Liam Reilly, a part-time suckler farmer from Longford, has spoken out against online abuse in a powerful video on his Instagram page.
Following an interview with That’s Farming, Liam was subjected to some abusive comments on social media.
“That’s Farming provides a platform for the agri sector to interact. Used correctly, it is a positive space for people with similar interests to share their ideas and opinions,” Liam explained.
“All I did was share the story of my family and our farm, my home. A small group of people tore it to pieces, took sentences out of context, twisted my words, and wrote their own narrative.”
“A common phrase I have heard from the people who have supported me since the article is ‘keyboard warriors’. Many have commented on how easy it is to be nasty when you’re hidden behind a screen. It is very easy.”
“People post and click. But I think it’s time to flip this on its head. All online users have a role. We all need to start clicking. We need to click report when we read an abusive comment. We need to click report when we see users misusing social media. Otherwise, we are silently supporting them.”
“In 2021, mental health is an issue we have never been more aware of. Thankfully, this has been my only experience of online abuse, but it really has left its mark on me.”
“Behaviour like this has a devastating effect. Words carry weight. They are even more powerful when posted online for the world to see,” he concluded.
That’s Farming issues statement
That’s Farming editor and general manager, Catherina Cunnane, said: “That’s Farming, as a digital news publisher in the agricultural sector, strives to deliver the latest farming news and advice and alternative content to inform and educate its wide-ranging audience in Ireland and overseas.”
“While we welcome engagement and the expression of opinions across our social media platforms, we condemn this type of behaviour and do not tolerate online abuse towards our staff, contributors or readers. As a result of this incident, That’s Farming will review its social media policy.”