29/07/2013 Newsnight


The Twitter trolls who threaten rape - we try to catch one. Islam and democracy in Tunisia and Egypt. Is the new pope more gay-friendly? With Gavin Esler.

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Tonight, Twitter trolls, mad, sad or just bad. Possibly all three.


And what some believe could be a watershed moment for social media,


a woman campaigner has been subjected to abusive attacks with


threats of rape. The backlash has been profound. Paul misson has been


on a troll hunt. Whoever has had that conversation has all these


things, your Playstation account, and they have had all three of


these Twitter accounts, which have issued rape threats. That is what


they have done. Who should stop the tweets of hate, threats and abuse,


the law or Twitter? A stand-off in Egypt between the military and


Islamists. Is this the defining struggle of the Arab Spring. Those


who support the army see this as their golden opportunity to finish


off the Muslim Brotherhood. place where it all began, Tunisia


where Islamist radical, called Salafists assert their authority on


the street and hand out vigilante justice. TRANSLATION: People say


Salafists are scary monsters, that is not true, they are sweet as


lambs, I told you they gave me back my property. And this. TRANSLATION:


If a person is gay and seeks God and has goodwill, who am I to judge


him? A papal press conference, no less as Pope Francis appears to


seek conciliation with homosexuals. Is this a soft answer that turnth


away wrath, or a significant change in Vatican thinking. Good evening,


it is difficult to believe that a campaign to put the face of one of


this country's most beloved novelists, Jane Austen, on a �10


note, would end in rape threats. Has what has happened to the


feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez. On Twitter she was


abused but a number of people, presumably men, by men who hid


their identity known as trolls. Twitter said it was testing a


button to report abuse with every tweet. But amid a storm of protest


Twitter's own response has been branded weak and inadequate. We


will hear from Caroline Criado- Perez in a moment. First we are on


a troll hunt. Amid a deluge of on-line rape


threat, the journalist Caroline Criado-Perez and MP Stella Creasy,


spent the day fighting back against the called trolls. At Newsnight we


spent the day trying to find them. Someone called "rapehernow".


says he wants to BEEP someone until they die. This one responds, he


says? He says could I help you with that LOL. You have tracked him


down? I have. Mike Smith, a journalist specialising in this


technology had been monitoring the threats all weekend and managed to


communicate with one of the men making them. He is calling her a


bitch and then he's saying he will find her, and he BEEP rape her and


wouldn't mind a piece. I managed to communicate through the Twitter


message service, and I tried to be friendly and asked why he would be


trying to do that, and he let slip a bit of information to enable me


to track him down. Where is he? South Shields. It is not just


threats of rape that break the law. The CPS set out guidelines lawyers


should take in prosecutions with violations in social media. It


needs to be a credible threat of violence that specifically targets


an individual, or individuals, breaches a court order, or it is


considered grossly offensive, obscene or false. But laws need the


police to enforce them. Though the police have made one arrest, they


are running to catch up. We are having to devote more resources to


it. Hence I would much rather these matters be dealt with by Twitter


and others themselves and stopping these things happening straight


away. The moment someone transgresses I would like them off


the system. I know there are lots of problems with that and they can


create new accounts and there are concerns about freedom of speech. I


don't think anyone can argue about the sorts of things we heard about


over the weekend are the sorts of things anyone should be saying in


any public space. Here is the trail we had to follow, by direct message


the man making the rape threat admitted using numerous aliases.


Then he revealed his game attack, or user name on Playstation, and


that led us to a Facebook account. Two pieces of technical evidence


pointed to an internet connection in soutd shields, I phoned -- south


sheels. I phoned the man. They have had your Playstation accounts and


all three of these Twitter accounts which have issued rape threats.


That is what they have done. denied running the Twitter accounts,


saying his e-mail had been hacked recently. We will be handing all


our evidence to the police. One of the women on the receiving


end of these threats had an uncompromising message for the


issuers. I would say you are not going to succeed in intimidating us,


men and women will stand together and say violence against women is


wrong. If you commit criminal acts and threaten and harass women in


this way there will be consequences. We will stand together for a


different type of Twitter and Facebook, for a space in which


every voice can be heard equally and with respect. Believe me this


is not going away and it will not be tolerated any more. But rape


threats are only one of the ways called internet trolls break the


law. Another way is to mention somebody's name in the context of a


rape joke. I confronted one of the people doing that today. Since then


his account has been blocked. We didn't make a complaint but it


looks like Twitter has blocked Lord LOLs. He's back as another person,


he's sexymanicorn and joined by a whole crew of people, who are not


making threats against me and the BBC, but are for example decribing


us as paedophiles and justifying rape both of men and women. This


was a community of called trolls, mainly in the USA and beyond UK law.


Most of what they wrote can't be shown. I get a lot of abuse on the


Internet, mainly about economics. But it is only since I called out


the person sending the rape jokes that this bunch of people has


invaded my timeline, all of whom seem to be aligned around what they


call "freedom of speech". All of them use this technique of speaking


in the most disgusting and graphic way about sexual violence. It is my


first experience of what a lot of women experience routinely. The net


effect and intention is to deny some people a voice at all. We


invited Twitter to join us tonight, but they didn't want to give an


interview. I'm joined by Caroline Criado-Perez, the journalist and


equality campaigner subjected to the abuse for The Austerity


Olympics as you campaign. And Claire Hardaker who has researched


on-line aggression, deception and manipulation, which includes


trolling, the chief executive of the open rights group which


campaigns for internet freedom, and John Carr, who advises the


Government on internet safety. What effect has all this had on you?


been completely overwhelming. It is consuming my lifeboat physically


and emotionally. I have not really had much sleep. You know the


threats have been so explicit and so graphic that obviously I have,


they have stuck with me in my head. And have really put me in fear, I


realised actually when a journalist came to my house last night at


10.15 and I just had this huge reaction of total and utter terror,


in a way that I hadn't really realised I was feeling. It has been


bubbling under the surface whilst feeling I'm standing up for myself.


Do you feel at risk? I think, you know, as I said, consciously I'm


not walking around feeling really terrified, but I think underneath


the surface there is, I think I just feel under siege it has been


going on for five days and it is so relentless and the threats have


been so graphic and people specifically saying they will find


me and people have posted what they thought was my address on-line,


luckily it wasn't. The fact that they have tried to do that is


really disturbing. It's almost idiotic to suggest you ignore it.


But some people ignore the abuse they get on Twitter, there is


obviously a line between what is abusive, what is threatening and


what is possibly criminal? Absolutely. I think we need to be


very, very clear about the difference between for example


traditional trolling, if you want to call it that. Which is someone


just trying to look for a reaction. And the kind of stuff I have been


getting which has been either criminal or has been at the very


least trying to shut me up and silence me, it has been not liking


women having a voice. That is why I refuse to be silenced. I suppose


that's one of the most shocking things to anybody who uses Twitter


who is male who suddenly wakes up to the fact that there is a lot of


men who hate women and use Twitter as a way of conveying is that?


of the things the Internet does seem to do, is psychology shows


that human being has an inherent entertainment through violence,


whether linguistic or physical violence. Look at the films or


television programmes we consume, computer games that are popular.


One of the things the Internet does, it seems to allow those who don't


just want to consume it as a form of spectacle but to engage in it.


It allows that small minority the option to go in there and say


something extreme and horrific. Don't they get there is a real


person at the end of this? There is a lot of research that suggest it


is road rage, where you can't see the person or the reaction. It is


not really a human any more. It is just words on a screen. There is a


lot of research to suggest that the minute there is no facial


expression, body language, it stops being a human being. It is just


words, it doesn't matter. And you used the word "entertainment", is


this fun for some people? There is a lot of evidence to suggest that


some people are doing this specifically for entertainment. It


might be because they are a bit bored, it might be just to


entertain a group of friends or colleagues if you want to call them


that, or otherwise, it is just to kill a bit of time. Did you talk to


Twitter about this today, what are they doing about it? It was


actually quite a positive conversation, which is not what I


was expecting given their reaction publicly up until this point.


think they have been pretty slow, didn't somebody block you from


Twitter? From Twitter, we contacted one of the managers at Twitter,


Mark Lucky, his response telling him that this women has been saving


rape threats for ten hours was to look the account. I discovered


today when someone sent me a tweet that copied me in I couldn't expand


the conversation because he had looked me. I can't imagine from a


decent human being perspective or a publicity situation how he could be


doing that. He's probably embarrassed now. Have they said


anything now? They have admitted their reaction was woeful. What


they said about co-operation with the police is the police had


contacted them but hadn't asked about any specific handles yet.


They had responded within the hour, this was yesterday, and they said


the police have yet to get back to them to follow up the request.


Which obviously I'm very concerned about. John, are the police, do the


police take a rape threat like this on Twitter as seriously as they


would if a man yelled at a woman a threat about rape? You would hope


so. Part of the problem with not just this particular type of


despicable crime, but many others, I'm afraid that we see on the


Internet is the sheer volumes of it. At one point you were getting 50


tweets per hour, imagine if that is across the whole of the twitter


space, if that type of thing was going on at any scale, it would


overwhelm the police's capacity. that what it is about, or is it


about will to do something. There have been other cases where after


there has been some publicity something has been done and before


that nothing has been done? I think it is really important that the


police focus, certainly on your case, because it has got such


publicity. That will send out a very powerful message to the other


sad individuals who are doing these types of crimes that it isn't a


space where they can get away with it. But you know, the volumes are a


real challenge. Twitter putting a button on the website is a good


idea, but there has to be something behind the button. What are the


police doing about this? Well they arrested one man, I think that was


yesterday. From what they have told me they are looking into all the


tweets that I'm being sent and monitoring them and trying to see


who they can track down and who they should be tracking down. I'm


going back to the police station tomorrow to flag up the users who


have been particularly disturbing. For those people who see Twitter as


really useful, great fun, perfectly innocent, normal thing to do, who


whose responsibility is it to sort it out? Ultimately it has to be the


police. It is helpful of course for Twitter to co-operate with the


police and to do some basic things. But if we're talking about people


making such serious threats then those people do need to be brought


to book. They need to be investigated by the police, taken


to court and punished. Because we are talking about crimes here. I


think the one thing I have been a little bit disappointed with in the


debate and some of the suggestions over the last few days, we were


completely concentrating on Twitter's role. It wouldn't happen


without Twitter. People who don't know Caroline or anybody else won't


make rape threats against her, this is an enabling tool for all sorts


of things including threats. Twitter has some responsibility?


has, but ultimately Twitter doesn't run the police, it doesn't run


courts and it doesn't have prisons. So if we actually want these people


to be punished, it has to reach the police and they have to be skilled


to do things. The point I'm trying to get at is, are you saying that


Twitter has got nothing to do with this, this is just the people who


invented movable type, anything you write is nothing to do with me,


mate? No, but the problem is they are never going to be terribly good


at the kind of enforcement we want from society. The sort of tools we


are talking about they can be, they tend to be subjected to things like


automation, the people who look at the kinds of reports tend to go


very underpaid. We see this across -- tend to be very underpaid. We


see this across the platform, it is police who take people to court.


you buy that? I don't, at all. There are lots of technical tools


you can deploy. If words like "rape" suddenly start appearing on


your site they can be picked up by software. People working for


Twitter can and should be looking at it checking out to see exactly


what is going on. The idea that these companies can just set up


these spaces and then walk away and say well police it is now down to


you, we are sorry we haven't got the resources to keep this safe,


you do it. That is not acceptable. Do you see this, you have


researched this a lot, do you see this as a watershed moment? For me


it is an important moment where it finally seems to have gotten enough


momentum, if you like, on an issue apparently as mundane as Jane


Austen on a note, which I'm thrilled by. For that to be a thing.


It is important enough. We had the Tom Daley incident as we know, it


shocked people but didn't get this response. I'm kind of hoping and I


wouldn't wish this on anybody, I'm hoping this might actually be the


thing that makes people sit up and think, we need to do something.


you agree with that. It could potentionally be a watershed moment


and changing a lot of people are thinking about it? I really hope so,


because we have turned to what the police are do the police have been


extremely inadequate, we have seen repeatedly they focus on high-


profile cases. We were in a meeting with MPs and the MPs were saying


that they talked to the police and they were unable to get a response.


Some of the people talking about this campaign yesterday were saying


we similar things, that they had talked to the police about it, and


the police had failed to completely deal with the issue. I do find it


really disturbing, absolutely, that it has taken this level of public


pressure and publicity for police to act. We do know people have


reported things. Certain people have got in touch with me and said


I have received a rape and death threat and the police haven't done


anything, can you advise me on how to make the police listen to me. I


don't know what to say to them. of the things that underlines this,


there is all sorts of behaviour that used to be acceptable, smoking


in a pub, not wearing a seatbelt, they are completely unacceptable


now, and broadly people don't do it. Some people think this is


acceptable behaviour, that is more of the point, and the police have


to solve various cases, but changing people's behaviour is at


the root of this? Absolutely, and the Internet is still a relatively


new and immature technology, it is redefining the perameters in which


people can and do behave. The companies themselves cannot simply


step back and say well we have done this, we have created these clever


tools it is up to the state to sort out the mess we have essentially


put there. I was wondering, we did some investigation on this today,


it is quite possible that the person, the people who made these


threats against you are watching this programme, I wondered what


your, what you would like to say to them? I would like to say I think


they are completely pathetic, and if they think that they are going


to drive me or any other woman off the Internet they will be sorely


disappointed. Do you think it will have the opposite effect? I think


it will, I have had so much support, it has drowned out the threats now.


So much of the support has been saying thank you so much for


standing up to them. I have received this in the past and it


silenced me, and I know people who have had to leave Twitter as a


result of it. I'm not going to do that any more. I think it is really,


really important that we make the stand and we keep shouting back.


Because otherwise we let them win. There are so many more of us than


there are of them. The mentions on my Twitter feed really demonstrate.


That we far outnumber them, we really can win this.


Thank you very much. After the killings of dozens of protesters


over the weekend, there has been an uneasy calm across Egypt today, for


many Egyptians and those across the Arab world the battle for the


streets of Cairo and all lax Andrea is one of the defining moments of


the -- Alexandria is one of the defining moments of the rising We


have a report from Egypt this week. And we're joined from Cairo. This


backdown by the army, is it continuing? It is, although one has


to say not in the deadly form that we saw on Saturday and Sunday. What


happened over the weekend was attacks on supporters of the ousted


President in a stronghold in the east of this city at a mosque


called Rabaa al-Adawiya. What was going on there, according to the


Muslim Brotherhood, is snipers were pick off demonstrators, dozens,


they say over 70 killed and hundreds wounded with aimed shots.


Now the police perhaps unsurprisingly deny this, but it is


clear that those sorts of numbers are in the right area for how many


people were killed there. This has caused a lot of heightened tension


here with supporters of strong action by the army believing now is


their moment and people from the Brotherhood side of it fearing that


the area around the mosque could be stormed at any moment. Today the


Brotherhood said the Interior Ministry re-established its anti-


extremism department, which would be one of several shadowy-type


intelligence organisations taking part in the crackdown on the Muslim


Brotherhood. We see daily developments which suggests the


security forces are trying to push them harder and harder. Given that,


what are the options for the army and how they proceed with this?


mosque has become central to this Rabaa al-Adawiya in Cairo. Some


people, we were talking to some who support the army and support very


strong action, they talk in terms of finishing it and the security


forces going in. I think it is fairly clear though that at least


thus far what the army and the police forces do not want is a sort


of Tiananmen Square-type action where tanks go in and cause huge


loss of life around the mosque. They do understand that the


Americans and others are watching and they have to play this


tactically. I think there is a strong will to try to, if you like,


overcome opposition there, and reclaim that area of the city, but


to try to do so by a series of subtle steps or things that may be


to a greater or lesser extent deniable. The Muslim Brotherhood


for its part is calling on supporter, tomorrow, for example,


to go down there and rally in the expectation if they bring more


people down there, that could dissuade the forces from storming


it. If that's indeed what they are planning. This is a lot bigger than


just Egypt, many people across the Arab world see this as a key moment


for the Arab Spring. Is it being seen there as the counter


revolution? That is an interesting question, the fascinating thing is


the number of people who support the army's action here but who


still see themselves as very committed Muslims, and devout


Islamists, meaning people who believe that politics and the way


the country is run should be animated by the spirit of Islam and


its ideas of justice and social justice and that type of ideology.


You might say how could they be on the side of the army when they are


doing this to the Muslim Brotherhood. There are different


strains of Islam and political Islam, Salafist, people who are


stronger in their religious observance than the Muslim


Brotherhood originally sided with the army on the coup. They have


some what distanced themselves now. Some think they will run in


elections, even though they are months off and all sorts of things


will happen. They will run because they want the opportunity to


relieve the Muslim Brotherhood, discredited by that year in


Government of their supporters. There is crude political


calculation going on here. It could be the Salafist who could gain in


this situation as they gained electorally in Tunisia and have


done well in Libya too. As we have seen most obviously in


Egypt, for years all across the Arab world various dictators and


strongmen have kept radical Islamist groups in check. One of


the freedoms won by the uprisings in 2011, has been for radical


Islamists to operate more openly. In Tunisia, a place where the Arab


Spring began, a tiny minority of fundamentalists, some violent, have


mounted a major challenge to the state. We have gained a unique


access to the Salafists to the coastal down of Bezerate. We went


to look at who is in control. In this cafe, the coffee machine works


long into the Ramadan night. But along with the coffee, he service


his regulars in this ragged suburb something even stronger and sweeter.


The vision of a perfect Islamic Society. It would spend the end of


Tunisia as we know it. TRANSLATION: Our goal is clear to implement


Sharia Law in this country and throughout the world. With Sharia


people will be able to co-exist and get their rights. People say they


won't get their rights through the state, but through Sharia Law.


man is a Salafist, one of a growing number of Sunni Muslims who believe


Islam should be practised as it was in the earliest days of the faith.


In this town this year some Salafists have been imposing that


morality on others, trying, it appears, to build a parallel state.


A Salafist patrol demands to know what this young woman is doing


alone in a shop with a man she's not related to. But in the end it


doesn't matter what she thinks, she's forced to leave. Elsewhere


Salafist vigilantes on a motorbike, spy a man they suspect of being


drunk. He's surrounded, then the Salafist in the brown leather coat


approaches and starts to beat him with a metal chain, a punishment


for unIslamic behaviour. Here is another victim of the vigilantes,


he says Salafists armed with swords dragged him from his car when they


found him drinking beer with a friend. TRANSLATION: They were


shouting Allah hu Akbar, and the swords were coming down on my head


and face, I tried to protect myself with my hands, that is why I have


all these cuts on them. How can this happen in this town? On a lazy


summer afternoon it looks like a pretty laid back place. It is


Tunisia's northern-most port, open for centuries to outside cultures,


under French colonialists, and the secular dictatorship that followed,


many Tunisians adopted a relaxed form of Islam, but the revolution


two years ago that started the Arab Spring, reignited the struggle


between liberal values and Islamic fundamentalist ones. Many saw the


uprisings bringing the end of oppression and the start of


democracy. It seems they only opened up the space for a more


intense battle for hearts and minds, but control of the streets and what


could be irreconcilable world views. Here Salafists mounted one of their


most serious challenges to the state.


At the centre of their network a softly spoken shopkeeper. He says


he fought as a Jihadi in Afghanistan and Iraq. Like many


other Salafists he was jailed when he came back to Tunisia. Then he


turned his clothes can I osk into an alternative Islamic law court.


More attractive to some citizens than the state's inefficient and


sometimes corrupt legal system. This woman hopes he can stop her


husband divorcing her, he's threatening to take the family home


After she leaves we're told he sends his followers to talk to her


husband. The marriage is preserved. Meanwhile the parents of a 14-year-


old boy bring a man they say took their son's mobile phone and tried


He says he got the phone back and now the man rarely leaves his home.


Another victory for Islamic justice. With every such victory Salafism


spreads. This man joined the movement after his cafe was robbed


and Salafists brought the stolen goods back. TRANSLATION: People say


Salafists are scary monsters, that is not true, on the contrary, they


are innocent, sweet as lambs. I told you they gave me back my


property. But the state's been fighting back against Salafism. In


this stop-and-search operation, police pick up three men, one has a


cannister of pepper spray, illegal in Tunisia. Since January more than


100 Salafists have been arrested here. TRANSLATION: After the


revolution law and order broke down, we had to regain control, step-by-


step, the state was under threat. Some groups tried to overpower it,


that forced us to act, to put things back how they were before,


to make you Tunisia for all Tunisians again. Last September a


Salafist mob stormed the US embassy in Tunis. In February the secular


opposition leader was buried after he was aasated, police say, by a


militant Salafist group. -- assassinated, police say, by a


militant Salafist group. There was a massive show of force to stop


Salafist from holding a conference. Shortly afterwards the cafe was --


the cloth kiosk was demolished. This is all that remains of the


kiosk, it has been bulldozed by the authorities. He has fled, some say


to Libya, some say to Mali. But the social problems that helped spread


Salafism haven't gone away. But the police are now back in control.


They are taking Newsnight on patrol to prove T the first man they stop


has a Salafist beard. They say they don't target particular groups,


only suspected criminals. We have stopped now because the police just


saw a machine in a black beard, a Salafist, passing us going the


other way on a motorcycle, he wouldn't stop, now they have sent


other men back to try to detain him. Today they uncover a range of petty


crimes, but of the 60 or so Salafists arrested since May, two


face trial on the charge of attempting to replace the state.


This crackdown is happening not under a secular Government, but an


Islamist one. Islamists won the first free elections here, just as


they did in Egypt. But the Government here now is in an


awkward position. It has to reassure secularists, to avoid the


chance of being toppled, as Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood was, but it also


has to retain the loyalty of its own religious constituency.


Protestors were out on the streets of Tunis again last week after


another political killing. Of the left-wing opposition leader,.


Whoever was responsible, many feel democracy is not yet secure.


Back here the annual International Festival is under way. This is


spiritual music, though from the relaxed souf if I tradition. --


Soufi tradition. Some think Tunis is too liberal and diverse a


society to be seriously destablised. But many secular Tunisians like


these are still afraid that their freedoms will gradually be


curtailed. Across town Salah Badrouni's last customer has gone


home. He knows Salafists like him must now lie low for a while, he's


not giving up. TRANSLATION: On the contrary there is no retreat, we


are still going forward. Maybe we can do as much charity work now. We


meet less often because some of our leaders have had to leave Tunisia.


But even if we have had a setback, our sons will continue our path.


Islam will keep pursuing its purpose. It won't be stopped by


anything or anyone. Another night of fundamentalist-flavoured coffee


is over. But the battle for the city goes on.


If someone is gay and seeks the Lord, who am I to judge, the words


of Pope Francis and what some have interpreted as a conciliatory move


towards homosexuals. The Pope added that the problem is not having the


orientation, it is lobbying, that is the most serious problem. And by


lobbying Pope Francis was referring to what is said to be a gay lobby


at the heart of the Vatican's administration.


Two Popes, two very different styles. The previous Pontiff, both


Benedict had a formal and traditional manner, contrast that


with Pope Francis, more relaxed, and you get the point. Pope Francis


has just travelled back from Brazil where he toured the country without


bullet-proof screens and received a reception more akin to a rock star.


He addressed the three-million strong audience in Copacabana Beach,


the biggest audience the world has seen. He spoke to young people


about harnessing their energy and creativity, he said go and don't be


afraid of training. Now in a further break from tradition the


Pope held an impromptu press conference for more than an hour on


the journey home from the Vatican. As well as fielding questions on


the roles of women, he was asked about reports of a gay lobby within


the church. TRANSLATION: A lot is written about the gay loby. I still


haven't seen anyone in the VAT -- lobby. I still haven't seen anyone


in the Vatican with an identity card saying they are gay. The media


say they are there. I think when one is found a person like this we


have to distinguish between the fact that they are a gay person and


the fact that there is a gay lobby. If a person is gay and seeks God


and has goodwill, who am I to judge him? The comments have caused a


stir, how much it will change direction in the church is unclear.


Pope Francis reminded the press while homosexual orientation is not


considered sinful in the Roman Catholic teaching, the homosexual


acts are, the presentation is different but is the essential


message the same. Joining me now is Jo Stanley, who organises a


fortnightly service for gay Catholics, and the editor of the


Catholic Herald. What do you make of what the Pope had to say?


pudsled behind the comment about a gay lobby. But I'm very welcoming


of the change in rhetoric that has come about, the headline, who am I


to judge? I'm interested, you used the word "rhetoric", what does that


mean in the end? It is very clear that he didn't say there was going


to be any change in church teaching. We wouldn't expect him to really.


But by contrast with the last Pope who was a very brilliant man but


really used some extremely uncharitable language towards gay


people at times. This Pope's openness and kind of


approachability I think will make a huge impact on people who are gay


and who are believers. What do you make of it, church teaching I think


is that homosexuality is intrinsically disorders and that


won't change? He wasn't changing that I don't think, but what I was


very interested in was the way that his words, his humble approach,


which said I'm no-one to judge, has really, the potential of changing


the way our church is viewed note only by gay Catholics or by


Catholics within the church but by the outside world. You know to be


seen as a church that is led by a man who says I'm no-one but a


humble servant of God, I'm not saying that gays are excluded, I'm


in fact recognising that gays have made a contribution to my church. I


think that's really important. in the secular world, when you say


things it is nice mood music, but you don't actually change what you


do, that is called spin? I'm not sure that you could ever accuse


this one of spin. What he's trying to say is this is an inclusive


church. Theologically I'm not prepared to move anything because I


can't, by myself. But I am embracing you. And I think that you


talk about mood music, gosh, if the mood in the Catholic Church could


improve I think we'd all be a lot happier. I think you seem to agree


with that. Isn't it just back to an old tradition in various Christian


denominations which is, you hate the sin but you love the sinner?


Yeah. I think there are a couple of things you have to realise. The


first thing is this is being seen as just a discussion of home sexual


acts, fundamental Christian teaches is whether you are straight or gay


or transgender whatever, sex is for marriage. He's not actually, I


think the church doesn't really pick out the gays as such. Jesus


never talked about gays. He is just transmitting the basic Christian


teaching. But it is very noticable that the language, the rhetoric,


the condemnation that has focused so specifically on lesbian and gay


people, over the last 30 years, has driven lots of people out of the


church. Also I think it is not only a principled stand, but it is also


a very traingatic stand, if the Pope were to exclude gays from the


Catholic Church, we would have an emptying of the Catholic Church, we


would have a hollowing out of Catholic culture, hospitals,


schools, churches themselves, and I hate to say it the Vatican too,


apparently. What was this gay lobby comment, which puzzled you? There


has been an Italian journalist who has been investigating the Vatican


over a period of months, and he has revelations, including bugged


telephone calls, which show that there is a very active lobby and


the head of it is allegedly gay and it is a lobby that is trying to


promote not gay rights campaign, but a self-promotion within the


Vatican. Whether any of this is true has yet to be proved.


Uncontestably to be proved. But what we are certain of is this Pope


is saying it is not because there is a gay element to this lobby that


I'm against them. It is the fact that there is machinations and


plotting which is something he doesn't like. There is a number of


politicians feeling the same in our own beloved country. Paul Mason has


been scouring the trollisphere looking for reaction to the item on


the Twitter and rape threats. last night and the arrest was made,


we have been looking at it all day, and the tapering down of overt rape


threats against the people involved, the MPs and campaigners. Small in


number, but as we saw earlier very distressed. We have had one tonight


an overt rape threat and death thread against an MP named. I'm not


going to bother reading it out, graphic, the person is taunting the


police or Twitter, you haven't taken my account down yet, when you


are going to do it. That is there. The problem is tracking them down.


I think we had six hours of human intelligence to track our one.


@beware 008. That has been named by Stella Creasy as a complaint to


Waltham stow police. It took us six hours to try to find where he is,


if not identify the person. The police are up against a huge task


here. But the information coming from those dealing with Twitter,


Twitter haven't been able to speak to us. They will have to up their


game tomorrow? The information coming out of Twitter via third


party sources is Twitter don't believe the police have begun to


ask them for their accounts. (beep) there is another one going up there.


You see two institutions, one of which is deeply rooted in the on-


line world suddenly hit by craziness, and another one deeply


confused by the on-line world and yet as the papers you are about to


see, if that was a note Twitter, rape threat to MP, if it was a


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