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June 18, 2012

Social Media No Longer a Hiding Place For Trolls

With the internet being a place where you are free to voice your opinions without regulation is it not inevitable that people will abuse this liberty?

‘Trolling’ is a popular, but not necessarily harmful way of expressing opinions on the internet. According to Sky News trollers “start intelligent but controversial conversations on online bulletin boards and forums, with the secret intention of starting heated debate or argument just for the fun of it.”

Internet Trolls May Not Be This Friendly

Thanks To Cali4beach for allowing us to use this image

But the term ‘trolling’ is now being used to descried what most people would call ‘cyber bullies’ which has definitely put a bee in the bonnet of the trolling community, but that’s another rather tedious story.

More to the point, cyber bulling is in the verge of being regulated. With a current cyber bullying case against Facebook to retrieve the IP address of the bullies being won, the Government is now looking in to creating a law that will force such sites, including Twitter, to reveal information without the case having to go to court. This law will be added to the new Defamation Bill, which is updating laws for the internet.

With stories being released such as “Police receive a report of a crime linked to Facebook every 40 minutes” and “1 in 5 children are bullied online”, it is becoming more and more apparent that this freedom of speech that we are all so used to is being used in a way that it was not intended, and that more help for victims is important. As well as protecting victims of online bullying, this new legislation may also be used by companies wanting to out the trollers that may have been posting false claims about them online.

Another point to this law is to protect the websites themselves from liability. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke said “Our proposed approach will mean that website operators have a defence against libel as long as they comply with a procedure to help identify the authors of allegedly defamatory material.”

Personally I think that this is a step in the right direction in protecting the younger victims of cyber bullying but when it comes to companies wanting to unmask pesky trollers I definitely disagree with the law.

Then again, how useful is an IP address, with that information wouldn’t you then need to fight to actually trace the computer and its possible owners?

With this news the world of Twitter has united, sending out warning messages to cyber bullies, with some controversially admitting to being cyber bullies themselves.

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