The boss of a website which runs a popular Blackpool FC fans forum has today backed calls for supporters to stop abusing the club’s chairman and his family.
The Gazette revealed yesterday how club chairman Karl Oyston is instructing libel lawyers to take action against individual posters and publishers after threatening messages about his family were allegedly posted online by disgruntled Blackpool fans.
Robert Nicholls, from Middlesbrough, runs fansonline. net which hosts the Another View From The Tower (AVFTT) forum, where abusive threads have been created – including one titled ‘I hope you die and soon’.
Mr Nicholls said: “A threat is a threat and anybody who has done this will be immediately removed. People should be able to say what they want on a forum, but I draw the line at physical threats.
“Nothing aggressive or violent is allowed and we delete posts like that as soon as we can, and if we have to, we delete their account.
“It’s a difficult situation, but I hope they see nothing untoward on there again.
“We are going to police it as carefully as we can.
“These are special circumstances and I hope everything calms down.”
The Seasiders chairman told The Gazette that a legal team used by the club had been monitoring online comments for around six months.
Police have today confirmed they are now investigating what has been posted on forums and social networking sites.
The posts followed a number of protests by fans against the chairman’s tenure at the Bloomfield Road club.
Paul Crashley, the owner of the site backhenrystreet.co.uk, another Blackpool FC forum, said his site was actively moderating comments and would remove any offensive posts immediately.
He said: “We are constantly telling people to watch what they say.
“We have a post up at the moment saying people should watch what they comment, and if they are posting libellous comments they will be removed.
“The site has been going into overload in the last couple of weeks, so after a spate of people posting potentially libellous comments we have put a reminder on the site.
“We have a team of moderators constantly looking out for these things, but sometimes we don’t spot them, so we get to them as soon as possible.”
A spokeswoman for Lancashire Police said: “We have received a report about it and Lancashire Police can confirm we are making inquiries and investigating.”