Almost straightaway the negative reactions began. While there is always a valuable place for disagreement and the sort of comment that can develop an article's argument or add to it, this eleven-year-old's writing incited such descriptions as "feminist bull-shit" and ambiguous statements that the author belonged "to a certain tribe."
I found exposing myself to physical threats fundamentally incompatible with pregnancy, the first of which ended in miscarriage after being pinned up against a wall by a man who uttered the words "body bag" (amongst others) in my ear. My crime? Co-organising a series of demonstrations exposing the genocide in Darfur.
Men don't tend to do sulking. If there is an issue, they address the issue. Everyone feels better and cracks on with their day job. Later they will go for a drink and talk about cricket. Equally, if you are going to play the PMT card and stomp about ... you really need to be sure you haven't been a bit of an arse on Twitter yourself. Duplicity does not work.
The panic about these keyboard-tapping folk devils, this handful of very sad men who are said to pose an existential threat to the safety and self-esteem of the whole of womankind, conforms precisely to Cohen's definition of a moral panic. With one difference: the moral panic over trolls has even less substance.
In the two decades since, the web has opened up communication and ideas in ways few dreamed possible. As a tool which enables people to speak freely with others all over the world, putting thousands of information sources at our fingertips, the web has fuelled revolutions and overthrown governments.