Twitter troll forced to apologise after calling historian Mary Beard a 'filthy old slut'

 

Television historian Mary Beard has shamed an internet troll by naming him on Twitter.

The Cambridge academic, who has been the victim of sexually explicit trolling before, retweeted an offensive message she received from Oliver Rawlings, 20, after her appearance on Jeremy Vine’s BBC 2 radio programme yesterday.

Beard outed the Nottingham University student by retweeting his message: “You filthy old slut. I bet your vagina is disgusting. #bbcradio2 what do you think @theJeremyVine arrest me?”

Rawlings was later forced to apologise to Beard after another Twitter user threatened to send the tweet to his mother.

He said: “I sincerely apologise for my trolling. I was wrong and very rude. Hope this can be forgotten and forgiven xxx”

Beard’s decision to shame her troll comes days after a man was arrested in Manchester for sending hundreds of abusive messages to feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez on the social networking site. 

The academic, who was tweeting during her BBC 2 documentary Caligula last night, said: “It is a tough call. I have increasingly opted for name and shame. It has to be outed. And maybe his friends can say ‘stop.’”

She added it was often hard to get the message across about how “vile” some tweets are because they are often too rude to be repeated in the media.

“Trouble is what is written is SO vile you can’t even repeat it on radio or mainline print! So people underestimate,” she said.

She apologised to her 43,000 followers about the nature of the retweet, saying: "Sorry about that nasty retweet. But I'm not going to be terrorised. Getting back to #caligula who'd not have been nice on twitter I suspect!"

Beard deleted Rawlings' retweet after he agreed to delete the original message. He has since deleted his Twitter account.

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