MP Paul Maynard has been the target of online trolls

Paul Maynard has been subjected to abuse in person and online
Paul Maynard has been subjected to abuse in person and online

When you put yourself in a position of responsibility in a digital age, there is no hiding place.

Every comment, every vote, every opinion is scrutinised as every one of us has the ability to communicate directly with subjects through social media.

And while it is more often than not a platform that helps to engage and inform, sometimes the abuse for having a different stance goes over the top.

Posters hiding behind perceived anonymity have verbally abused Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard to the extent he has called in the police.

The recent rise in abuse – which includes personal attacks and messages mocking Mr Maynard’s cerebral palsy – has sparked a review of the Conservative MP’s security measures.

One called him a ‘token spastic’ while a Twitter user used the hashtag #maytard.

However, he has come under fire from some contituents for his office’s approach to deleting comments and blocking some users from posting on his official Facebook page.

It led to allegations of stifling free speech and ignoring constituents because of their political views.

HERE’S YOUR VIEWS

Just took a look at his Twitter account, there are still comments that no-one should have to put up with. They come from people based all over England. The fact there are such terrible people about is a very bad reflection on society, education and social media.

Dave Fox

An MP should be willing and able to answer relevant questions without being rude or dismissive, the lack of professionalism here speaks volumes. People are beginning to wake up to the ineptitude and increasingly transparent lack of compassion for those in society who need support the most

Emma Brins

It turned out to be one person that was posting vile messages, and vile they were.

The important fact here is that Maynard and especially other tory MPs have been blocking genuine users with legit questions that need answering.

He has said he is there to represent ALL constituents and is ultimately answerable to us.

If he cannot engage with genuine criticism and answer genuine questions then it is clearly obvious he shouldn’t be an MP.

So yes, if Maynard and others want to use social media they need to understand its purpose and how to utilise correctly.

OldBlokeUK

Interesting remarks from an MP who claims he is being verbally attacked for his disability but was quite happy to vote in support for legislation that was anti-disability. Poetic Justice or irony, take your pick.

Michael Vincent

You can put your point across without getting personal and resulting in name calling, no-one deserves this, everyone should be given respect.

Pamela Tufnell

Maybe answer the questions that are put forward towards you, rather than block the people from your Facebook page! Being outright nasty sure - that’s wrong.

But when I’m blocked for asking you why you cut funding to Calico? That’s wrong.

Harrie Rose

It is disgusting to verbally attack anyone because of a disability, that goes without saying.

Politics should be discussed in a manner that does not become personal or abusive. However, I have raised points on his official Facebook page that were in no way personal or offensive and I have been blocked.

Paul Maynard needs to stop this undemocratic behaviour and reach out to his constituents he claims to represent.

This may help his relations in the constituency.

Simon Murray

As a vocal critic of Paul, I condemn anyone who uses discriminatory language against him with regards to his disability and appearance.

It is Paul’s attacks on his own constituents with regards to his attacks on vulnerable people with regards to attempting to cut personal independence payments, and attacks on hard working doctors, nurses, police, teachers, and firefighters that people should be criticising.

Andrew Temple

No, nobody should be threatened with violence, but then politicians should open their ears and listen to criticism and address it with the respect they wish to be spoken to themselves.

The days of cap-doffing to them is long gone, and to every politician here’s a handy thing: respect is earned and not given.

Susii Gibson

I have no problem with Paul Maynard. When I have asked him questions in a polite way he has answered them, including two letters from the Houses of Parliament.

Peter Allen-Rogers

As a constituent who didn’t vote for him in previous years I found him nothing but polite.

Steve JC

For whatever reason many people don’t seem able to accept different views than their own.

In the past year alone we have seen marches against Brexit marches against the outcome of the general election.

The media don’t help the situation by giving platforms to unsavoury individuals who can’t accept democracy.

Everybody is entitled to their views, but that doesn’t give Carte Blanche for reprehensible behaviour towards others on social media platforms.

Stephen Brown

I am not a Tory, but have been in contact with Paul Maynard via email and I have found him to be reasonable. We have been able to express our opposing views with courtesy and without resorting to abuse.

The trolls who attack Maynard for his disability are nasty specimens of humanity If you disagree with someone, that’s fine.

If you don’t like the way your MP has voted, there are ways of letting them know without abusing them. There is no reason to resort to attacking a person based on their gender; religion; race; disability; sexuality, age or anything else that makes them ‘ different’ to you.

There is little difference - other than the degree of hatred shown - between these trolls and the gang who killed Sophie Lancaster for simply being a goth.

Dave’s the one

Unfortunately in everyday life as you do online you are always going to get cruel people.

That said, genuine questions from people about the way he voted in certain matters need to be answered and not be blocked or fobbed off.

Roryslongthrow

Having personally witnessed some of these comments on the MP’s Facebook page, the people involved are just bullies, and the comments on his disability just show them up for the vile, lowlifes that they are.

It appears that some people just can’t accept democracy and have now turned their personal vendettas against the man who won fair and square.

I have asked Mr Maynard to intervene on a certain matter and got a resolution within hours. I have also had great co-operation from Gordon Marsden.

Accept the election result and move on and if you can’t, keep your comments to yourself.

Bispham Blood

Unfortunately, Mr Maynard does not help himself, I saw a post not so long ago where he was vile to someone and then blocked them, it seems to be a regular occurance.

In fact, so much so there is a group running called ‘Blocked by Maynard’, you cannot keep blocking people, these are your constituents

I do, however, think mocking his disability is disgusting.

Ohmygod