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‘Lego hair’, ‘gerbil cheeks’, ‘toad’ and ‘posh boy’ – sports reporter reads out online abuse

By Freddy Mayhew

Coventry Telegraph chief reporter Simon Gilbert has shared some of the “customer feedback” he has received online over the past year.

The sports writer revealed the insults he had been sent via Twitter and a web forum for football fans in a video for the daily regional newspaper, styled on a US talkshow segment.

Jibes directed at Gilbert have ranged from four-letter expletives to comparisons with controversial Mail Online columnist Katie Hopkins and claims he has “Lego hair”.

One Twitter user told Gilbert: “Oi receding quiff head. Are you gonna remove the article or am I gonna have to take this further? I’m being serious, gerbil cheeks.”

The reporter responded: “Thank you for getting in touch. I don’t believe we did remove the article in question, but always good to hear from readers.”

“You’re a typical stuck up posh boy with no clue about the working man’s game,” said another on Twitter, later adding: “If there’s a bigger c*** in Coventry than @TheSimonGilvert I’ll eat my hat. Physically can’t stand the c***.”

On a web forum thread up to 10 pages long with 355 posts, most of which the reporter said were insulting him, Gilbert was called a “horrible little toad” and a “premium quality pr***”.

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One user said: “Gilbert is a journalist like Katie Hopkins is”, before another replied: “Nah, he’s not that good.”

Taking it all on the chin, the former British Journalism Awards finalist signed off saying: “I look forward to receiving more of your comments in the future.”

In a piece accompanying the video, he added: “This, clearly, is a bit of fun.

“But online attacks can be a serious issue for some people. If you need help or support dealing with online trolls visit the West Midlands Police website here.”

Yesterday Guardian columnist Owen Jones announced he was going to largely quit using social media because of the amount of abuse he was receiving.

Last year, Twitter banned former Breitbart journalist Milo Yiannopoulos from the platform after he posted messages seen as encouraging harassment of actress Leslie Jones.

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