Too Tough on Trolls?

That apparently is what the UK is being accused of by some in the article on the bbc website

I'm kind of torn. I do believe that anybody guilty of cyber-cruelty should be nailed, and the full force of the law landed upon them. If you are racist, or threatening, or act in a way to deliberately cause real hurt, you should face the consequences. Our society generally is over-tolerant of random acts of cruelty.

On the other hand, the police swooping on the 17 year old who tweeted about Tom Daley's father was utterly ridiculous and an over-reaction beyond all reason. It smacked of 'if you cant catch the criminals, criminalize those you can catch'. Much of seemed to be because of a backlash hysteria against the 17 year old.

And perhaps that's the problem. Its the hysteria of the next that governs the action of the police, and governs our opinions of what is happening online. There was a recent feeding frenzy around a site called LendInk. Somebody reported it into the Facebook Writing Community as being a pirate site. In fairness, there had been two genuine alerts weeks before, but the attack on this guy was immediate and lethal, with so many complaints being registered with his ISP he was taken offline.

The internet, and social media, are so immediate too much gets said before we think about the implications. Perhaps there should be a universal, mandatory 5 minute posting delay to allow our forebrains to catch up with our hindbrains.

1 comment:

  1. Unfortunately, you yourself said it: the "full force of the law" is just what you wished for, and it is exactly what you got. Unswerving, unrelenting - and utterly unheeding of any pleas for mercy.

    Just exactly what was ordered.