Comment: The Anti-Social Network
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The Anti-Social Network on the BBC, presented by Richard Bacon, showed exactly the current extent of violent trolling on the web and how the Government and social networking sites fail to tackle the problem. I myself have experienced this, as I once received threats and abuse via email from someone I knew when I was a teenager. The experience was upsetting and it took time to recover confidence and shake off fear when logging on. As I watched the program I felt that I partly understood what the bullied young people had gone through and I was surprised that it was so common. Little did I know that at the time I was in the most common group to be victimised – teenage girls. Bacon’s broadcast came after suffering abuse for two years from his very own ‘troll’ on twitter, and asked questions such as ‘Why do trolls bother?, What do they get out of this?. What motivates them?’, to try and understand the mentality of those causing such distress. Distress like that felt by the families of those ‘trolling’ R.I.P pages on Facebook. The pain caused to families suffering from the loss of loved ones seems to be irrelevant to those posting. Unfortunately no satisfactory answers are given. There seem to be many motivations - because its ‘funny’, to get attention, because it’s easy to do behind a computer screen in the safety of anonymity. Cyber bullying brings threat into areas of someone’s life where they felt safe. Sitting in their bedroom at home is no longer safe but suddenly an invaded space. Whoever coined the age old phrase, ‘Sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never hurt you’ couldn’t have got it more wrong.
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