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Mary Beard Receives Vile Tweets, Makes Friends, Writes Troll's Job Reference, Is Nicest Person On TV

The most magnanimous way to deal with internet hate you've ever seen. This post contains abusive language.

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So. Last year, TV historian Mary Beard went on The Jeremy Vine Show on Radio 2, to talk about the abuse she'd received online.

Stuart C. Wilson

And the irony is, she got sent some really nasty, sexist tweets as a result.

So Mary named and shamed the guy who'd sent that tweet.

He turned out to be a 20-year-old from a wealthy family, who'd gone to public school and was a student at Nottingham.

He immediately apologised and deleted his account – Mary deleted the retweet, but not before half of Twitter had, not without good reason, given him hell. His story got covered everywhere, so every time you Googled his name, people saw what he'd done. Lesson learned.

He is going to find it hard to get a job, because as soon as you Google his name that is what comes up. And although he was a very silly, injudicious, and at that moment not very pleasant young guy, I don't actually think one tweet should ruin your job prospects.

And as she explains, this isn't the only time she's done something like this. She helped another guy out on email who'd previously told her she was "evil", and tells the magazine: "Now when I have a bit of Internet trouble, I get an e-mail from him saying, 'Mary, are you all right? I was worried about you.'"

Some of these adjectives we use, like 'maternal'—try putting 'human' in there instead. If being a decent soul is being maternal, then fine. I'll call it human.