Trolling Could Result in Two-Year Jail Time In England and Wales

An Ceannaire

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ryukage_sama said:
Death threats =/= Trolling

Death threats are and have long been illegal. I thought this would have been something around pranks or hacktivist activities, but online death threats need to be treated any death threat. I understand room to interpret for sarcasm, but death threats as a form protest necessitate punitive action.
I disagree. Death-threats are ten-a-penny in the seedier parts of the internet. How does one go about separating the legitimate threats from the empty ones.

This law is ripe for abuse.
T-Shirt Turtle said:
Still I wish we could get a similar law here in the States, if one hasn't been made already.
Why? It's a stupid law that I guarantee will only ever end up prosecuting the wrong people.
 

remnant_phoenix

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It's gonna be very very difficult to enforce, but I like the intention behind it.

I've always disliked the terms "trolling" and "bullying." If one adult verbally assaults and/or threatens another adult face-to-face, it's called harassment and we take it seriously. If it happens between children, we call it "bullying" and take it less seriously. If it happens online, it's called "trolling" and we take it less seriously.

Again, this will be a difficult thing to enforce, but anything that breaks down the barrier between "trolling" and what it actually is is a good thing.
 

An Ceannaire

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remnant_phoenix said:
If it happens online, it's called "trolling" and we take it less seriously.
Because it's the internet. What part of that is so hard to grasp? Are we gonna start prosecuting all those kids on XBL who send me death threats after I beat them at Halo?
 

remnant_phoenix

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An Ceannaire said:
remnant_phoenix said:
If it happens online, it's called "trolling" and we take it less seriously.
Because it's the internet. What part of that is so hard to grasp? Are we gonna start prosecuting all those kids on XBL who send me death threats after I beat them at Halo?
Feel free to disagree, but I believe that it's the content of the message that matters, not the medium. Ergo, the words that someone delivers to someone else are what matters; whether it happens face-to-face, on the phone, in voice chat, or in text form doesn't matter (in my opinion); our reaction should be the same.

Now, I conceded twice in my post that the pragmatic limitations (it will be very very difficult to enforce this law) create a pragmatic difference, but anything that discourages people from spewing whatever toxic bile they want and use "I'm just joking/trolling" as a shield against backlash is a win in my book.
 

ryukage_sama

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An Ceannaire said:
Death-threats are ten-a-penny in the seedier parts of the internet. How does one go about separating the legitimate threats from the empty ones?
I concede that certain communities online and otherwise have their on social standards and customs. Smack talk between competitors and all that (yeah know, short of sending cops and SWAT to their homes). However, when somebody has death threats emailed to them because of something they published, it needs to be taken seriously, consistently.

Short answer, if the recipient is scared for his/her life after receiving a threat, punitive measures should follow.
 

An Ceannaire

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ryukage_sama said:
Short answer, if the recipient is scared for his/her life after receiving a threat, punitive measures should follow.
But that's massively subjective. If I say to the cops I'm scared for my life after somebody PM'd me on XBL saying they were going to kill me, should the person who sent the message be arrested? Like, we all know that there are people out there prone to overreacting.
 

Middle_Index

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Anyone remember BrawlHall?

I love a good flaming session or trolling idiots that i think are wrong (people who say Alien or The Shining are not Horror films), i reserve the right to make fun of these people in debate or in passing comment. i would never threaten anyone or try to find out more about them to bully. I like to make fun of that persons online persona or make fun things they put online that i have issue with. If i post something contrary to what everyone else thinks on the twilight forum why I'm i going to jail?
 

know whan purr tick

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It will be interesting to see how it plays out on that side of the Atlantic. I didn't feel the need for a new thread, and State-side:
"Project to scan ?social pollution? on Twitter"
Funded by the US National Science Foundation, the project named ?Truthy? will study what researchers call ?social epidemics?, including how memes (ideas that spread from person to person within a culture) propagate, Washington Post reported.

The targets for researchers to study are ?political smears?, ?astroturfing? and other forms of ?misinformation? on social media.
[...]
http://freepressjournal.in/project-to-scan-social-pollution-on-twitter/
 

PatrickXD

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How about some peer reviewed longitudinal studies on the affects of trolling before we start abusing a monopoly of force up in here?
 

Adam Jensen_v1legacy

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As if we're fuckin' immortal and two years is not a big deal. Making people lose two years of their life because they trolled someone on the internet is INSANE!
 

Infernal Lawyer

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I don't see why people are arguing over whether or not death threats are a crime or not, regardless of if they're serious. The article explicitly says they're EXTENDING the jail time for an EXISTING law against death threats, not adding any new laws. Read before commenting, people.

That said, I agree with those who think the punishment is now harsher for the sake of scaring people rather than so it's proportionate to the crime. It's like the good old medieval times again: if you can only catch a bare percentage of the criminals, make a damn good example of them.
 

Pyrian

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Increasing the jail time strikes me as exactly the wrong response. What they need to do is get these people in significant numbers. Even a slap on the wrist would be sufficient if you had to deal with the possibility that consequence might actually ensue.
 

ryukage_sama

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An Ceannaire said:
If I say to the cops I'm scared for my life after somebody PM'd me on XBL saying they were going to kill me, should the person who sent the message be arrested?
If someone comes to the police saying that they are afraid for their lives because the received a message directed at them, personally, the police should take the claim seriously, as should prosecutors. I would not support anything like a 2-year MINIMUM sentence, but the law should take action against those who threaten the lives of others. I'd absolutely agree that threatening someone's life over a video game is overreacting, but taking threats to the police is simply prudent. There is something wrong with a community that interprets death threats as casual conversation. We're regularly seeing now in the mainstream media that people are amazed and disgusted that journalists, writers and programmers would receive death threats over their work, and they are right to be disgusted. We will be more respected as a community once we rid ourselves of such behavior, even if takes the police going door-to-door to tell these people that their behavior is unacceptable, hurtful and illegal.

Pyrian said:
Increasing the jail time strikes me as exactly the wrong response. What they need to do is get these people in significant numbers. Even a slap on the wrist would be sufficient if you had to deal with the possibility that consequence might actually ensue.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Let them be lenient on those who would plea guilty, and let's avoid anything that would impose a minimum sentence.
 

Inglorious891

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The concept is nice, but as others in this thread of already echoed: this law is ripe for abuse. What the difference is between generic assholery and death threats is all in the eye of the beholder, and no one should be sent to jail for two fucking years because someone else took something they said to heart.

Not only that, but I don't trust a bunch of old guys/gals who hardly know a thing about the internet to make laws concerning it. Whenever they do, they display their ignorance and apathy towards the whole concept (remember SOPA?). Letting them have free reign to make laws regulating it is going to only end poorly; when they don't have free reign they always seem to be assisted by people who consider anyone being mean on the internet in any capacity as equal to death threat sending buffoons, which is extremely unfair.

Something needs to happen to stop the flow of death threat sending idiots, but poorly thought out legislation is not the correct way to go about things.
 

Popido

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You must be trolling me.

Surely, you are trolling me.

Just looking at how The Escapist's forums work, no discussion could take place in a society that condemns differentiating opinions. Theres a constant presence of moderators on discussions and this leads people and "trolls" alike to bait eachothers to lose their nerves, rather than debating. Its the reason why I don't like this forum. Controversial topics invite these baiters to try to make you 'click'.

You *know* very well what I mean.

An debate where both parties just scream "Fuck you" "No u" is a much better place for discussions than this.

Strick moderation only creates echo chambers anyway.
 

RedDeadFred

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Doom972 said:
Threatening people counts as trolling? I thought trolling was just doing annoying stuff like starting Anita Sarkeesian threads and getting everybody enraged.

BigTuk said:
You will never have enough jail cells.
Phrozenflame500 said:
Will never be enforced, but pretending to be tough on "crime" (lol) is always good for PR.
^ Also these.
All of this. Threatening isn't trolling, it's verbal abuse.

Trolling is like making a thread called "Skyrim is the most overrated piece of crap" and then having your OP simply consist of "Discuss". That's on the obvious side, but you get the point. Trolling isn't usually mean spirited, it's more just getting other people worked up for the popcorn value.
 

OtherSideofSky

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It seems as if, sometime in the recent past, everyone completely forgot what "trolling" meant and started applying it simultaneously to death threats and people who express opinions different from their own.

Last I checked, trolling someone had a lot less to do with sending people threats than it did with pretending to be an idiot on 4chan so one can laugh at all the people who write angry diatribes in response to the bait.
 

RicoADF

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An Ceannaire said:
But that's massively subjective. If I say to the cops I'm scared for my life after somebody PM'd me on XBL saying they were going to kill me, should the person who sent the message be arrested? Like, we all know that there are people out there prone to overreacting.
Yes they should because they've committed a crime. The fact they used XBL instead of text message, a phone call or in person does not make it more legal. This is the issue, people see it as ok because of the medium rather than seeing it as the abuse it really is. There's no excuse for people acting that way, I've never threatened someone like that nor has anyone I know.
 

Vivi22

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T-Shirt Turtle said:
Two years seems a little too harsh, maybe one year would be better imho. Still I wish we could get a similar law here in the States, if one hasn't been made already.
If I'm not mistaken, in the US you can already get more time than that potentially if you threaten someone. You don't need an actual law to cover online harassment and threats if you already have laws that just cover those things period.
 

RicoADF

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Inglorious891 said:
The concept is nice, but as others in this thread of already echoed: this law is ripe for abuse. What the difference is between generic assholery and death threats is all in the eye of the beholder, and no one should be sent to jail for two fucking years because someone else took something they said to heart.
People saying that their going to kill or rape someone is rather clear, weather they intend to go through with it is another matter. Thing is these actions ARE illegal already, the fact it's done via XBL doesn't magically make it ok.

I do agree the minimum sentence part is stupid, it should be set depending on the level of threat (a single message should be given a warning but constant harassment met more harshly)