Anonymous abuse of people on Tattle must be tackled

–                  Website allows for anonymous vitriol with no consequences

–                  Danger to people’s mental health


Clare Fianna Fáil TD Cathal Crowe is calling for stricter regulation to be introduced around anonymised online bullying and abuse via the website Tattle.

Tattle is a forum on which threads are started relating to a specific person – often a public figure or celebrity, but also well-known community leaders – and anonymous accounts share their opinions on the person, most often negatively.

“Until very recently, I was blissfully unaware of Tattle’s existence – but when it was raised with me, and I had a look, I was disgusted by what I read,” said Deputy Crowe.

“People are, of course, entitled to their opinions and when someone is in the public eye, it means they are going to get judged but the anonymous nature of this particular forum means it gets incredibly personal incredibly quickly and there’s no consequences to this.

“What’s even more worrying is that it has progressed beyond those in the public eye and it now seems to even include anybody who has a bit of prominence in their local community.

“Very often, too, the abuse is not only directed at the person in question – but also their partners, parents or children and it’s really disgusting to see.

“This is adults on this, and they conduct themselves in a horrible way that I’ve no doubt they would never do if this wasn’t an anonymised platform.

“Much of the snarky and hateful commentary would suggest that the anonymous trolls know their target people very well – they could be ‘friends’, neighbours or colleagues – which makes it all the more worse.

Deputy Crowe continued: “Since I posted my thoughts on Tattle on social media, I’ve been contacted by multiple constituents who have fallen victim to a Tattle thread, who outlined the enormous impact this has had on their mental health.

“There’s no doubt that these anonymous keyboard warriors are present across multiple platforms – the likes of X, Instagram, etc – but Tattle is in my view much more dangerous as they’re not just throwaway comments beneath a post online; rather specific threads on people which are dedicated to ripping them apart.

“What will it take to stop the rot? What if someone takes their own life following a pile-on of hatred?

“It reminds me of the days of which – quite rightly – came under intense scrutiny following some well-known tragic incidents relating to bullying via its platform.

“The same scrutiny must now be applied to Tattle and  I think it’s time that something is done to unveil the anonymous vitriol on this forum.”