broken the law and it's in the public eye and got on you go you know some of its going to be you know tough around the edges some of it will be up straight up and down reporting but some of it won't be yeah but it's the degree to which that second part that more brutal reporting of it is manageable or not I suspect
it's not maybe it's not but I think brutal is a good word it is some of the reporting to brutal loads of the reporting would have been fair and reasonable and unsuitable look when she it was a story was a public story is nothing wrong with reporting the story it's just a question of and it's sort of it's not just the presage the public it's the

trolling

it's the social media actually this case takes in the cps but it is are we being too brutal to people when there are
their most vulnerable I think that that's the question and I think some of the reporting would have been fine and some of it would have gone too far and just adjusted just to stop and reflect on how we pause and reflect on how we talk

about

these people in these moments it's not going to be a bad thing particularly when away from celebrity and limelight you know you've got small kids you know that kids in schools are being bullied mercilessly on social media sometimes particularly as
they get older maybe it's it's as valid a conversation in that arena as it is in the celebrity arena isn't it I think it all comes back to empathy I think I think I think it's it's just that that word is that the heart of all of these discussions one thing I learned from that documentary is that the bullying in our follows kids home so if you're bullied at school do you go home to your bedroom and you turn on Facebook and the bullying carries on before computers and
social networks of bullying you only having the bullying only happened it's good read someone close the door and go home and now you can't and and I think at every level whether we are talking

about

trolling

whether we're talking

about

the CPS whether we're talking

about

reporting whether we're talking

about

bullying following children home in a way it's all

about

empathy and and it's just

about

somehow understanding that occasionally we need to just take a moment and
pause and reflect and think of people as being vulnerable humans coming through inner turmoil and just making sure that we're not making things unnecessarily and unfairly worse and brutal and brutal a good word words it's the right word