"Sadly the abuse comes thick and fast " says Cumbernauld man who defended the town

A man who defended Cumbernauld after it was described as a “hole” on the official website of Dumbarton FC has endured more than a week of targeted foul-mouthed abuse online.


The offending tweet left Professor Brian Howieson (57), aggrieved after he argued that Cumbernauld did not deserve to be decried in this way

The former Greenfaulds High School pupil who now lives in Falkirk was then bombarded with abuse for days on end after Dumbarton FC mocked his response with an emoji of a cartoon face

This seemingly paved the way for abuse from fans in a painful illustration of how quickly social media can take on a life of its own.

For the abuse involved comments seen by the Cumbernauld News that simply could not be repeated in a family newspaper, and one even belittled Brian’s elderly mother who still lives in the town.

Brian who is about to swap Napier University for a new job at Stirling University said: “My tweet has now been seen by 20, 000 people with almost 3000 engagements.

“I complained to Dumbarton FC and although the initial tweet from Dumbarton has been deleted, there’s been no comment – at all – from them to me or via their media.

“I have also been subjected to intense abuse, insults and ‘trolling’ abuse on twitter. I suggest clear evidence of bullying. Football Clubs – and all organisations - must police their social media. Dumbarton’s twitter feed is outsourced. Are they, therefore, in control of their external communications? I suggest not.

"Organisations have a corporate social responsibility. It would seem that ‘anything goes’ in what’s referred to as “banter” – what, and where, are the boundaries? The insults and abuse seen to come from a younger, less educated and culturally non-sensitive cohort.

"When you raise your head about the parapet, sadly, the abuse comes thick and fast. Why does it seem to be acceptable to say what you want on social media? I simply would not say to anyone what has been said to me.”

Dumbarton FC’s General Manager Antonia Love told the Cumbernauld News last week that they would be releasing a statement in regard to their handling of this issue. However, no such statement was forthcoming by time of going to press.