‘Virtual mobbing’ or in today’s lingo ‘trolling’ is now grounds for court action.
If authorities can prove that the use of derogatory hashtags, ‘photoshopped’ or manipulated images to humiliate others, the ‘trolls’ can be arrested.
However, not everyone is convinced that it can work.
The challenges to the law’s possible execution include offshore suspects who ‘troll’ from overseas and finding the ‘troll’ who had instigated virtual violations against the victim.
According to Crown Prosecution Service Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders:
“The internet’s not an anonymous place where people can post without any consequences. People should think about their own conduct.
“If you are grossly abusive to people, if you are bullying or harassing people online, then we will prosecute in the same way as if you did it offline.”
According to cyber-bullying and virtual mob victim Kevin Healey — a renowned psychiatrist — the new law looks good on paper but its implementation can be puzzling.
“Not even one troll has been prosecuted or jailed, even though I have made complaints to Twitter and the police.
“It’s been a nightmare; it’s been horrific – it doesn’t go away. It’s with you 24 hours and seven days a week, there’s no escape from it”.