Putting a Face to Internet Trolls

Trolls are something we all have to put up with online. But a new BBC documentary tried to track them down, and this video shows just how vile they can be in real life, too.

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As part of the BBC documentary Panorama, a reporter tracked down a troll in Cardiff, Wales, who goes by the handle Nimrod Severn. His real names is Darren Burton, and he has a taste for commenting on memorial pages set up on Facebook to honor those who have died. In particular, he's fond of posting that he hopes the deceased "rot in piss". Charming.

When the BBC reporter caught up with him, he was asked about his take on things. "Do you think about the effect it has on [people]?" asked the BBC's Declan Lawn. Burton's response: "Yeah." Well, that's something I guess. But what does he think, when he thinks about them? His response, a pithy: "Fuck 'em."

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He goes on to say that "Facebook is an open forum" which means he can say whatever he wants. Unsurprisingly, he's at the receiving end of quite a lot of hate on Facebook. [BBC via The Next Web]

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DISCUSSION

wakeskater17
wakeskater17

Really...? This is stupid. Maybe it's just my very passive personality, age(21) and immaturity, or my time spent on the internet, but I don't believe that what you say online with a FAKE profile should have real life consequences, such as everyone hating him (which is a possibility now that he has been exploited) or jail time. Feelings may be hurt, but you aren't in ANY physical danger, so I really don't see why is it such a big deal they have to make a news story about it..? People are so uptight and have such a big ego or are so insecure about themselves that they can't handle the occasional insult? Oh your ego was bruised..? Let's throw the person who did it in jail! Internet choices should lead to internet consequences. Real life choices should lead to real life consequences.

People need to realize you can't control what other people say, the best you can do is ignore it or strike back with something worse. Personally, I enjoy trolls most of the time, and occasionally I troll as well. Not to the extent of this guy, but IMHO I think he has the right to say whatever he wants about whoever he wants, without real life/physical consequences. If he makes comments about someones death, there are hundreds of options to resolve it.. Block him personally (with your personal account), skip over it when reading other comments, block him from the group, come back at him, etc... I've seen it before and while it did manage to get a small rise out of me I also recognized it for what it was, blatant TROLLING, and I moved on.. (Honestly I also want people/friends to make offensive jokes about my death when I die. No use moping around about something you cant fix, so why not have a little fun coming up with bad jokes?). It made absolutely no lasting impact on mine or anyone else's life.

This honestly makes me mad, especially seeing the responses of other comments, and I hope the writer isn't trolling and I'm falling for it.. This is the type of thinking that [i think] eventually leads to censorship.

The internet if a place of FREE SPEECH. It is where someone can come to vent, lead a completely different life, talk about controversial subjects, and let their true personality come out, which may or may not be a troll. We already have boards where things that are posted are regulated and trolls are kept out, we don't need the entire internet kept like that (obviously the video doesn't say the entire internet should be moderated but it sounds like a hidden message/goal to me).

The internet is a battlezone, if you can't take it, get off. After all, what would the internet be without trolls?