Dogpiling – and how to avoid being a victim of it

Social media users have begun to alert each other to one of the last pleasant phenomena on Twitter – ‘dogpiling’ – in order to improve people’s experience of political discourse.


Dogpiling is a prearranged method of targeting and coordinating abuse, in many cases, directed at a political opponent. Through WhatsApp or other media, groups of twitter users sharing an agenda identify opponents at whom they wish to mass coordinate twitter abuse by directly targeting their ‘handle’ – or simply aim an abusive tweet and wait for their followers to ‘pile on’.

Dogpilers aim either to intimidate a social media users into silence or – even better by their twisted logic – to provoke or fluster the user to respond in a manner that leaves themselves open to further attack, or in the worst instances open to accusations of prejudice where none exists.

Dogpilers will use any response as further fuel for their attacks, or as evidence that the user should be expelled from their political party.

Learn to spot when you are being dog-piled – and block and ignore any accounts involved in it.

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  1. Greg Hadfield describes the dogpiling he received from LAAS:

    ‘I asked LAAS: “Are you implying — or suggesting you think/know — I have been accused of anti-semitism? Can we chat about it?”

    In truth, I did not expect a reply. And nor did I get one.

    What I did get was a tsunami of abusive tweets — 344 in 48 hours (including re-tweets and “likes”) — from a total of 56 people. None of whom I knew or had even followed on Twitter; between them, their Twitter followers numbered nearly 90,000.’


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