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Sean Duffy  (Source:
Sean Duffy, of Reading, Berkshire, pleaded guilty to two charges associated with trolling social networking sites for a dead teenage girl

A UK man has been jailed for 18 weeks after trolling pages set up on social networks for girls who have died. 

Sean Duffy, of Reading, Berkshire, 
posted negative comments on social networking site pages in remembrance of girls who have died, such as Worcester teenager Natasha MacBryde who killed herself by throwing her body under a train due to bullying reports the BBC. 

Duffy targeted the bereaved relatives of the deceased, which were people he did not know. Duffy would send hurtful emails or post provocative posts on sites like Facebook and YouTube in hopes of prompting emotionally loaded responses. 

In MacBryde's case, he called her a "slut" in one of his posts. He also posted a video on YouTube called "Tasha the Tank Engine," which depicted the children's character Thomas the Tank Engine with MacBryde's face on it. 

Duffy pleaded guilty on two counts of sending a communication of an offensive or indecent nature. The charges were related to the Facebook and YouTube posts about MacBryde. Duffy has been jailed for 18 weeks. 

The case places a spotlight on cyberbullying and trolling, which have become increasingly problematic in recent years as social networks and other electronic communication mediums become more widely used. 

"People feel 
protected by anonymity and the true nature of people comes to the fore," said Fevzi Turkalp, a technology expert from "Someone will go onto an Apple website and say something derogatory about Apple, knowing full well people on there will be fans of Apple, in order to provoke a response."

"Misuse of Internet sites can destroy teachers' confidence and professional reputation and provide yet another vehicle for false allegations against staff," added Chris Keates, General Security of the NASUWT teacher's union. "New cases of abuse, harassment and humiliation are emerging all the time."

Duffy never knew MacBryde or her family.

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RE: Who gets to decide what is offensive?
By gmyx on 9/14/2011 3:06:47 PM , Rating: 2
Really? I suspect what he had to say was way over the line. Are you suggesting is was OK for him to say hurtful, untrue things about deceased persons?

Imaging you are grieving your best friend and someone pops into the funeral home to laugh and belittle him? It's the same thing but on the Internet.

By Sazabi19 on 9/14/2011 3:23:35 PM , Rating: 2
Have you never seen on the news these idiots that come to a soldiers funeral with the "Thank God for dead soldiers" posters and other BS like that? They don't get arrested, but no one likes them. I am sure they would make good candidates for a firing squad, but legally they are expressing their freedom of speech. I would personally like to beat the living snot out of all of them, but that would be illegal, as would imprisoning them, which is why it isn't done here. These people are public enemies and have deep issues, nothing a few mobs wouldn't take care of I bet :)

RE: Who gets to decide what is offensive?
By FITCamaro on 9/14/2011 3:25:11 PM , Rating: 2
It is not ok. But it is also not illegal.

RE: Who gets to decide what is offensive?
By Bad-Karma on 9/14/2011 5:07:42 PM , Rating: 2
While it shouldn't be illegal, this guy is further proof that the human gene pool needs a little chlorine from time-to-time.

By YashBudini on 9/14/2011 6:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'll bet dolphins would never do something like this.

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone
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