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Train operator Greater Anglia mocked for telling Twitter user to stop contacting another

11:05 28 April 2014

User @Rickyandrews83 had a dispute with Greater Anglia

User @Rickyandrews83 had a dispute with Greater Anglia's Twitter team

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Unpopular train operator Greater Anglia has come under fire after its online staff told one complainer to stop contacting another.

User @Rickyandrews83 asked if the staff member knew what trolling wasUser @Rickyandrews83 asked if the staff member knew what trolling was

In a quite farcical dispute, a member of the social media team at the company repsonsible for the Liverpool Street to Shenfield service, which runs through Romford, Gidea Park and Harold Wood, accused Twitter user Ricky Andrews of “trolling” - meaning to post offensive or obscene messages.

It came after Mr Andrews got involved in another user’s complaint to the train company, when they asked him to “please refrain from routinely contacting other users who are not your own followers via our feed.”

After explaining he could contact who he wished, Mr Andrews was then referred to the operator’s social media usage policy, which states: “We do not tolerate ‘trolling’ (routinely contacting users who are not your own followers) via our feed.”

The Greater Anglia account was then then flooded with tweets from users, mocking the company and pointing out that its definition of “trolling” was incorrect.

The dispute led to many tweets mocking the train operatorThe dispute led to many tweets mocking the train operator

“Trolling,” covered by the Communications Act 2003, includes messages that are “grossly offensive or of an indecent, obscene or menacing character and should be used for indecent phone calls and emails.”

Jo Smith, of Romford, tweeted that the situation was “crazy,” adding: “This has honestly made me laugh out loud. Gotta love it when someone stands up to a bullying tactic and wins!”

A fake Greater Anglia account named Greater Angst took aim too, tweeting: “Will those, who don’t follow me, stop reading my tweets. If you don’t follow and I find out, I’m sending the cops.”

Speaking to the Recorder, Ricky Andrews said: “I have requested that Greater Anglia give me a public written apology. They defined me as a troll when at no point have I ever upset or been nasty to anyone.”

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