Old Holborn didn’t help himself, coming across as something of a psychopath:
It isn’t my responsibility what other people find offensive. If you don’t like it, turn off.
But it’s not always possible to turn off. Even the act of looking at a computer screen increases cerebral arousal and can create a compulsion to look further.
That’s maybe why some people can’t look away, most notably 14-year-old Hannah Smith, who killed herself after trolls – anonymous hyper-offensive posters – ground her down so much on ask.fm living didn’t appear an option.
Maitland traced a troll, "Jamie Card", who posted offensive comments about a woman’s 2-year-old child with Down’s Syndrome. However, under present laws, he has to be caught “with his hands on the keyboard”.Robert Ambridge - masked, right) defended himself as a championing free speech. But, as one victim pointed out, trolls curtail the free speech of their victims. The internet becomes a lawless expanse where only the brave or the abusive dare tread, and where both statutory authorities and social-media operators fail in their duty to enact Tim Berners-Lee’s principle that they must "prevent the Web from being abused by destructive forces to an extent that the overall pain is greater than the gain".
Given that the Internet enables communication and organisation like nothing before, is Establishment inaction in the face of these abusers totally coincidental?
How to deal with an Internet Troll - wikihow.com
Fear and Loathing Online - ITV player, until 11 october 2013
Fear and Loathing Online Homepage - itv.com: scroll to bottom of page for sites to help you if you are a victim of trolling
Old Holborn: a Juvenal for our times - Libertarian Alliance blog