When I was younger, a troll was an ugly mythical creature that only appeared on some films and in books; or one of those strange plastic toys with a tuft of crazy coloured hair.
Now, when searched in Google the world ‘troll’ brings up a host of links to cyber bullying websites, articles of tragic and harrowing young suicides all alongside an official definition: a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people.
Similar in thesis, but completely different in action. But why have mindless internet trolls been allowed to plague for so long?
Recently, the story of fourteen year old Hannah Smith broke across our news pages after her tragic suicide caused by cyber bullying on social question site ask.fm. Last year we heard the story of Canadian Amanda Todd and the same upsetting stories of tragic teenage deaths have become all too apparent in our media.
Calls have been made for ask.fm to be shut down completely, the anonymity of the Latvian based webpage is almost calling for the attack of these mindless trolls. Yes, shutting down the interface would maybe curb a small percentage of the bullies; but only before they moved onto Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and many other social network sites that are used daily by young, impressionable citizens.
At the end of the day, every site that has problems with trolling could be shut down; then what are we left with? An internet system with no modern forms of communication, networking or opportunities.
With the technology available in today’s word, there are plenty of ways to stop the diabolical postings before the person or people behind them even have the chance to press the enter key. If important and locked down servers are hacked every day by viral personnel; to find out banking, address and personal details, the same can surely be done to track down the undeserving members of the public who are behind these shameful attacks.
Trolling, with the after effects of suicide, is manslaughter or murder, whichever you would prefer. An imprisonable offence.
Sites such as ask.fm are, yes, partly to blame due to their extremely poor privacy and anonymity settings. However instead of punishing the sites, we should be punishing the trolls; because until it’s proven that serious action will be taken and authorities are after them, they’re going to be extremely hard to eradicate.