Apologies for the early morning pre-shave pic ...

A number of Southend News Network readers are also regular visitors to a cracking Facebook page called Angry People In Local Newspapers – this is a constantly-updated collection of links to local newspapers that does exactly what it says on the tin. Although they specialise in sharing links to local media articles that have images of people pointing angrily at things or looking ‘serial killer’ moody (think ‘The Echo’ on steroids), they also include crowd-sourced headlines that range from the quirky to the outright ridiculous.

In one ingenious swoop, they manage to celebrate and rip the utter piss out of the fantastic British tradition that is the humble local newspaper and online news outlet. No harm is ever intended as they merely share links to content that is already online, and there is a reason why their ‘like count’ has skyrocketed to nearly 125,000 people in recent months – it’s f*****g hilarious!

It’s a well-known fact of life that you can’t please everyone all of the time (we can’t be bothered to look up the source of that quote right now), but it seems that when it comes to Facebook the ‘not pleased’ element grow a big pair of outraged bollocks and become what can be called a ‘keyboard warrior.’ Basically, this is a serious medical condition where you get so upset by something online that you lose the ability to just scroll past and carry on reading something else – in extreme cases you could even just ‘unlike’ a page and get on with your miserable existence listening to Radio 3 and eating Ginger Nuts.

Looking at some of the recent comments on Angry People In Local Newspapers, there has been an infestation of people unhappy on an almost biblical scale, and the problem is that they represent a tiny minority of the page’s overall readership. For every nasty comment, you will find at least 137 people saying ‘STFU’ or words to that effect, but the problem with these people is that they have this horrible habit of making their point stand out until the people in charge of a page just throw their hands in the air and scream ‘f**k it’ while they polish off that fifteenth coffee – people like us who have to deal with the ‘Fun Police’ need tonnes of caffeine because we do have a day job as well!

Looking at APILN, they are quite rightly telling people to ‘do one’ if they are not happy with how the page is being run. They have even shared Southend News Network stories in the past, knowing full well that they have been bollocks, but they have done so because the majority of their readers have appreciated a bit of a laugh. They very kindly shared our story about the tattoo artist who got confused when asked for ‘That Guy From The Jam,’ and there was an outcry from people who seemed convinced that the page owner had ‘fallen for it.’ Newsflash – they hadn’t.

Now have a look at the post about it on their Facebook page. As it stands, 8,031 shares (just from their page), 8.4k likes (just from their page), and more than 100,000 clicks (just from their page). But REMEMBER that nobody on APILN’ wants to look at fake news!

At Southend News Network, we deal with those who have undergone a sense of humour bypass every day of the week, and so we sympathise with the person or people who run APILN. They have around 4x as many likes as us, so by definitition they must be getting at least 4x as much sh*t from people – this assumed factoid just made us shudder a little bit.

To sum up, if you don’t like them sharing fake news, move on. If you think that their news stories are mocking the people who feature in them, THEY ARE ONLY SHARING WHATEVER SOME OTHER ATTENTION-HUNGRY LOCAL MEDIA OUTLET HAS ALREADY PUBLISHED – move on. If you don’t like photos in the style of ‘look into the lens with a great big compo face and your arms folded,’ move on. In general, if you don’t like what you are seeing, move the f**k on.

If you fail to heed the advice in the last paragraph, as the French would say, you may well end up disappearing within yourself to a place ‘où le soleil ne brille pas.’ By a sheer coincidence, this is also a great place to keep your opinions, but that’s just what we think as yet another jumped up bunch of keyboard warriors …