Online Abuse & Trolling

RNR Stoker

Clanker
A lot of the time when trolls are exposed they turn out to be an idiotic teenage boy living with his parents. Reddit will be quite worried if the threat to investigate bedroom radicals comes to fruition. Most of their political, or even national subs are a haven for some vile users.
 

Aphra

Old-Salt
I can't help thinking that if MP's did their jobs properly, they would have a lot less to worry about.
Unfortunately, that's not the case. In a long career in the public sector, I saw and was subjected to, vile personal abuse by the public, from faeces being posted to me at work to threats to 'blow your bastard legs off'. It was, if not daily, certainly weekly and we were people doing our jobs properly. The fact that the public were clueless about what my job entailed and why it was important although unpopular (as prosecutors often are) meant they felt entitled to harass, abuse and threaten us.

It's an accepted part of the job, even today and I'm sure many here would say that all public sector workers are work shy grifters who deserve all they get. They would be wrong, as are the public who think all police officers are murderous rapists or that all soldiers (meaning all military personnel) are violent psychopaths when the truth is that they are not.

It's infinitely worse now that any random nutter can find out personal information in minutes, enabling public servants to be harassed at their homes or online. At least the abuse I encountered was mainly on the phone or by post. In person verbal attacks were easily dealt with and physical violence, while always possible, was fortunately something rare in my experience, but the prospect was worrying nonetheless.

My favourite perpetrators were the ones who boasted that they knew where I lived. I used to take enormous pleasure in pointing out that perhaps they did but that I knew for certain where THEY lived, given that I'd sent the letter they were angry about.
 
I can't help thinking that if MP's did their jobs properly, we would have a lot more to worry about.
Wellllll, I think if they represented and served their constituents, rather than promoting their extreme personal politics, it would be a bit better for them.
 

cowgoesmoo

Old-Salt
I struggle to tell with the leftie Twitter types if they're actually being abused or harassed given that anyone tweeting something they don't agree with is "harassing" them. If more than one person shares that belief then they're being "subjected to a sustained barrage of abuse".

Idiots sending rape or death threats need to be hunted down and punished but the lefties need to learn that people can hold different views.
 

Cold_Collation

LE
Book Reviewer
I think we need a better/commonly agreed definition of trolling.

For instance, Diane Abbott often self-declares herself to be the female MP who has suffered the most online abuse. I doubt she's even in the foothills of the levels of abuse that Thatcher has been subjected to, even after her death.

I've made comments about Abbott on here several times in the past. They have been about her incompetence and her racism. Does that count as abuse, or as fair comment on her very obvious limitations and prejudices? Actually, it's the latter but she'd count my comments as abuse.

Valid criticism is not abuse. Nor is it trolling or bullying.

Media such as ARRSE provide us with a means to voice opinions and opposition. ARRSE is, I think, rather different to Facebook, Twitter and so on because of the extent to which it is moderated. It doesn't get it right always, but it's better than the two other bear-pits I've mentioned.

Yes, there is a degree of anonymity. That, though, is useful. Sure, a lot of us know each other, or know someone who can find out who someone is, but the debates here are generally benign. There is not the vitriol of wider social media.

I am, though, concerned over politicians' obsession with attacking anonymity. Some people do very good and in fact necessary work as whistle-blowers. We lose a lot as a society if those people are neutered. They are very different from some rabid idiot(s) destroying reputations through spreading lies, or threatening/inciting violence.
 

Aphra

Old-Salt
Wellllll, I think if they represented and served their constituents, rather than promoting their extreme personal politics, it would be a bit better for them.
While I don't disagree, Sir David Amess by all accounts did exactly that and it didn't save him from an extremist with a determination to harm him. I may not agree with all his opinions but Sir David seems to have been a thoroughly decent man who worked hard for his constituents and it cost him his life.

We get the representation we deserve if we don't engage with the political process. I'm not suggesting everyone needs to be out on the stump, but we can't complain about elected representatives if we allow them to remain in office for more than one term if they prove themselves to be useless. As Mr Weller said ' the public gets what the public wants'.
 

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