Twitter trolls vs The Angry Mob

There has been another wave of online discussion about ‘trolling’ on social media platforms like Twitter.  The latest round of debate began after Caroline Criado-Perez wrote about the hideous abuse she received during the course of her campaign to keep a woman on the £10 note.

I have contributed a few comments in the past on this issue, and do not have anything new to say on the current controversy, save to say that at some point (it may be now, it may be later) the politicians will seek to impose legislation on this kind of speech.  I mentioned this conundrum during my #ORGcon panel discussion with David Allen Green et al in June.

In the meantime, a few quick links:

The tweet above from David (a.k.a. Jack of Kent) reminds me of an article by Padraig Reidy of Index on Censorship, who wrote last year on the issue of Twitter storms and Tom Daley (as did I).

I worry that this will become the norm: Man says nasty thing on the internet, nice people get upset by nasty thing, nice people demand something be done about nasty thing, police pursue easy conviction (all the evidence is online after all, and there are a million willing witnesses), nasty man gets convicted, and everybody slaps each other on the back for having done their bit. The thrill of active netizenship.

This could end up corrosive: increasingly narrowing the online social sphere so it is eventually only available to the articulate and right-thinking, and fools will suffer real-world punishment.

And here’s Charlie Brooker writing about how most online discourse is just hot air, and he wants to produce less of it.  His 2011 article about the online harrassment of Rebecca Black (singer of the awful ‘Friday’) is relevant to the current furore, and worth another read.

Finally, I enjoyed Musa Okwonga’s poem ‘Invisible Men‘.

Which reminds me of this quip of mine from earlier this year:

 

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