As SOMEONE who has been described as a ‘sicko’ by a cowardly troll on this site, I wonder what depths of personal abuse has to be plumbed before the forum rules are applied.

In particular: “Personal attacks and abuse will not be tolerated, nor will comments that may be deemed offensive or threatening to others.”

I accept criticisms or corrections particularly when they come from people who identify themselves and in my time that has included lawyers, politicians, teachers, clergy and the medical profession. I’ll even take unflattering opinions ‘on the chin’.

But the vitriol spewed on here sometimes is nauseating and reveals an alarming lack of understanding and maturity. The anonymous clown who labelled me a ‘sicko’ is a case in point, he reminds me of the stranger in the bar who can clear it faster than the landlord calling time.

It appears people are shying away from here and using other Island platforms so they can intelligently discuss Island issues, which is the CP’s loss.

Editor’s footnote: As the man who I took over from as editor of the County Press, Mr Dennis will know how seriously I take such matters.

Trolls posting vile opinions and insults is a problem for all media sites, with death threats against reporters and racist bile among the problems my colleagues have to deal with.

I deal with comment complaints on an hourly basis and try to ban those who are the main perpetrators. I say ‘try’ as they are not easy to discourage, and these sick individuals, who get their kicks by insulting, defaming and name calling, from behind a fake ID, pop up again the next day from a new e-mail address.

My colleagues and I at Newsquest are working hard to overcome the problem and hope these trolls will not discourage people from having healthy, respectful debates on our website and social media.

As for the thought that it is discouraging people from coming to from it. In May we were 82 per cent up on page views over the same month last year.

This is thanks to my dedicated team who work so hard to bring coronavirus and other news to the Island 24-7 and do not deserve claims they are in people’s pockets etc.