Vitriol analysis

Online vitriol is an unwelcome deterrent to a reasonable and open referendum debate, and it has received much attention in recent days.

It has been interesting to observe the No camp making much of the fact that two high-profile recipients of recent abuse (JK Rowling and Clare Lally) are women.

In almost every statement or interview I have heard on the subject in recent days, the person representing Better Together has made a specific reference to 

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I believe that everyone – irrespective of gender – should be protected from such abuse.

But the only detailed research into its prevalence found that Yes campaigners are nearly three times more likely to be on the
receiving end of abuse than No supporters.

It therefore seems reasonable to suggest that many more 
female Yes supporters have had to cope with such hostility than female No supporters.

If there is a gender issue here, rational analysis would suggest that it is one that both campaigns must tackle, but the No campaign even more urgently than Yes.

C Hegarty

Glenorchy Road

North Berwick