Sexist abuse on Facebook leads to firing

Posted on December 9, 2015


Australian Michael Nolan was recently sacked from his job, following a newspaper article highlighting the abuse he aimed at a newspaper columnist on Facebook.

November 25 saw the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the day that Clementine Ford, a writer for the Daily Life, documented the hateful messages sent to her by Nolan.

Screenshots of hotel worker Nolan’s vile posts depicted violent imagery and graphic insults, and they were so disturbing that they compelled Ford to contact his employer, the details of which she found through his Facebook profile page.

A few days after the publication of Ford’s column, the hotel stated that Nolan was no longer an employee there. However, this has prompted some commentators to call for Ford’s sacking too, with claims that she resorted to “naming and shaming”.

In her column, Ford explained that she had contacted the hotel where Nolan worked as a way of dealing with the harassment she was experiencing at his hands. She said:

“I did it because I’m sick and tired of men abusing women online and continually getting away with it. I can bear the brunt of this behaviour, but I’m angry about the number of women who tell me they can’t.”

It’s an effective tactic for reputation management, and it’s not the first time that Ford has employed it. In an interview with TV show The Project back in June 2015, she said:

“The reason I do it is because I don’t really see that there are any appropriate mechanisms, particularly on Facebook, to really deal with these kinds of things.”

Both Facebook and Twitter have ways to deal with online abuse, including muting, blocking and report forms.

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