Amongst the chaos of the bad press, the public outcry and the political debates sparked by the need for better social media moderation, one woman has taken matters into her own hands.
Known as the 'Troll Hunter', this defiant and determined woman dedicates six hours of her time every evening to trawling the internet for trolls in an attempt to at least make a dent in the many incidents of cyber-bullying and tirades of nasty taunts.
The Troll Hunter’s real name is Kaitlin Jackson, a concerned mother who felt the need to take action when the Government and social networking sites failed to take responsibility.
Here at Crisp we take our hats off to Kaitlin – but the fact that parents are now so worried that they feel the need to step in is saddening. When did social media become so antisocial?
Kaitlin told the Daily Mail that she has battled for five years to get better social media moderation. Night after night she sifts through websites to fight the corner of the victims and eradicate trolling by going straight to the source.
Her troll-tackling tactics include; bombarding trolls with messages asking them to explain and justify their actions, sharing their comments with other users and tracking them down to expose their identity. Perhaps not the most professional way to go about things (pretty much giving them a taste of their own medicine) but seeing as this isn’t her profession and she does it voluntarily out of care and concern I think it’s probably ok to let that slide.
Now that the problem has become so large that members of the public are forced to take a stand and fight a battle that is not their own, I hope that the people with the power to change things will realise it’s time to take drastic action. The legal system usually frowns upon people taking matters into their own hands – with victims of burglaries prosecuted for defending their homes from intruders. ‘Let the authorities deal with it’ is what they say… but in this case it is because the authorities AREN'T dealing with it that we have this unstructured wave of have-a-go-heroes, going in all guns blazing to fight a battle that they have no hope of winning singlehandedly.
Antisocial behaviour is against the law in the 'real' world, so perhaps Online Antisocial Behaviour Orders (OASBOs?) will be introduced once it is realised that the online world becomes increasingly real with every teenage suicide.
Clear laws need to be laid out, definitively telling people what is acceptable online behaviour and what is illegal and punishable conduct - only then can trolls be brought under control and many young people spared the unnecessary heartache that in some cases makes their lives utterly unbearable.
So, well done, a tip of the cap and a pat on the back to the ‘Troll Hunter’ – hopefully when the right people decide to take action her evenings will once again be free to do with as she chooses.
The full 'Troll Hunter' tale can be found here.