New Laws against Trolls

New laws make incitement to harass online illegal, this is called virtual mobbing. Offensive language, threats and gross distortion of facts are all illegal, they are felonies, criminal offences. Ignorance is not a defence, and anonymity is not defence either. The police have means of identifying trolls, and sometimes it is easy to see who they are, like seeing through Clouseau’s one legged Swedish fisherman with inflatable parrot disguise. The problem is, trolling is not funny. Legislation is planned to oblige carriers to reveal the names and addresses of trolls, so the police can investigate them. Revealing home addresses without permission is now a criminal offence, and the same may also be true of e mail addresses in the near future. The Crown Prosecution Service plans to go after and prosecute trolls. I would like to see legislation to make it a criminal offence to mention a troll site by word of mouth. Political and scientific trolling is a growing problem. Trolls threaten to reduce the internet to a cesspit, and they are seen in Britain as a national security threat, in other words they are seen as terrorists. Recently, a teenage girl committed suicide after being trolled, and the then Prime Minister David Cameron intervened. After a New Zealand reporter was driven to suicide recently, the NZ Prime Minister intervened. I have discussed the problem with two former First Ministers, Rhodri Morgan (who took personal action against the physics department at UCW Aberystwyth) and Alun Michael, currently the Police Commissioner for South Wales. Alun Michael has all the evidence concerning various troll attacks on my colleagues and myself, including death threats. Anyone involved in that is automatically committing a criminal offence under various laws and could be charged if the police decide to act. I know the likely identity of a few local trolls and will press for them to be charged on the trail of de facto evidence they are stupid enough to write down. After the very low standard of “debate” in the US general election recently, political trolling has become a problem. Scientific trolling is a growing problem and action can be also be taken against that. Like Alun Michael, a hard liner on trolling, I have campaigned against it for years.

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