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If only

If only

Via Ann Althouse, comes this BBC story about tracking down and confronting an “RIP troll”:

Full BBC story here.


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Is there a draft in the room, or is LI/BBC chilling speech?

    SoCA Conservative Mom in reply to Mark30339. | February 9, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    The UK and Canada have laws against hate speech that we do not have in the US. The 1st Am would take care of those laws and the chilling of speech.

    I don’t think Prof. Jacobson is trying to chill speech. He’s highlighting the despicable behavior of despicable people who hide behind their computers and internet aliases.

      Of course trolls get away with making heartless, cruel and malevolent statements — and of course their behavior is reprehensible. However, once we install an official troll police, who will police the troll police? The program will devolve into what Raquel Pickbullet presciently muses about in her comment at 3:00pm.

      “Tune in next week to BBC when we track down and confront Internet trolls who deny the existence of AGW”

        SoCA Conservative Mom in reply to Mark30339. | February 9, 2012 at 6:09 pm

        How many people would change their online behavior if they knew their identity could easily be uncovered?

        By the way, not all speech is protected. Try calling in a bomb square sometime and see how funny the cops think it is.

          SoCA Conservative Mom in reply to SoCA Conservative Mom. | February 9, 2012 at 6:10 pm

          Or bomb scare. Whatever, you know what I meant. Just don’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater.

          Raquel Pinkbullet in reply to SoCA Conservative Mom. | February 9, 2012 at 7:09 pm

          Are we talking about the United States here or Vladamir Putin’s Russia? Imagine what would happen if you had to post on political blogs in your real name. It would effectively stifle free speech. As anyone could google your name and see everything you ever posted. The LEFT (unions, radical gay lobby, social justice agitators, etc) specialize in using intimidation, threats, coercion etc. to push their agenda. For example my husband’s company (not my husband personally) donated to Prop. 8. After prop. 8 passed, my husband’s company got vandalized, and people at the company started getting death threats.

          With that said, I don’t condone people being able to hide behind online anonymity to make death threats, stalk someone, etc. Those people should be arrested and prosecuted.

          But with the rest of the trolls, I find that ignoring them will make them go away.

          @”Pinkbullet,” I’ve always commented with some variation of my real name, and generally included a link to my (now moribund) blog. Professor Jacobson bares himself (as it were) to the world, and there’s a healthy number of us around.

          Live in fear, if you like. I suppose posting anonymously makes you braver, but I don’t see the point. From over here, any time I see an obvious anon poster (obviously fake name, no email, no web page or blog, etc) I generally ignore what they have to say, agree with me or no.

Frankly, though trolling isn’t against the law and shouldn’t be, there really ought to be more instances of identifying trolls publicly and at least trying to shame them like this. Maybe then when trolls get accosted by strangers with lines like, “Ah yes, you’re the guy who likes making nasty jokes about dead people to their loved ones over the Internet, aren’t you?” then maybe some of them at least will take the hint.

    rdmdawg in reply to Aitch748. | February 9, 2012 at 5:13 pm

    I’d love to find out what BBC did to get this guy’s name. They didn’t say. I would hope that Facebook and companies like that don’t disclose other personal information to the media.

Raquel Pinkbullet | February 9, 2012 at 3:00 pm

“Tune in next week to BBC when we track down and confront Internet trolls who deny the existence of AGW”

Segment from next week’s show:

BBC host: “Hey you know your global warming denial comments are hurtful to a lot of people?”
AGW denying “troll”: Is it illegal?
BBC host: Yeah actually it’s “inciting global warming denialism” and that is a crime.

I’m sorry professor but this video gives me chills about the PC culture in Europe.

Raquel Pinkbullet | February 9, 2012 at 3:07 pm

O/T I see people that have added profile avatars. How do you do it?

The reporter and his target are merely squalid. I wonder how the troll was tracked down online. Breach of confidentiality?

Some talking points for the BBC and its enlightened viewers:

1. I’m all for free speech unless it’s offensive. Then the government needs to step in.

2. A multicultural society cannot afford the anachronism of privacy, except to protect certified victims (Islamist imams, for example) and those doing Important Work for the People.

3. If people abuse the rights the State allows them, of course the State can take them away. (The rights or the people, as the case may be.)

    Hope Change in reply to gs. | February 9, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    gs, I get the sarcasm.

    please say it’s sarcasm.

    Jack Long in reply to gs. | February 9, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    Login scripts for web sites can add the ip at login to their database. If they baited this troll to post at a BBC site, they could get his IP.

    I believe BBC owns at least one internet service provider, so they would be able to link the IP to an account of anyone using their service.

    I’m just guessing, though.

    I know it’s easier for private parties to access internet provider information in Germany. I’m in Germany. A lot of people here get letters from directly private law firms regarding downloading songs. T-Online gives them the customer information.

Trolls have no conscience. Confronting them is pointless.

    Neo in reply to wodiej. | February 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Isn’t this exactly what the Westboro Baptist Church does ? .. inject their noses where they don’t belong ? .. merely to be offensive ?

Having members of my immediate family abused by trolls I assure you that shaming of trolls is not the first thought that comes to mind. While the topic in this instance is a “RIP Troll” there are those who are just as malevolent with even less conscience.

Trolling grows out of the perceived anonymity people feel when online.

The old truism “In cyberspace no one knows your a dog.” has come to “On Facebook no one knows what a pathetic, unintelligent loser you are so you can make them miserable and run away.”

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Kerrvillian. | February 9, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    How is it possible for members of your immediate family -which i take to be a fair %- to be abused by a troll?

    Seems to me you have to put something out there in cyberspace for anyone to actually know about you & yours.

    No one is forced to do Facebook , Blogs etc.

    Besides you have to admit some people are so stupid they bring it on themselves.

Some consider the internet to be equivalent to the rear bumper of their car. They place all kinds of ‘bumper stickers’ on the internet and then complain when others mock their comments. I have never understood this phenomenon of the public display of grief; I find it to be not only invasive but personally offensive as well.

This nascent attempt to expand ‘hate’ crimes laws can only result in an ever more stultifying environment for all. If folks wish to bare their privacy for the entire world to see, then they should expect the same in return.

BannedbytheGuardian | February 9, 2012 at 4:54 pm

I have good knowledge about the BBC. I choose to watch some shows . They can produce great comedy , history geography wildlife period dramas etc.

However I just don’t listen to their news channels. I might as well put my head in a dumpster instead.

As fpr death/grief we are sailing very close to the ME practice of just hiring professional wailers to demonstrate the required piety .

Are Facebook Memorial sites any different?

I’m with the similar to “hiring professional wailers” meme. Death and memorial service announcements should NOT allow comments or “likes”, IMO. It seems almost shallow to do so, when one considers everything involved.

With the recent UK media scandal involving “hacking” email accounts one would think the BBC would be a little more sensitive about that issue. One would be wrong, too. The “beeb’s” sensitivity meter went out of whack sometime before 1974 and has never been re-calibrated since.

Henry Hawkins | February 9, 2012 at 6:25 pm

If you hold a wedding reception dinner in a public park in the city, you can’t really complain when homeless drunks stumble into it. By the same token, placing a memorial type page open to the public on Facebook is gonna draw some nuts too. This is not an endorsement of drunks and nuts. It’s the reality of the public place in a free society.

Rudeness in public places would be conspicuous only in its absence.

how about the trolls of the left? what do they look like? How about the anti-Semites? How about the anti-Catholics? Is BBC going to track them down?