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Posted by portugalpress on July 12, 2018

The questions of what to do with a regular “bombardment” of emails decrying the government’s pro-oil stance has apparently seen MPs complain that they are victims of cyberbullying.

Far from appreciating the situation as further proof that populations do not want their country do become a fossil fuel producer, MPs scrambled to devise ways of avoiding receipt of the messages altogether.

Minutes coming out of a recent meeting of the various parliamentary groups suggest that even the leader of the Republican Assembly hasn’t been immune: Eduardo Ferro Rodrigues confirmed at the meeting that he too had been receiving the mails “and asked (parliamentary) services to find ways of blocking them, or guarantee that they could stop being received”.

Ideas included consigning the messages to MP’s SPAM folders, though Nuno Magalhães of the CDS-PP said that he had been trying to achieve this with the help of his staff “without success”.

Described as a “veritable electronic bombardment”, the mails started arriving a few weeks ago and appear to have targeted every single MP, no matter what political party.

They hit inboxes at around 1am every day, and kept going until about 6am.

The net result was that MPs often woke up to find their inboxes “full”, incapable of receiving ‘genuine’ messages.

This has all now been ‘stopped’ as since last week the SPAM solution appears to have kicked in.

But what do readers make of this crinkle in the workings of democracy?

The consensus is that the word ‘cyberbullying’ has been used to negate “a form of protest, like any other”.

“When has an email contesting a law been synonymous with cyberbullying?” Asks one.

While others say that if the mail bombardment was one in which MPs were promised money, “they would probably like it”.

Said Nuno Magalhães, who raised the complaint in the first place, “it is normal and perfectly legitimate to receive mails from citizens when these refer to controversial issues, like the decriminalisation of euthanasia. What is not normal is this logic of bombardment”.

So far, none of the news sources carrying this story appear to pinpoint where the emails originated.

Diário de Notícias cites “multiple different email addresses, most of them pseudonyms and not corresponding to anyone existing”.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

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