Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'Normal People Need to Speak out and Not Ignore What Is Going On'

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

'Normal People Need to Speak out and Not Ignore What Is Going On'

Article excerpt

THE brother of Martyn Hett, one of the 22 murdered in the Manchester Arena attack, has been bombarded by Twitter trolls after speaking out against extremism.

Dan Hett said he has received an 'enormous amount of abuse' online and in real life from right-wing groups over his response to the atrocity. He called on Twitter and other tech firms to take more action to fix the problem of online abuse.

Martyn, a 29-year-old PR executive from Stockport, was among the crowd leaving an Ariana Grande concert when he was killed in the May 22 terror attack.

Stars from Coronation Street were among hundreds of mourners who attended his funeral. His brother Dan, 32, a BAFTA-award winning artist and creative technologist, is to go on a tour of dozens of schools around the country talking to children about 'the real effects of extremism.' .

Organisers of the prestigious TEDX conference confirmed Dan will be talking about extremism, media and technology when the event returns to Manchester in 2018.

He is the first speaker to be announced for the conference in February, which has already sold out a first release of 1,900 tickets. Speaking to the M.E.N, Dan said he felt compelled to take a stand against those who have tried to use the Arena attack to fuel intolerance.

He said: "I want to talk about the responsibility of normal people to speak out and not ignore what is going on. I am putting myself on the line but the downside is I am getting an enormous amount of trolling on Twitter. I am being swamped by farright extremism. Tech companies have got a lot of work to do to fix this problem, but it is fixable."

He was the target of abuse after speaking out against plans by Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defence League, to stage a book launch in Manchester.

"There is a pattern here to using [terror attacks] to stoke the immigration debate," Dan added. …

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