Will you help me to stop anonymous Internet trolling?

Fundraising campaign by Josephine Hayes
  • £270.00
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I'm a barrister and blogger who wrote my Remainer’s Diary blog for four years. I am fighting to take what I allege to be a co-ordinated online bullying gang and its ringleader to court. I have found out who some of them are, but not all.

On 19th July I have an appeal hearing listed before a High Court judge in London at which I hope to be granted a Norwich Pharmacal Order (“NPO”) to find out the identities of the other gang members. I believe my case is significant for all social media users.

I attracted the attention of the bullying gang in December 2020 when I wrote a blog questioning the authorship of a Twitter account with the handle @kicki_1485. The gang had already targeted and attacked Jason Hunter, Madeleina Kay, Deborah Meaden, Nicola James and other high-profile Remain advocates. I became the target of attacks not just on social media but also by anonymous complaints to the Liberal Democrats against me, emails sent to my professional colleagues and a complaint to my professional regulator.

My purpose in seeking the NPO order is to serve the gang members with my claim form (issued in December 2021). I would then seek meaningful redress against them, aiming to establish that such behaviour is not cost free. If successful, that would be a significant win and help victims of online bullying generally.

Last November at a hearing that took almost a day the Liberal Democrats, who had indicated they would not oppose an order, changed their minds very late and opposed. Counsel for the alleged ringleader also addressed the court at length. The Master made an order for my professional regulator to disclose the contact details of the complainant against me, but refused an order against the Liberal Democrats or the alleged ringleader and made costs orders against me.

I was thrilled to receive permission to appeal from a High Court judge, and a stay of the costs orders. I criticised the Master’s reasoning and I argued that no consideration had been given to my right to a fair trial or to arguable commission by members of the gang of offences under telecommunications legislation.

My appeal is about whether my right to a fair trial outweighs the Liberal Democrats’ decision not to disclose the complainants' identities. It is about whether trolls can target victims and file complaints with impunity because they can remain anonymous.

I am acting in person and have spent significant amounts of my own time on this as well as paying for all fees and costs to date myself, which already amount to significant sums. The threat of having to pay the other side’s costs is also hanging over me.

Ideally I would be able to instruct a legal team (solicitor and counsel) in my claim against the trolling gang. Any financial contribution you can give would be enormously appreciated.

If you think it is wrong for people to be able to anonymously abuse, troll and target victims online and try to destroy careers and livelihoods, please help me to make a stand for all victims of online abuse.

Thank you foryour interest and any help you gan give.

PS: Photo of the Royal Courts of Justice by George Ciobra on Unsplash.

Organizer

  • Josephine Hayes

Donors

  • Alan Rodgers
  • Donated on Jul 13, 2023
£50.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Jul 13, 2023
  • Good luck Jo, online bullying is appalling

£100.00
  • Neil C
  • Donated on Jul 11, 2023
  • Stay strong.

£20.00
Aug 08

New hearing date is 28th November

Update posted by Josephine Hayes at 04:00 pm

With apologies for the delay since my last update, I am glad to inform you that we have a new date. After the respondents' solicitors were consulted, the KB judges' listings office has re-listed this matter to be heard on 28th November with a time estimate of one day. That. . . . .

See update
0
Jul 15

The hearing is postponed.

Update posted by Josephine Hayes at 12:34 pm

Heartfelt thanks to everyone who has donated to help with my costs. I really appreciate it and your supportive comments. Yesterday afternoon Mr Justice Nicklin directed that the hearing be deferred until the autumn, so it won't be heard on 19th July. Mr Justice Nicklin is in charge of the. . . . .

See update
0

Donors & Comments

5 donors
  • Alan Rodgers
  • Donated on Jul 13, 2023
£50.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Jul 13, 2023
  • Good luck Jo, online bullying is appalling

£100.00
  • Neil C
  • Donated on Jul 11, 2023
  • Stay strong.

£20.00
  • Anonymous
  • Donated on Jul 11, 2023
£50.00
  • Shaun Walls
  • Donated on Jul 10, 2023
  • Good luck Jo. You represent us all. Thank you.

£50.00

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