MANY had hoped that the internet, with its free access to a world of information, would make the general population more educated and open-minded.

However, even a casual observer to debates on some of the most respected of news websites would know how discussions can be hijacked by extreme elements and trolls.

The vitriol, therefore, that poured into the comments below a Hereford Times story publicising a rally to show solidarity with migrants was hardly surprising – yet the hatred which some possess towards anyone with a different passport to their own is still shocking.

For the selfishness and stupidity of some is both depressing and deeply worrying as these keyboard warriors hold no qualms to spout their xenophobic bile in such a public fashion.

Often bred on a diet of lies, these people’s extremist views are being enhanced thanks to the growth of “fake news” websites.

The hypocrisy is particularly alarming when the topic turns to the military as these nationalists like nothing better than to “defend our troops”.

Yet they have no knowledge, for example, of the great achievements foreign forces played in the Allied victory in World War Two.

The internet is still a great, educational invention, but we must remain vigilant that it can also provide a breeding ground for narrow minded groups to bully in packs and spread their messages of hate.