STUDENTS
23/09/2015 07:56 BST | Updated 24/09/2015 04:59 BST

Abby Tomlinson Gives A Masterclass In How To Deal With Twitter Trolls

Sky News/YouTube

Abby Tomlinson, the teenager who brought us #Milifandom, has given us all a masterclass in how to deal with trolls on Twitter.

The 17-year-old was trolled by a Blackburn College student, who told her: "There's nothing wrong with having sex with a pig just ask your boyfriend."

Following the tweet, which was sent on Tuesday, Tomlinson contacted Blackburn College about the student, saying: "He is making rape threats and engaging in other misogynistic abuse on social media, and I trust that as one of your students you would want to know so you can address this extremely serious issue.

"Here are just some examples of such abuse and proof he attends your college."

The College replied to Tomlinson saying: "Thank you for alerting us to the comments posted on Twitter. The College does not tolerate abusive or indecent behaviour. Please be assured that we have formally dealt with this incident."

But the Blackburn College student, who studies criminology, seemed unfazed by his actions:

Speaking to The Huffington Post UK, Tomlinson said too often internet trolls are ignored.

"This guy started sending me some good old-fashioned misogynistic comments, and after seeing the sort of things he was saying to others on his account.. I felt it should be reported, as people wouldn't be allowed to just get away with that in real life.

"I alerted Blackburn College and YAFTA [Yorkshire Academy of Film and Television Acting] of his comments and both responded, YAFTA to say he was no longer a student.

"I think that too often on the internet the attitude is that we should ignore it and "not feed the trolls", but ignoring it is in some way just as bad as condoning it - it allows the individual who made the comment to go unchallenged, as though what they said was acceptable, thus leading them to continue acting that way.

"Usually, I would have just ignored it, but the actions of Stella Creasy and Caroline Perez when they were faced with abuse inspired me to actually report it, as I certainly would not want to attend a place with an individual saying such disgusting things and felt the institutions he attended ought to now.

"It is upsetting to receive such comments, and more so to be attacked for simply reporting them - but I think just ignoring it is something we're told to do but not necessarily always the right thing to do."

But the trolling didn't stop there. Tomlinson was also contacted by another member of the public to say they had got in touch with her prospective university advising the institution not to accept the teenager.

Tomlinson has previously been trolled following her appearance on Sky News.

A spokesperson for Blackburn College said: “We became aware of the incident on Tuesday evening and have dealt with it as a matter of urgency.

“Students are aware through the tutorial and guidance provision given by the College that social media should be used responsibly, and where it brings the College into disrepute formal disciplinary action will be taken.”

The student did not respond to a request for comment.

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