The Milifandom founder just gave the Sun's head of PR a perfect lesson in irony

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Thursday 24 September 2015 11:30
Celebrities

Abby Tomlinson, the teenager credited with helping Ed Miliband become a sex symbol during May's election, learnt very quickly that being a woman in the public eye can lead to some vile online abuse.

While sometimes it's better not to feed the trolls, just this week Abby tweeted that she'd had to report a student to his college for making rape threats towards her.

"The moral of this story is, the things you say on social media, like those you say [in real life], have consequences", she posted, along with a a screenshot from the college which said they were dealing with the man in question.

But a feminist political activist's work is never truly done.

On Wednesday night the Sun's Head of Public Relations Dylan Sharpe tweeted asking why there's a difference between the Huffington Post chronicling the funniest reactions to the David Cameron #Piggate story, and condemning nasty tweets aimed at Abby.

Most obviously, one of these people is an extremely powerful elected official who is being mocked for allegedly taking part in something scandalous, and the other is a 17-year-old girl being sent rape threats. But ¯\(ツ)/¯.

As the debate got more heated Abby herself ended up being roped in.

The Milifandom founder pointed out some nuances that were lost on the Sun man - including the fact he'd trolled Kay Burley and Harriet Harman, among others, with a picture of a topless woman (something he later apologised for):

Not to mention the fact that the Sun employs both Katie Hopkins, who is known for kicking down rather than up, and former MP Louise Mensch, who was accused of trying to bully Abby on Twitter in the past.

And that her beloved Ed Miliband (who tried and failed to eat a bacon sandwich) was never extended the same courtesy that Dylan apparently wants given to the prime minister (who has been accused of something a lot worse than not eating a bacon sandwich).

Twitter sat back and watched the fireworks.

i100.co.uk caught up with Abby on Thursday and the activist said she's come to the realisation that it doesn't matter what she says because "whenever I do anything people are going to kick off."

It use to grind me down at the start, a lot. Even now I think seeing something awful that someone is saying about me always makes my mood drop a little.

Abby said her attitude now is just to block abusive accounts immediately and pretend they're not there - even though the advice "Don't feed the trolls" is not that easy when you're on the receiving end of abuse.

She can, however, always turn to the example of Ed Miliband for inspiration.

One thing I always do when it does get me down, is remember that some of my political heroes like Ed and Andy [Burnham] have had to deal with so much worse - and even more reassuring, they've said nice things about me.

If your heroes seem to like you - it makes it much easier to deal with the strangers who don't!

Good point, well made.

More: A masterclass in how to respond to Louise Mensch from the Milifandom founder

More: Milifandom founder accuses the Sun and Rupert Murdoch of bullying her

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