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This has nothing whatever to do with SL or the Forum but I believe RL discussions are okay in this section.

I just saw this story online http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tyne-22839359 and found it interesting. Someone actually is going to jail for online trolling. I personally think it was quite justified. I wondered if a similar thing could  happen in the US, given that our freedom of speach defenses are so stringent and I see that in fact what this person did is illegal here, too (here being California). There are specific condtions, but it can be illegal. http://www.shouselaw.com/criminal_threats.html

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Griffin Ceawlin wrote:

I don't think I'd call threatening to kill people "trolling"... in any universe.

The BBC appears to disagree; so do I. What he did was use an anonymous online account to say things hurtful (and in this case, understandably frightening) to someone he didn't know. There are multiple definitions of trolling, but he meets one of them. That's why the headline refers to him as a troll.

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In my most recent post I said, "There are multiple definitions of trolling, but he meets one of them. That's why the headline refers to him as a troll.". That is my reason for using the word. If you disagree with that then I guess that's your opinion, and you're welcome to it.

 

 

edited for punctuation

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My first, knee jerk reaction would be "good." People should be accountable for attempting to cause others distress.

What is the most disturbing to me is that this wasn't a kid. It was an adult posing as a kid. I wonder how often that is the case? Probably fairly often. 

The first clue it was a hoax and not someone local was the use of the word "motor" instead of "car" although it could've been someone who was an expat so, I'm sure the school had to err on the side of caution.

Freedom of speech has its limits, and most places online are not protected by freedom of speech. Most forums and sites are privately funded, though the law for the internet remains murky.

It's too bad the people who encourage fragile people to commit suicide and the like, aren't punished.

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

This has nothing whatever to do with SL or the Forum but I believe RL discussions are okay in this section.

I just saw this story online
 and found it interesting. Someone actually is going to jail for online trolling. I personally think it was quite justified. I wondered if a similar thing could  happen in the US, given that our freedom of speach defenses are so stringent and I see that in fact what this person did is illegal here, too (here being California). There are specific condtions, but it can be illegal.

I'll agree he was a troll.  But he crossed a line and broke the law when his trolling turned to actual threats.  Even if he had no intent, the impact of his statements as pointed out in the article had profound affects.

It's kind of like conspiracy.  You'll do the time even if you don't do the time. (I think that's how it works, not absolutely sure).

Iirc correctly, one of the wild points of the Chicago Eight trial was that conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor was a felony.

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He was prosecuted for making death threats.

He could have made those death threats by writing letters, making phone calls, sending smoke signals or standing outside a zoo shouting at monkeys in cages.

The fact that he did it via an online social media outlet is only of relevance because it was public.

Awe . . . wonders if Dillon considers Hitler a troll?

 

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Melita Magic wrote:

What is the most disturbing to me is that this wasn't a kid. It was an adult posing as a kid. I wonder how often that is the case? Probably fairly often.

Surely not!

Awe . . . except in SL of course, where it is apparently acceptable to claim diminished responsibility because you lisp.

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Thats why records are good to keep if you are subject to such ignorami & virtual thug mentalities.

You never know when the flipouts will cross the line.

Usually businesses failing & RL relationships dramas are enough to trigger yet another episode.

History proves despite repeated public humiliations

...they're baaaaaack. Lol

Every forum has its own losers.

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Awe Thor wrote:

He was prosecuted for making death threats.

 

He was prosecuted, as far as I can make out, for making threats to kill, contrary to Section 16 of the Offences Against The Person Act of 1861 (a very robust piece of Victorian legislation) and also with offences under the Malicious Communications Act of 1988.

In neither case, as you say, is the medium of communication particularly important.

 
 
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Awe Thor wrote:


Melita Magic wrote:

What is the most disturbing to me is that this wasn't a kid. It was an adult posing as a kid. I wonder how often that is the case? Probably fairly often.

Surely not!

Awe . . . except in SL of course, where it is apparently acceptable to claim diminished responsibility because you lisp.

Or in forums when a person imitates a pepper pot.

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I would like to try to make clear what I seem to have made unclear by the title of my thread. Perhaps I should have titled it, "British Man Busted for Violating an Existing Statute While Trolling". Not as catchy, but much more accurate.

Mr. Elliott was not, in fact, busted for trolling. He was busted for making a death threat during his trolling, and threatening death (or even bodily harm) is against the law in many jurisdictions including his. Trolling is not against the law, and I hope nobody ever tries to codify such behavior and write laws about it—that would be a civil rights nightmare of massive proportions.

I have a very hard time believing this was Mr. Elliott's first experience. Did he just get an Internet connection and think, "Oh look, they have this social networking thing. I'll make a threat."? I doubt it. I think it more likely he has been at this for some time, but imagine getting your local police force motivated to hunt down someone who called your mother a whore on Facebook or wrote something equally offfensive. It wouldn't happen and in fact it shouldn't: the police have enough to deal with.

There's almost no chance whatever Mr. Elliott meant anything he said. It's extremely unlikely he even had the wherewithal to carry out his threats. Transatlantic travel expenses (to say nothing the expense of air-shipping his 'motor'—ty Melita) would have been considerable. He just wanted to upset and to hurt people he didn't know and would in all likelihood never know. That is what certain kinds of trolls do. The judge who handed him the sentence "...told him the offences were driven by "no more than self-indulgent nastiness".

 This isn't dropping an incendiary grenade into a forum thread to see how riled up people get. This is ugliness and spite and trying to hurt strangers just for one's own pleasure. I think people who do things like that are disgusting.

 

tldr?: Mr. Elliott was not, in fact, busted for trolling. He was busted for being so stupid as to actually violate a law while trolling and enjoying his 'self-indulgent nastiness'. He is a troll, and his trolling has put him in jail. I for one think that is a very good thing.

 

 

edited for clarification but it was too long to begin with

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Melita Magic wrote:

It's too bad the people who encourage fragile people to commit suicide and the like, aren't punished.

Who's to say who's "fragile"?

I'm often "encouraged" on certain forums to kill myself, as both a member of a group ("KIll yourselves, gays!!!") and personally ("Don't you have a spare electrical cord in the garage that you could hang yourself with, _____?").

Now I don't think I'm particularly "fragile", but those people couldn't know one way or the other.

I know of an SLer who somewhat regularly "encourages" people that she disagrees with politically to kill themselves. And this is somebody who rails against alleged "trolls" and "bullies".

--||-
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Griffin Ceawlin wrote:

I don't think I'd call threatening to kill people "trolling"... in any universe.

Several regulars on the SL Feeds seem to do that and/or similar on a regular basis...

Some of whom are also regulars here.

The "I'll sic ninjas and combat squirrels on you in RL cause that's how tough I am" routine is par for the course of the typical troll. Be they the sort who resorts to childish spelling and grammar or, as is here - the sort who pretend to have perfect spelling and grammar and act 'above' others while intigating.

- But in the end the usually devolve into the 'who is tougher and could beat up who' combined with threats to do so while "safely" hiding thousands of miles away...

 

 

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Gee, that sounds so much worse than saying something like:

"You have been chosen tomorrow at school to receive 1 of my bullets. The doctors will have to unscrew the bullet from your skull **bleep**."

The CPS said: "It is this particular comment that is the basis for the specimen charge."

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

 

the sort who pretend to have perfect spelling and grammar and act 'above' others while
intigating.


I love it when that happens.

Awe . . . wonders how it is possible to "pretend" to have perfect spelling and grammar?

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

 Mr. Elliott was not, in fact, busted for trolling. He was busted for being so stupid as to actually violate a law while communicating online.


FIFY!

Awe . . . wonders if the BBC headline would have called him a "Death threats cartoonist" if he had drawn a picture of an anvil landing on someone's head.

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