MCCANNS TRY TO BAN ABUSE FROM TROLLS
Again, Gerry and Kate are in the tabloids complaining about the abuse they receive from online trolls. Nobody could blame them, I'm sure, apparently they receive around 150 abusive tweets per day, according to psychologist Dr. John Synott who recently carried out a study on internet trolls.
My question is why now? The Forums and the Facebook pages are at an all time low and the McCann hashtag on twitter is known to be occupied by a small group of obsessive compulsive sociopaths with a very niche audience, most people avoid it. The 'troll' problem for the McCanns was solving itself, the trolls, like most of those who followed this case, have moved on.
I can't help wondering if Dr. Synott, who seems to have a hand in this, has ever heard of the Streisand Effect? The phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicising the information more widely. Usually facilitated by the Internet'. Just saying.
The warning about criticising the McCanns' parenting has been on their Facebook Page for years, and it was far more, err, forceful, than the one that has made the news today. So again I ask, why now?
Gerry and Kate say they are not on social media. That, I'm afraid sounds like many whoppers that have gone before - I doubt they been off their laptops since 2007. If they have kept charts of their social media mentions (and I'm sure they have), this is probably one of the quietest periods they have ever had. In fact, had they continued with the 'don't feed the trolls' policy they already had in place, even the diehards would have given up.
I'm amazed to be honest that Gerry and Kate are still bothered by internet trolls. They don't seem to understand that the only power they personally have over the internet and those abusive tweets, is the way in which they react to them. Having each and every one of their critics removed from the internet won't make the problem go away, just as suing one newspaper didn't stop others.
Could it be that the parents of Madeleine McCann are still useful to those who would like to police the internet? Those who want tough new laws to clamp down on subversives and the spread of information? Or are they expecting some sort of media avalanche?
On the 10th anniversary of Madeleine's disappearance, Gerry and Kate should have been inundated with offers to tell their side of the story, and perhaps they were, but methinks more of the same was not what the news networks wanted. That is approved questions and the go ahead from Clarence on the final cut.
The only way in which Gerry and Kate can now change the paradigm is with honesty. It is their last resort. Lies do not become more believable with the addition of more lies. They kick off a whole tangled web that can keep social media buzzing for a decade.
All the McCanns attempts to win friends and influence people via social media have resulted in grotesque spectacles of the lowest form of human behaviour. Even in those earliest days, way back in 2007, Team McCann were aggressively attacking all those online who didn't believe the abduction story. At the time I, and I'm sure many others, simply thought they were very enthusiastic supporters, perhaps going rogue, but many of the 'same' ones are still here, still angry and still cussing the dogs.
Their tactics were pure Nazi thuggery, they were collecting the names of all those who spoke out against the abduction theory, finding their details on Facebook etc, and placing their photos and details on a website called 'Exposing the Myths'. Threats were made to 'expose' them to their employers (in my case my publishers), friends, neighbours, families etc, as 'haters'. A precursor to what actually happened to Brenda Leyland. Indeed, in the days prior to Brenda's Leyland's 'naming and shaming', Jim Gamble was on TV putting all of us on notice.
This Blacklist, vile as it was it, was effective to a certain extent, and began a tradition of people commenting on this case anonymously. In the forums, the sane quickly made a fast exit, not just because they were being insulted and threatened, but because they simply didn't need that shit in their lives. The less sane among us, decided to stay and fight. And the main weapon used against us, was the smearing of our characters. In my case, I was a 'known' drug user with mental health issues. I lost count of the amount of blogs and articles written by both 'pros' and 'antis' that were nothing more than character assassinations complete with obscene photoshopped pictures using my head. The Blacklist, or as it has become known, the Death Dossier, had over 140 pages on me! Screenshots of every comment I made on social media within minutes of my posting, with my words deliberately distorted.
The McCann army, and it is an army, though much shrunken, have always used 'attack' as their first form of defence. Discredit the messenger. Mrs Fenn, heartless old lady, Ms Martin, interfering busybody. Anyone who doesn't believe them, hater. This tactic is so ingrained, that they are incapable of rational, reasonable, argument. How can anyone have a debate with someone who comes to the table believing his peers are morally and intellectually, inferior to him? And this has been the premise of every pro McCann forum, and indeed, every pro McCann. Gerry, Kate and all those who follow them with blind belief, took the higher ground from the off, when they rediscovered their Catholic religion and became the epitome of bad things happening to good people.
On the higher moral ground, they can dodge and ignore all the mud slung at them, treating those questions they don't like, as beneath contempt. And unfortunately, this is the attitude they bring with them whenever they attempt to argue the McCanns innocence. What they have never been able to grasp, is that you never begin a show by insulting the audience. Shouting 'are you that stupid' may work (temporarily) on a trembling adolescent, but online it makes you look like a pompous, bullying, twat.
For all the fortunes Gerry and Kate have spent on favourable publicity, they still remain unable to put forward a believable explanation for their strange behaviour and the lack of an abductor 10+ years on. After an endless legal battle, their foe has finally defeated them. Perhaps they believed a victory in Lisbon would reverse the tide, enabling them to return them to those heady summer days of 2007, before the 'movies got too small'. Of course it may just have been vengeance on Goncalo Amaral, they desired. Vengeance in this case became a form of insanity.
In less than 2 weeks time, Operation Grange are due to make another announcement. Most of the money is on another extension I am sure. but I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess the British side of the investigation will close, and all their findings will be passed to the Portuguese. Where SY might struggle, will be their promise to provide the parents with an answer, they have been working on behalf of the victims, ergo, for their sake, it cannot be left open ended. Unless Operation Grange clear the parents and the tapas group completely, nothing will have changed. They will still be left in limbo, with all the crazies snapping at their heels.
Some might argue that Scotland Yard have been horribly cruel, I certainly would if I were a 'pro' - because effectively they have been withholding information that could have given Gerry and Kate closure long ago. Living under the shadow of a police investigation all this time must be unbearably stressful. It could be of course be that SY have already told Gerry and Kate 'the worst', that they are not looking for a live child, but that is something they would never admit publicly. I think it is a given however, because there have been no age progression pictures, and no active fundraising on the part of Madeleine's Fund.
I think if Operation Grange had given the parents and their friends any proof positive that absolved them, they would have got it onto the front pages of the tabloids and they would have been back chatting to morning television hosts. Goncalo Amaral once said (on Blacksmith I believe) that 'it's not going well for the McCanns'. I think that applies now more than ever, they great victory they hoped for in Lisbon has become their biggest loss [I predict record legal costs]. Up until it was all over, fighting talk was all they had. They can keep sniping at GA, but he beat them fair and square.
For Gerry and Kate to win back any sort of public sympathy, they will have to begin with humility and truth. Maybe start with floods of tears like a repentant Baptist preacher caught with his hands in the till and up the skirt of a local lapdancer/fallen woman. If they are true Catholics, they will know all about breastbeating, repenting and forgiveness. It's a great cop out for all murderous deeds, and you don't even need to say it until you take your final breath.
Gerry and Kate of course, and all those in the know, could find consolation in the truth now, while they still have some kind of hand on the rudder. There will be some who will forgive them, maybe even some who would still defend them. Their best defence is 'everything they have done, they have done for their children'. That's a powerful and persuasive argument, but it will be stacked up against all those deeds that could be said to have made their children (albeit unknowingly) complicit.
As for those spitting sawdust and feathers on behalf of Gerry and Kate, I often get feelings of deja vu. a reliving of battles from years ago in the forums. I now have no doubt that it is the inner circle of Team McCann who have devoted themselves to patrolling the internet and hijacking Madeleine discussions. They were the online fighting wing of TM from the start (as confirmed by Michael Wright in Lisbon) - using social media to close debate on the Madeleine case. Not with reasonable and logical arguments, but with bullying and threats, as if waving a cyber fist will elicit anything other than hoots of laughter.