Child makes ignorant comment on twitter. Thousands have a go at said child. Child, like all children displays bravado and keeps going instead of backing down. His trolling a sportsman is in turn trolled & flamed by thousands of angry twitterites. His bravado escalates to versions of I’m gonna kill you… Most people believe this is a ‘look mum I’m on the telly moment’ but continue fuelling the original trolls ego. Let’s face it, he’s finding the attention and power of the outrage he’s caused fun. All children love attention and power.
Original troll gets arrested. Those who flamed him and escalated the situation feel a sense of pride and duty at their involvement in getting ‘scum off the net’. Well done moral society you must be proud. I wonder what would have happened had you not fed the troll, ignored him completely and gone about your business… No point wondering as you didn’t. Game set and match to flaming en mass.
Police will have to take any potential death threat seriously. Should they not and the Original Troll follow through on his threats, there would be hell to pay.
Bad police make society angry. You wouldn’t like society when angry, except now storm in the usual suspects, moaning about freedom of speech and how ridiculous it is to arrest someone for saying something stupid on twitter. Remember twitter joke trial? The problem is, there’s a huge difference between OT’s first stupid tweet and the barrage of death and rape threats that followed. That isn’t freedom of speech, it’s harassment, its malicious, it’s illegal. Just because the medium is relatively new doesn’t make this kind of behaviour acceptable or an HRA article 10 issue.
The difference between the twitter joke trial tweet and these death threats is semantics. The joke trial recognised the use of language to suggest humour. This troll used threatening language with no indication of humour and persisted in using threatening language in tweet after tweet directed to many different people. There is no ambiguity in his meaning, regardless of whether he intended to carry through with the threat. He intended fear and alarm. No one could doubt that from his language.
Freedom of expression is being able to state an opinion, impart information or share ideas without repercussions. It is not and never has been the right to harass or threaten people’s lives or safety. I suggest reading the HRA for exceptions to each article.
I get annoyed when people say but he has the right to say it and if police arrested every person for being an idiot we’d all be doomed. And I agree with the latter but if police didn’t investigate and said sportsman or any number of the flaming trolls were discovered dead, or raped, there would be more of an outcry. Can’t have it both ways…
Written on phone will likely have glaring autocorrect errors.