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Sean Duffy  (Source: telegraph.co.uk)
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 gadgetdetective.com. "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 YashBudini on 9/14/2011 6:06:40 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Just because somebody hurts your feelings doesn't mean they did anything wrong.


Fair enough, but what's right about this?

quote:
Duffy targeted the bereaved relatives of the deceased,
which were people he did not know


It's premature to send him to jail but clearly he's got major issues. He's a powder keg that has the potential for very serious escalation of his anti-social behavior. A psych exam is in order. I'm willing to bet he's been a freak all his life, and 'Net anonymity just lit the fuse.

As for civil court, one you need money to buy decent representation, assuming there's some kind of precedent. Second, if this is what he does unprovoked, what will he do if he is provoked? Hence the psych exam.


RE: Who gets to decide what is offensive?
By lolmuly on 9/14/2011 9:28:14 PM , Rating: 1
perhaps a psychiatric exam would be appropriate. However if he really has as many issues as you are inferring from the story then I am sure that a parent, a teacher, a neighbor, a counselor, a boss, a co-worker, or anyone else that knows him personally would have already pursued this.

Somebody across the internet with hurt feelings is in no position to make this kind of call. Should we order up a state paid, court ordered, psych evaluation for every troll on the internet now? The guy's probably just an asshole

Don't feed the trolls.


By YashBudini on 9/14/2011 10:25:02 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I am sure that a parent, a teacher, a neighbor, a counselor, a boss, a co-worker, or anyone else that knows him personally would have already pursued this.

I don't know where you live but bullying in the US often occurs unabated, both in person and cyber.

quote:
The guy's probably just an a$$hole

He's past that point.

quote:
Somebody across the internet with hurt feelings is in no position to make this kind of call.

Which is why the authorities are informed and then they handle it accordingly, which they didn't.

quote:
Don't feed the trolls.

I don't think you see what he's doing in the correct light, he's kicking people when they are down. An emotional response is guaranteed, and a bad one at that, which is why you don't see him having the guts to do this in person.


"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis

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