Could Paula Todd’s Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies and Predators Online, help us in Cornwall? I think so. By Mary Anne Pankhurst


CORNWALL Ontario – In 2005, after telling a friend that I was moving to Cornwall, her eyes bugged out: “What about all the pedophiles?” she asked.

I was taken aback:

“For silly sakes, you can’t paint a whole community with one brush.”

Project Truth was in full swing when I got here. There were 34 victims of child-molestation at the centre of the inquiry. But even at its long-awaited 2009 conclusion (that came with a $53 million price tag) no one could say for certain whether a pedophile “ring” had actually existed. On an emotional level, all that seemed “true” for me was sorrow mixed with hope that such abuses would never happen again.

Now another serious form of abuse has arrived in the community, cyber abuse.

In her latest book, investigative author, lawyer and journalism professor, Paula Todd, uses “cyberabuse” as a general but much more telling descriptor for what’s going on. She introduces us to other descriptors as well, “interpersonal terrorism,” for example. And as a result, we begin to understand the psychological motivations and rewards that turn various behaviours on, and keep them humming. Or as Paula says:

“…while digital technology has laid bare some of the worst of human behaviour, it also provides the information we need to understand it. And that insight gives us the radical possibility of using cyberabuse to catapult us into cyber civility and compassion.”

So what kinds of people engage in cyberabuse? Regular folk, everyday people, with a long list of issues that include being intoxicated, bored, angry and mentally ill.

Canadian research scientist, Erin Buckels’ work examines “the bored,” a group that derives its pleasure most while moving in packs. In Buckels’ words:

“Trolling culture embraces a concept virtually synonymous with sadistic pleasure: in troll speak, ‘lulz.’” (Laughs at another person’s expense.)

angry mob facebookAnd this is what lulz can look like on a Thursday night after supper. It is but one of hundreds of attacks on local resident, newspaper owner and mayoral candidate, Jamie Gilcig. It has also been shortened by about half the number of comments for reasons of space and more-of-the-same.


Posted on Cornwall N area Facebook page, July 10
Posted on Cornwall N area Facebook page, July 10


Lulz on July 10, 2014

Member: is that NOT the same clothing he had on Tuesday on bridge 
Like · 8

Member: Exactly! His function attire lolol
 · Like · 3

Member: I like his front ass
 Like · 5

Member: same

Member: haha was just gonna say that, must have had his shower & washed his clothes in Tuesday’s rainstorm…lmao
 · Like · 1

Member:   Barf
 · Like · 1

Member: I bet he sleeps in this
 · Like · 1

Member: probably does, all cuddled up with his amazing JVC camcorder. It actually turns out to be a money maker. You can sue someone for a broken camera and get paid even though it was not broken . · Like · 1

Member: Look at that…todays first HOT AIR BALLOON Like · 8

Member:   lol Cath.. !!
 · Like · 1

Member: nice Cathy lol · Like · 1

Member: Surprised he is there…isnt that schmoozing and kissing ass with the voters??

Member: there is NO ONE near him Does that tell you something ?
 · Like · 1

Member: He is easy to recognize he is always wearing the same clothes . · Like · 1

Member: easier for police when he has to be escorted OUT .
 · Like · 1

Member:   He’s now endorsing ‘Money out of politics. Now.’ Guess he wants the playing field leveled now that the court has kicked his ample butt via the suit: if he doesn’t have any money to spend, he doesn’t want other mayoralty candidates to have any? Sore loser.
 · Like · 2

Member: My eyes!!! Omg my eyes!!!! I’m blind now thanks a lot!! lmao!!!
 · Like · 3

incite langabeer CENSOther posts by the same group can run from obscene to violent. This is a truncated example of the former.

THERE once was a pig
 “WHO’S Own demise he liked to Dig”, He had no GIls
 and thankfully the x wife was on the pill…Cornwall don’t want you
, South Stormont Cant stand you, Your balls are probably blue, 
Go back to Montreal spend $75 and blow your Goo…After give us a Holler If she Swallows, 
Cause my man that likes a Farter, 
We have a Charter 
Good enough that even for you Mr M*** won’t BARter, Cant believe a man of your size 
Is always looking for someone to APOLOGIZE.

Yet, a fellow member of the group posted to her friends about the author of the verse:

“Oh, I forgot to mention it was nice to meet ‘NAME’ yesterday…She seems like a very nice person, with a huge heart.”

While reading Todd’s exposé, I was hoping to find an example of an actual Facebook group that focuses solely on an interest or a person, hoping to find parallels to the Cornwall N area group.

April 4 Marcel Hebert Ryan Payette Body Bag

The closest thing I could find was an adult group of Facebook mothers who take photos of babies from other peoples’ Facebook sites and, for entertainment, post ugly baby comments. And as one member of the group posts to her new found friends:

“An ugly baby thread…I have died and gone to heaven why can’t you guys live near me so we can do this over cocktails?”

Yes, hard to believe. But as Todd points out:

“The tidy and tucked corners of small towns are a thing of the past now that the Internet can reach inside communities and turn life upside down.”

On page one of Extreme Mean, Todd warns us her book is not for the faint of heart, and I admit to waking from a nightmare about halfway through. I even considered going off Facebook, but that’s the last thing any of us should do, Todd warns: They (cyberabusers) are…

“…pushing the talented, the ambitious, the kind, and the curious offline. And that’s the key: the future of the Internet is too important to leave in the hands of its worst netizens.”

Before reading Extreme Mean, I contacted Paula Todd after she’d been a guest on the CBCs Cross Country Checkup (How can cyberbullying be stopped?) and before the poppy scandal story broke LINK.

boycott removedShe was busy and on book tour but interested to know whether the Cornwall groups’ posts had been reported to Facebook (Yes), whether there had been any police follow up (No), and if the group was open and public (Yes, here’s the link).

Recently, the Cornwall group has discovered public relations and supported a local day of fishing to benefit special needs people. In PR speak, to help engender a “halo effect”: See? We’re not a H8 GROUP, as they put it. Fine.

But if my child’s photo were to appear on a Facebook site with multiple vulgarities that include the likes of: Too bad your parents ever had sex and produced you, the group’s leader and possible behind-the-scenes enablers would hear from me, quietly, swiftly, and with backup from a national not-for-profit that shall remain unnamed.


At the end of the Project Truth, Commissioner G. Normand Glaude outlined a number of systemic failures that had occurred locally, including reluctance by officials and police to pay attention, follow up and act on issues of child abuse. Glaude also recommended programs to help educate, reconcile and heal.

Paula Todd also offers suggestions on how we can protect ourselves online, and how the cyberabusers could be reformed.

Her groundbreaking, timely and useful book gives me hope for an end to abuse-related suicides, humiliation, ruined lives, and improved mental health.



  1. Good article Marianne. A neighbor of mine here in the building here in Ottawa said the same thing about Cornwall and she is originally from Kingston but lived in Ottawa for years. Cornwall is known as a pedophile town. One lady who didn’t know about Cornwall grabbed her kids near her when she found out about the goings on in Cornwall and was in shock. She was from another country and didn’t get to hear about what dirty, filthy leaders of Cornwall were doing. About laughing at Jamie I feel bad about that and will not accept the dirty people who joke about such things. Nobody has a perfect body at all. Celebrities are constantly in the gym or else many would be obesed or not so good to look at on screen. There are people like my daughter who have health issues and laughing at others because of their weight is not something to do at all. Diabetics as well suffer weight gain. Laughing at babies who are not perfect well people wait until something happens where you get a baby born with Down Syndrome who will only live to age 50-55 like what happened to my husband’s younger brother and see how you feel the loss afterwards or a war happens and your child is blown to pieces or is born with an illness that they cannot cure or a very twisted face, etc. or born with missing limbs, etc. and you will no longer laugh and poke fun at others. Many have committed suicide over all of this bullying and it has to stop. As far as Jamie is concerned he is a good man and one’s physical appearance isn’t everything. All the best to Jamie.

  2. Excellent article Mary Anne Pankhurst. I’ve tried to get one of the points you pointed out across a number of times. But people sometimes don’t pick up subtle hints….don’t paint everyone with the same brush. Just because some people do something doesn’t mean everyone does it.

  3. Very interesting, thank you. Today’s net is like the wild west, almost completely lawless. Check out a book in the same vein, Hackers on Steroids by Oisin Sweeney. It’s all about the RIP trolls who go after grieving families, and is also about pedo networks on facebook, which makes for extremely shocking reading. More people need to know about this so facebook can be held to account.

  4. You have to feel sorry for the Dockery Facebook gang. It amazes me that so many people have so little going on in their lives that they can amuse themselves by flinging poo month after month. Probably best to just ignore the idiots and let them burn themselves out.

  5. I tend to agree with you Furtz; but sadly there have been some real victims of this group and when you are face to face with one of their victims and see the damage it’s very sad. Not everyone can deal with this kind of hate and cyber bullying.

  6. {MODERATED} Comment policy reminder

    CFN suggests you post comments using your real name. If you wish to post with a pseudonym you can register that user id by emailing with your name, address, phone number and user id you wish to register.

  7. I remember a few years back I was invited on Facebook but I accepted because I thought that it would be a discussion about our hobbies. Boy did I awaken to reality and after a few months maybe less I left it. Nobody really hurt me but I could start to see what it was all about. No tanks I resigned from that cursed system for good. Good thing that I knew nobody personally all far off pals. It is best that way.

  8. You know I do not know what the problem is but everyone I speak too dislikes Jamie.. I am offended by this.. I do not understand the criticism etc…. I try to keep an open mind and the only thing i have said in a post is that i did not think wear a T shirt with a picture of the mayor on a milk carton..

  9. Mary Anne,
    Thank-you for the thoughtful & insightful article.
    I am currently experiencing cyberbullying from this group & have become a target for supporting Jamie & CFN.
    I proudly support independent media & will continue to do, even though these people mock, harass & threaten me.
    The sad & puzzling aspect to this situation is how this group has been built on lies & how good people like Jim Brownell are members. Mr.Brownell was my teacher & I am surprised he would condone this groups disgusting behaviour. In my opinion silence is consent in matters of bullying in any form.

  10. It is sad that Jim would stoop to this level & condone bullying & harassment by members of this group.The bullying all started over a lie that South Stormont News was being given start up money from S S Council which is simply not true.All monies exchanged were for advertisement only.

  11. What’s also very disturbing Mary is that Mr. Brownell’s facebook profile picture is of him in his Glen’s Uniform after the leader of the group stated that “no poppy’s were harmed” in what has been called by the Legion as one of the grosses defacement’s of a poppy that he had ever seen.

  12. I have given a great deal of thought over the years and something really hit me yesterday thinking how society itself went down hill. Take a good look around you folks and it isn’t just Cornwall. For a town like Cornwall where people used to care about one another started to go down hill and that is the truth. Never have I saw Cornwall go into such deterioration in a society type of way and not even with all the sexual abuse that went on have things got to be this bad. Jamie is a very good man and to put in such vulgar insults which I won’t repeat here is totally and completely unbecoming of any decent person to use. Cornwall is really gone to hell compared to what it used to be.

  13. Jules, it just isn’t Cornwall. Society as a general has really taken a nosedive the last little while.

  14. I agree fully with you Hugger that society as a whole has really taken a real nose dive.

  15. I don’t think society has taken nosedive. It’s more that the internet has given most of us (me included) the opportunity to make jerks of ourselves. If it wasn’t for Facebook, Dockery’s gang of idiots would barely exist.

  16. Furtz I agree with you about Facebook and yes people sure do make jerks out of themselves. I was invited on some years ago and I only lasted I think one month maybe two and came off. It wasn’t at all what I had expected. The people that I was with were into the same interests that I share but somehow the real jerks came out of a few of them and I could not stand that kind of a thing. Society itself has gone downhill into a nosedive and that is true Furtz but that Facebook is a real curse. Many young people have committed suicide over the bullying and that should never have existed in the first place. I got out before anything would happen and very glad that I did.

  17. Not all is bad about Facebook Jules. I use it to stay in touch with family and some old friends. I also belong to a few groups where people with common interests can shoot the bull and have fun. Like anything else, if used properly, it is fine.

  18. Facebook is good and bad. As for society there is a definite decline in respect. Is it all Facebook’s fault? I don’t think it is.

  19. Hugger it isn’t all Facebook’s fault why society is in the decline but it is people themselves who have changed drastically throughout time. I was with some great people who were from my sites and we all got along very well. One lady was a monitor of a forum and used to be a superb person and she totally changed for the worst according to a few ladies and that she did. She used to be the most helpful to all and turned into a Dr. Jeckyl and Mr. Hyde overnight. I had one horrible e-mail sent to me and for no reason at all because I stayed neutral. I came off Facebook because I couldn’t stand to see grown ups fighting like kids.

    Furtz I know that you love a good laugh and believe me so do I but not when it comes to degrade another person like the things that Mary Anne posted about what some jerks made about Jamie and they can do it about anybody. Take a good look at this spoofing thing that they did to Jamie and the Barney Fife PD will not touch it – because {MODERATED}. Computers has their good points and at the same time a terrible downfall.

  20. As usual, well stated Furtz. Not all is bad about Facebook. Some people confuse and then abuse the privilege of freedom of speech. Shame. And for those who work in public service and politics, double shame, grow a brain.

  21. Agreed. Facebook has its good parts and bad parts. In general society sucks compared to 20 years ago.

  22. Things happen to us not by chance but rather as a direct or indirect result of choices that we have made. Having said that Facebook is, I believe, like others here have stated not the problem. The problems are the choices that individuals using Facebook are making. Facebook is a permanent record of an individuals choices. Hopefully for those that use it nothing comes back to haunt them in the future. Hitting delete does not erase the past.

  23. Very true David. Think twice before posting on Facebook. Those Dockery fools are creating quite a record for themselves.

  24. Furtz and folks who in heavens name is Dockery? I have been away from Cornwall for a long time and even down there I never knew who Dockery was. The only Dockery that I know is “dickery, dickery, doc, the mouse went up the clock”. LOL LOL. ROLF! Now I just to in a giddy mood.

  25. @ Jules. Dockery is the fool who started the Facebook group that is dedicated to trashing Jamie and CFN and SSN. They’ve been amusing themselves for quite a while. Kinda sad, really. I suspect that there might have been some inbreeding going on within the group. Let’s just say that their membership doesn’t include any Rhodes Scholars.

  26. Actually Furtz it includes former School Teacher and Liberal MPP Jim Brownell who cites Mr. Dockery as his good friend and former student even though Mr. Dockery defaced the poppy to an extreme that the Legion commented from Ottawa.

  27. Hey Jamie. I know more than a few school teachers and Liberal MPPs who aren’t the sharpest tools in the shed. That said, I understand that some people were added to the membership without their knowledge.

  28. No, Furtz, Mr. Brownell made it clear that he’s a member in good faith and standing and has actually commented several times in the group. He was privately contacted with the image of the defaced Poppy and Dockery making fun of the fact that no poppies were hurt in their graphic defacement.

  29. In that case, Brownell would be the dullest tool in the shed.

  30. Well Furtz there are bunch of people I blocked on facebook because they were frankly kinda scary. There are at least two former sales reps of ours; a few that have admitted to being mentally ill; not that that’s a crime; especially if you’re being treated; some folks from the Seaway News, Vanessa Regnier and her bf Nicholas MacNaughton who works at the CIBC selling mortgages and personally claimed that he went around pushing our clients to drop us; South Stormont Deputy Mayor Tammy Hart and SS council candidates Richard Currier and Mike Proulx, the wacky Booster club prez of the River Kings that outed Mike Duffy’s personal hospital info; a real crazy chick that tried to hit me up a few years ago on POF that I never responded to; Vince from the Roller Derby Girls; a woman from a charity which I won’t help after she acted kinda weird and hostile when someone suggested I offer to interview and help the group; one Cornwall City Council candidate; someone that still claims they work at Star Tek, at least two people I’m currently taking to court; a bunch of people that claim to be my friend and are just watching the group; a bunch of people who were my facebook friends before my account switched over to a business account; and mostly a bunch of people who simply want a free ticket to the circus.

  31. WOW! Jamie and folks this sure does explain quite a number of people and for MPP Jim Brownell to go and stoop so mighty low and not just being a politician but he is supposed to be a professional person a teacher. Well I told all of you how I feel about teachers. I know enough about teachers since I hung out with one who was married to a friend of ours and I cannot speak highly of this person. We have seen and heard some mighty strange stories that were true regarding a few teachers here in Ottawa that would make all of you laugh. That drunk on the car seat must be Dockery himself. No wonder Claudette was asking who that drunk was sitting there. Jamie I can tell you personally that I was sickened after reading what they posted about you and that is the truth. I left facebook and was on for a mighty short while and never knew what it was all about. I had my own shocks but in no way have I ever experienced anything like that and I left in good time before I did. I never even had a picture posted about myself. I thought that it was about sharing our hobbies and boy was I in shock. This is something really really offensive and would never go back to that kind of garbage. Like Hugger said about society deteriorating since at least 20 years yes I do say that and can see it right here in Ottawa as well. We have been saying that ever since we came back here that the people of Ottawa are no longer the same at all.

  32. That’s funny Jamie. I’ve only had to block one person on Facebook. An old girlfriend from forty years ago who still wants to jump my bones! I keep my FB friends limited to family and trusted old friends.
    You did have a sales guy at the beginning who had a creep factor of 150% with the initials of D.S. Made my skin crawl just looking at his picture. Still does.

  33. Furtz DS is long gone. Believe it or not in our six year history he was the best of the lot.

  34. Last and maybe least we have Editor Todd from the Seaway FREE news
    How the owners of the free paper allow an editor to belong to this group makes a mockery of fair and balanced reporting
    Lihou also led the gang to find a new facebook photo for Jimmy. No real newsman would get involved in this kind of nonsense.
    I used to drop in and check the HATE level of the FLIES but always came away needing to take a skin peeling hot shower to wash away the feeling of having been in the bottom of a cess pool

  35. This BULLY got charged for online nonsense!!!!!
    Toronto Sun
    TORONTO – A man has been accused of going online and urging people to throw eggs or tomatoes at Mayor Rob Ford during Ford Fest“The author of the post offered free beer for anyone who threw eggs or tomatoes at Mayor Rob Ford,” police stated Monday.

    Police said the alleged author of the post surrendered to investigators on Friday around 3 p.m. — a few hours before Ford Fest kicked off.

    Dilaz Rajwani, 37, of Toronto, is charged with counsel an uncommitted indictable offence. Rajwani is slated to appear in court on Sept. 3.

  36. Actually Todd left the group. He and his wife were members.

  37. A lot of people don’t realize how dangerous it is to be on facebook and saying horrible things about others. All you people don’t realize that everyone is being monitored and if you intend on throwing stuff at someone then you will get into trouble. The things that were said about Jamie is the same thing. What was said is really degrading to anyone. It shows how very low a person will stoop to put out abuse. For a teacher to want to be affiliated with such garbage then he is one who has no respect for himself nor has he for others. That is really bad.

  38. Good point Jules…totally unbelievable for a teacher. But in a way all those girls & guys are teachers…teaching their kids some pretty ugly evil stuff. What will they do if their kids are ever attacked by sickos?

  39. Jules…it isn’t just Facebook. You have to watch what you say do anywhere on the Internet. You may delete something, but it’s there for eternity.

  40. It just isn’t teachers. Any profession can have bad apples.

  41. Yes Hugger every profession has its bad apples and when you think about what happened in Cornwall involving the top professions of clergy, doctors, lawyers, etc. along with teachers, cops and the like yes the bad apples come in all professions and among the ordinary Joe Blow out there. But and I mean but when you send your kids to school you expect that they will be in good hands and children generally look up to the one who is teaching them and this gives children a bad example and shows that the one teaching them is no better than anyone else.

  42. Yes Hugger even if you delete something it does remain in the system. The internet is both a good and a bad thing and there are people who really abuse the system. I don’t like facebook at all and never could see much good it is. I sure was disappointed in that system and never went back.

  43. Well if Todd isn’t part of that group I deeply apologize because each day the “leader” reminds me more and more of Jim Jones of Koolaid infamy
    Not sure belonging to the Cornwall Free speech site is much better as people go on there and slag local business with one sided reports or just crude rants
    A local hockey club booster joins the ranks of people losing their jobs for Facebook Posts so there really is no FREE speech that is one sided or breaks rules.
    DWight Dugas
    July 24 at 1:42pm

    Am I the only one getting sick of lazy fucks who quit their jobs to get on ODSP? I know too many people that have done this and too many more that would rather live on welfare than even try to find a job. Life is hard, fucking put on your big girl panties and suck it up Nancies.

  44. I agree with StopDrone/strikes, getting on ODSP and welfare is too easy. Some of them have a feeling of entitlement, that society owes them. I dob;t think so. In all of my years I’ve never been on EI, welfare or ODSP.

    I think the reason(s) that the case against Jamie hasn’t been dropped yet will come out during the trial.

    Jules, not all members of the CPS are bad. It’s not good to paint them all with the same brush.

  45. Hugger pls
    i guess my mesage wasn’t clear
    the comments at the bottom of my post were by a DWight Dugas on the cornwall free speech facebook group
    I never use such language

    Jamie said Todd wasn’t part of the XFLIES group anymore.But he is still part of CFS facebook page which has the same group of Jamie haters posting attacks on him and CFN
    No matter how you feel about this site it doesn’t excuse the HATE group
    They keep patting each other on the back and saying they aren’t haters but the posts..from adults..are truly sad.

  46. And you have a group that claims to be about free speech writing about someone that they block and don’t allow to respond? That’s commendable..

  47. @ Jamie. I just checked out the Dockery zoo yesterday. Some of the clowns there actually think that you and I are the same person! Pretty funny, I thought.

  48. Yes Furtz, they also thought that I was run out of Pennsylvania where I’ve never lived before also.

Leave a Reply