Comic fights to re­gain on­line fans for good

Sunday Sun - - News - IAN JOHN­SON ian.john­[email protected]­plc.com

Re­porter ROBIN Armstrong ad­mits he has just months to re­gain his Face­book fol­low­ing – or faces find­ing a “nor­mal job”.

The Ge­ordie comic’s world col­lapsed af­ter his ac­count – and al­most one mil­lion fol­low­ers - van­ished overnight.

Face­book claimed it was removed for pro­mot­ing ‘bul­ly­ing’.

How­ever, Robin blames a troll which he claims he has caught.

Now, the 28-year-old is try­ing to bounce back af­ter the saga left him on “the bones of my a***”.

“Through my Face­book work, I’d saved up three grand over a few months and bought a sec­ond­hand BMW – when this hap­pened, I had to re­turn it a week later,” said Robin.

“Men­tally, this has had a huge strain on me. This was my sole in­come. It is heart­break­ing.”

Robin cashed in his mas­sive Face­book fol­low­ing – which dwarfed celebs like Tyson Fury and Scar­lett Mof­fatt – by pro­duc­ing DIY ad­verts for lo­cal firms us­ing apps like Snapchat.

It al­lowed him to quit his min­i­mum wage job, and helped land him TV and film roles.

But in Septem­ber, the fol­low­ing he spent five years amass­ing dis­ap­peared amid the Face­book data breach.

He’s now re-emerged on­line. This time with three dif­fer­ent ac­counts – and with less fo­cus on the ‘bully sham­ing’ clips which made him a so­cial me­dia star.

“I’ve got the Team Armstrong aware­ness page, which is rais­ing money for char­ity while ex­pos­ing an­i­mal cru­elty, and we have the ‘Baldy Ge­ordie’ page to do more com­edy stuff,” said Robin.

“I’m try­ing to bounce back but it is a sheer stress­ful and scary sit­u­a­tion.”

The sit­u­a­tion, he ad­mits, has at times put a strain on his per­sonal life.

A backer, who he thanked, has been “keep­ing him go­ing” through the rough pe­riod by pay­ing him a wage to keep mak­ing con­tent.

“The thing is though, they started sup­port­ing this fi­nan­cially when I had al­most a mil­lion fol­low­ers,” said Robin.

“He said when it hap­pened he would keep it go­ing, but I was given six months to get the fol­low­ers back.”

He’s re­gained thou­sands of fol­low­ers but his fig­ure still pales to what he had just weeks ago.

As he fights to claw back his on­line pro­file, Robin ad­mits: “It would be hard to go back to a nor­mal job.

“I’m a pub­lic fig­ure now, and I’ve got a tal­ent but that has been taken from me right in front of my eyes.

“Peo­ple have a go and say ‘get a nor­mal job’ but what isn’t what I do a nor­mal job?

“And I don’t have the qual­i­fi­ca­tions to be a tradem­san, but I am good at what I do, so why shouldn’t have the chance to pur­sue that?”

But his hopes were al­most com­pletely dashed by a Twit­ter troll he claims sab­o­taged his ac­count out of dis­like for Robin’s work.

Tens of thou­sands of com­plaints were sud­denly flood­ing in for Robin’s clips, some­thing he at­tributes to a “virus” from the troll who was taunt­ing him on Twit­ter.

The trolling was so bad, Robin said he even con­tacted the po­lice.

In the end, he turned cy­ber de­tec­tive and con­fronted him over a 45-minute phone call.

Robin’s pre­vi­ously been crit­i­cised for mak­ing a name on the back of bul­ly­ing.

De­spite that, he still claims he re­ceives hun­dreds of videos from peo­ple des­per­ate to ex­pose bul­ly­ing.

And while he will con­tinue to try and name and shame the cul­prits, he’s branch­ing out as he starts again.

He adds: “If you look at how many peo­ple have a job they hate...I don’t want that.” Au­di­tion­ing for Ge­ordie Shores at Bi­joux, in New­cas­tle, Robin Armstrong

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