Allison Morris to take legal action against Eoghan Harris in bid to reveal fake Twitter trolls
A high-profile Belfast journalist is taking legal action against sacked newspaper columnist Eoghan Harris in a bid to reveal details of any fake Twitter account used to troll her.
Allison Morris is seeking full disclosure of all accounts as part of High Court libel proceedings over alleged attacks on her reputation.
Mr Harris’ contract with the Sunday Independent was terminated last week after he was linked to an anonymous account.
Using the handle Barbara J Pym, the profile which posted on Irish politics has been suspended by Twitter.
Ms Morris, an award-winning crime correspondent and columnist with the Belfast Telegraph, claims she has been harassed and defamed for months on the social media platform.
She is now attempting to discover the identities of all of those involved in the alleged campaign.
“The sustained and obsessive attacks on myself by these accounts occurred at a time and in a manner that was clearly designed to damage my professional reputation,” she said.
Ms Morris claimed other journalists were tagged in abusive posts as a tactic to spread “dangerous and defamatory allegations to as wide an audience as possible”.
She added: “As a female journalist and commentator, the posts also had a deeply misogynist tone to them, all too common on social media.
“Women working in the media are not fair game for those who wish to control every aspect of our profession and dictate who is entitled to a platform.”
Her solicitor, Claire McKeegan of Phoenix Law, confirmed she is seeking an injunction to retrieve data and fully disclose all “targeted” accounts.
“Our client alleges a course of conduct by Mr Harris of persistent trolling and online attacks on her reputation as an independent and impartial journalist,” Ms McKeegan said.
“These sinister and toxic actions from faceless accounts have sadly become a tolerated norm.
“Those who cause such harm and distress must now be held to account for their online activity which has huge ramifications on the health and well-being of those they target.”