[UPDATE: Those lovely people at the journal have figured out why this was blocked. Use of the word “sniggers” apparently. That’s a bit of a Scunthorpe.]
For reasons I don’t understand I can’t post this comment on the journal’s debate about legislation against Internet trolls.
There are different things going on here. On the one hand there are the traditional internet trolls who have been around for 20 years or so who:
“Post inflammatory, defamatory, extraneous or off-topic messages on an internet forum – usually with the primary purpose of eliciting an emotional response from other users.”
This is largely harmless. Most people online will indulge in such trollage from time to time. Suggesting, just as a random example, that maybe there’s something wrong with the Ireland squad relying on a component from the UK under the grandfather rule. That maybe if Irish people hadn’t spent the last 40 years funnelling their money into UK teams but rather had put into local teams then that might not be necessary and that you’d have enough homegrown talent to create a world class squad. :sniggers
And that sort of low level trolling does little harm, it’s fairly tongue in cheek and as the story drifts onto the second page we all move on and forget about it.
But then there’s what trolling has come to mean. The darker, more sinister and unpleasant sort of trolling.
Like sending an email threatening someone’s children.
Like stealing someone’s online identity and setting up accounts in their name on social networking sites using those accounts to make it look like this person wants to put young children at risk.
Like hassling some poor kid every time they go online until take their own life.
That sort of thing needs to be dealt with and eradicated.
I’m just not convinced that we need new laws to do so. We just need new applications of existing laws.
What’s wrong with that? It’s sensible and on topic as far as I can see. Massive amounts of irony, obviously.