Facebook ‘trolls’ target nightclub goers
- Credit: Archant
Photographer hits back after cruel comments are levelled at revellers at Barnstaple club.
A PHOTOGRAPHER has hit back at internet ‘trolls’ for leaving cruel comments about nightclub goers pictured on Facebook.
Paul Boston has spoken out after dozens of insults were levelled at people featured in a gallery of pictures taken at Venue in Barnstaple on Saturday night.
Paul, who has taken more than 20,000 pictures of revellers at the nightclub in the last 18 months, said he was ‘mortified’ at what he had read.
In an open post on the Venue’s Facebook page, he said: “First of all I would like to publicly apologise to all those that have been targeted with rude, disrespectful and cruel comments.
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“I understand we all have opinions, its human nature. But for your own good and the good of others can I suggest you just keep those opinions to yourselves and spare a thought for those whose lives you’re ruining.
“Verbal abuse creates emotional pain and mental anguish. Please remember that words do hurt and can be just as damaging as physical blows are to the body.”
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Many of the pictures carrying the offending posts have since been removed but Paul’s words have sparked a flurry of support on Facebook.
Emma Hill wrote: “A bit sick of seeing my friends getting slated on this now. They go out for a good night out and sad narrow minded pathetic people think its ok to be rude and down right disrespectful.”
James Jutton wrote: “People can be so cruel. I wonder how many of these people would have the temerity to say it to those people’s faces.”
Robin Luxton, from Bideford wrote: “You should never judge a book by its cover. I’m not perfect in any way when it comes to judgement, but I really think a lot of shallow people should take heed.”
He told the Gazette: “No one has even considered what the people in these pictures think.”
Anna Louise Harris, from Barnstaple, told the Gazette she had a similar experience with Venue pictures last year: “I think it is extremely insensitive of people to judge people on the way they look.
“People who start the bullying really have no idea of the damage and unnecessary pain they are coursing people.”
Terrie Elliott-Hull said she had informed Facebook about the posts but they were not willing to remove them as they didn’t meet their criteria for harassment or bullying.
“I think they may need more privacy on the photos that are taken,” she told the Gazette.
“We don’t blame the photographer, he’s a lovely man and is amazing at his job and wouldn’t want him to leave because of spiteful bullies.”
Photographer Paul continued: “It is never my intention to photograph people in a bad way; I work hard to provide the best images possible within a night club environment.
“Every time someone makes a rude comment on my images you are also directing that comment at me which ultimately effects my reputation.
“So if anyone believes I am doing a bad job please let me know and I will stand down.”
Paul has also offered a free photoshoot worth £500 to one girl who was the target of much of the Facebook abuse.
Devon and Cornwall Police said they had received no complaints relating to the photos on Facebook but advised anyone with concerns to contact the social network provider in the first instance.
A spokesperson said police would get involved if there were ‘aggravating factors’ such as racism.
No-one from the nightclub was available for comment.