Anorak | Checking The Mail: Mail Online Talking About Toxicity Online Is Like Cigarette Companies Worrying About Smog

Checking The Mail: Mail Online Talking About Toxicity Online Is Like Cigarette Companies Worrying About Smog

by | 23rd, January 2014

The Daily Mail worrying about self-harm sites that prey on young women with self-esteem issues is like tobacco companies wringing their hands about car exhausts. The Mail traffics daily in the minute inspection of women’s bodies and the idea that they can never be right. No matter how beautiful the star, no matter how lovely her skin is, how styled she is, how impeccably turned out she is, The Mail will find a flaw to obsess over, a moment when she went outside without makeup, a time on the beach where the camera angle was unflattering.


daily mail troll


How dare The Daily Mail, of all places, run stories decrying the “toxic online world” when it is so toxic it practically glows with hatred and judgment. Its latest target is Tumblr. Its latest vehicle for its manufactured outrage is the death of a 15-year-old and the understandable grief, rage and incomprehension of the girl’s mother. Of course, it’s important that the Mail notes that the girl was “privately-educated” and lived in a house worth £1 million.

The girl’s mother and I’m avoiding naming her or the girl here because I really do not think doing so helps anyone said, according to The Daily Mail, that “she was horrified when she discovered pictures of her daughter self-harming on the blogging website, Tumblr, and the family had tried to protect her”. Of course The Mail deliberately continues to misunderstand the difference between a centralised website and a platform such as Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr. It suits its aims to do so.

In the sad case of this young woman, there are many other factors that could have contributed to her taking her own life. The Samaritans are clear in their guidelines on reporting suicide that one cause should not be ascribed to a death. But The Daily Mail ignores that often and did in this case. It related the words of the girl’s mother with no balancing statements: “She was in the clutches of a toxic digital world where in the final few weeks we could no longer reach her.”

Look at the way, The Daily Mail describes the girl: “The youngest of three girls whose parents are divorced, [she] lived with her family in a £1 million house in West Hampstead, North-West London. She had a bright future and had been head-hunted by the Royal Ballet School…during the inquest [the coroner] described two sides of [the girl]. One

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Posted: 23rd, January 2014 | In: Key Posts, News Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink