It was implied by Steve Rotheram’s personal assistant today that I am neither an industry expert on Internet trolling, nor an academic in the area. In fact I was the first academic in the world to have an edited volume published on Internet trolling and am the most published Industry expert in the world on the topic.
I was told by Cllr Gavin Callaghan that I cannot attend a round-table with other industry experts and academics at the Houses of Parliament in Westminster being hosted by Steve Rotheram MP. I have differences of opinion on policy matters relating to Internet trolling with Steve Rotheram MP who is hosting the event. This is what Cllr Gavin Callaghan said to me in reply to an email to Steve Rotherman MP asking for me to be invited to the meeting:
Dear Mr Bishop
Thank you for your email to Mr Rotheram dated 8 June 2013.
As you are aware Mr Rotheram has led a number of parliamentary debates over the past 18 months on the issue of trolling and he is keen to hear from industry experts, academics, police officers, barristers, ministers and victims.
Consequently it would not be appropriate for you to be at the meeting.
This response was not unexpected. Mr Rotheram and Cllr Callagan take a very difference approach to Internet trolling and have very different policies on that matter compared to me. As a true democrat I try to ensure all opinions are heard, even, or maybe especially the ones that are contrary to my own. I do not see what Mr Rotheram hopes to gain from this meeting, other than publicity for his anti-trolling cause, if the only people he is inviting to the meeting are those who agree with his point of view.