Trolls

Just seen on the news that a 22 year old man has been arrested for setting up an offensive page about the two murdered policewomen in Manchester.

Why do people do this? Are they just thick or do they actually think it's funny to mock the dead?

And how far should we go with limiting what people say in cyberspace? Is it actually ACTIONABLE to tweet Tom Daley and accuse him of letting his father down, if that's what the dumbass really thought?

I know there is a malicious communications law but do we need to review it?

 

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Comments

  • The problem with trolls is that they are anonymous. They are sick little braindead scumbags. Perhaps if the addresses of these trolls were given to the familiies of the murder victims, they wouldn't be so keen on posting their sick material.

  • I don't think it was the tweet that said he'd let his father down that got that guy into trouble, it was the subsequent tweets threathening to drown Tom Daley and stab other Twitter users that criticised him.

    I'm all in favour of free speech but I also like the phrase "your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose beings", people should of course be able to express their opinions, but when their behaviour crosses the line from expressing an opinion to criminal behaviour, whether that's harassment or malicious communication or something even worse, then they shouldn't be THAT surprised when the censure switches from other people tweeting that they are out of order to a knock on the door from the police.

    It's not as though online behaviour doesn't have consequences - how many sites have been shut down and content removed for copyright or trademark infringement of huge brands? I don't know why people are so stupid as to think that because they do something online they won't get caught.

    I don't know what drives trolls to do what they do, there was an interesting programme with Richard Bacon a few months ago where he tracked down a guy who had posted offensive messages about a boy that had committed suicide to ask him why he did it. One of his terrible justifications was that it was a reaction against all the "hypocritical" posts from people who didn't know the victims saying how much they would be missed. But again, there's a big difference between saying that someone is a hypocrite for jumping on a bandwagon, and setting out to hurt the victim's family.

    Here's the link, if anyone is interested:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01dwg1n

  • Psychopaths and sociopaths use the Internet as well. There are plenty of people with no social conscious.

    What makes someone think it is acceptable to do anything that will hurt another in any way that is malicious?

    Trolls just think it's about them. They like to think that they can control and manipulate.

  • You're over-analysing it.

    Some people really are as thick as pigshit.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    It could be someone just looking for a reaction. Which is why half of us on this forum deal in rhetoric. In the case of the police; to paraphrase the historian Niall Fergerson, to some people, the police are just another gang.

  • Attention-seekers looking for their 15 minutes of fame, maybe?  (and being as thick as pig shit, too, of course!)

  • I just watch Wilkie deal with trolls & muppets
  • KK - that's my job! image

  • When websites allow people to post other than in their real names, they separate freedom from responsibility. Posters are enabled to say what they like under cover of anonymity. It isn't surprising that some people will choose to be rude, offensive, threatening, sinister, careless, reckless, defamatory, et cetera, in what they say. Such is human nature. The ability to post without giving your real name brings out the worst in certain types if they think no one knows who they are and there will be no consequences. They would behave differently, I'm sure, if they could only post under their real names.

    Personally I'd prefer it if everyone used their real names online, but that isn't the way the internet has developed. Trolling and other offensiveness is simply a consequence of anonymity being freely available across the internet.

  • Colin McLaughlin wrote (see)

    When websites allow people to post other than in their real names, they separate freedom from responsibility. Posters are enabled to say what they like under cover of anonymity. It isn't surprising that some people will choose to be rude, offensive, threatening, sinister, careless, reckless, defamatory, et cetera, in what they say. Such is human nature. The ability to post without giving your real name brings out the worst in certain types if they think no one knows who they are and there will be no consequences. They would behave differently, I'm sure, if they could only post under their real names.

    Personally I'd prefer it if everyone used their real names online, but that isn't the way the internet has developed. Trolling and other offensiveness is simply a consequence of anonymity being freely available across the internet.

    You're obsessed with real names, you're constantly on about it.

    And you're not correct on real names making behaviour better as a rule. Surely you've seen the countless examples of idiots using their own twitter accounts in their own name to abuse people.

    You're no less anonymous using the name you write under then anyone on here. Noone knows anything about you, you could be anywhere in the country, and there's probably 100s of people with the same name. So how are you not anonymous really?

  • Person A being offended by something Person B said does not take away Person B's right to say it. Person A has no right to not be offended.

  • I know a lot of people's real names on here. When I meet them in real life I use their name. On here I'll call them by their online name.

    I'm just as big a pain in the arse in real life. Honest image
  • As  a long term internet geek, the thing that has depressed me the most has been the misappropriation of the term 'Troll' over the last couple of years by lazy journalists. None of the examples above can really be described as trolls, they're just obnoxious idiots. 

  • I can verify that LB is just the same in real life.  And she knows my real name and where I live so she will probably be round tomorrow to beat me up

  • Why are they called Trolls? Just wondered.

    I see many examples of bad posts and comments, some are clearly aimed at being downright deliberately offensive, some are simply having a laugh or expressing a contrary or comic opinion in a heavy handed way, and people get a little more offended than they should.

    If it's a personal insult or aimed at simply belittling people (which is never really productive) I don't like it. I would add that when someone new posts something and is maybe a little off the mark some of the responses I have seen from regular posters are a little insulting and more nasty than they should be, and I find that offensive at times. Each to his own I suppose  

  • Caz sends her apologies. She wanted to be here but I beat her up image
  • xine267 wrote (see)

    One of his terrible justifications was that it was a reaction against all the "hypocritical" posts from people who didn't know the victims saying how much they would be missed. 

    Whilst it's not a great justification- and certainly doesn't excuse the extreme actions of trolls, I do agree with this.

    A friend of mine has a blog and every time a celebrity dies, he'll have a post about how wonderful they were and how much they'll be missed. It's grief tourism.

    My kneejerk reaction is always to say "Well I'm glad they're dead, and here's why...".
    It's a reaction to the bandwagon jumping, not the actual event.

  • "Grief tourism" - love it!

  • Intermanaut wrote (see)

    "Grief tourism" - love it!

    Never heard the phrase but yes i agree.................I can't believe how people can put floweres ( in plastic Bags)...at places where someone died...who they never ever knew..........its almost as they want to be part of it in someway......not to miss out...........You can be sad that someone died way too young and feel sympathy for the family ....but how can you be in grief for a stranger........

  • Swissjames - I get your point, but personally despite things that go on I would find it very hard to say I'm glad he or she is dead, I can only think of two people I dislike strongly and I would still be reluctant to voice that.

  • Swissjames - I get your point, but personally despite things that go on I would find it very hard to say I'm glad he or she is dead, I can only think of two people I dislike strongly and I would still be reluctant to voice that.

    Also does that make you a Troll and do you disguise your ID

  • Also why do people set up tribute things on the internet (facebook etc) knowing someone is set to put something vitriolic on there

  •  

    seren nos wrote (see)
    Intermanaut wrote (see)

    "Grief tourism" - love it!

    Never heard the phrase but yes i agree.................I can't believe how people can put floweres ( in plastic Bags)...at places where someone died...who they never ever knew..........its almost as they want to be part of it in someway......not to miss out...........You can be sad that someone died way too young and feel sympathy for the family ....but how can you be in grief for a stranger........

    I agree - I got flamed a bit for voicing this kind of opinion over the reaction to the death of the young woman near the end of the London Marathon this year.

  • If I went ahead and said "I'm glad they're dead" then yes I would be a troll! But I don't.
    I can only really think of 1 person who I wish was dead, and I'd be just as happy if his band split up instead.

    Not to get all Nick Hornby, but I think this started with the reaction to Princess Diana's death. My Mum actually took a train from Yorkshire to London to look at the flowers outside St James's Palace. It actually seemed like a reasonable thing to do at the time, if she'd done the same for Jill Dando, we'd have been worried about her mental health.

    24-hour news channels have a lot of time to fill too, so the reporting of every event is not complete until we've: 

    a) Watched footage of people leaving flowers outside a football ground / hospital / makeshift shrine

    b) Seen an endless rolling feed of related tweets

    c) Heard what One Direction's view on the matter is

    You can't blame them entirely, it's a very easy way of padding out a news story, but I don't think it adds to our understanding of an event to read: 

    "CARNT BELIEVE HIS GONE- MISS YUO MJ XXXxX" 

    scrolling along the bottom of the screen.

    This is officially a tangent now isn't it? Rant mode off.

  • EKGO wrote (see)

    Why are they called Trolls? Just wondered.

     

    If it helps, it's not based on the trolls that live under bridges that gobble up goats that try to cross, but trolling as in the fishing type, where you drag a nice shiny sparkly object through the water and wait to see what bites. So the classical troll would be someone who makes a seemingly innocoulous comment that's guarenteed to make someone bite, and then sit back and let people argue away exposing their various predudices. So posting a thread on say a cycling forum saying you've just started a petition to make helmets compulsory to make cycling safer would be a classic troll that someone will pretty much always bite on. I guess the equivalent on a running forum would probably involve mp3 players image. But just being rude to someone ain't trolling, it's just being rude to someone.

     

  • Yeah, tangent indeed I get you, I'm just not sure about wishing someone dead,

  • Thanks Ian and while you're on the subject, when I'm running, I wouldn't be seen dead without my MP3 player

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