An email came straight to my inbox from the sunny hills of California. Something like “go back where you came from”, “kill yourself” and some other unpleasant feelings.
How do I know it’s from California? Oh, because the sender’s signature had a business address, name, and even a contact number.
When people want to send you hate, they don’t care about anonymity. I even tried to video call some of my trolls on Instagram and yes, they answer. They are not afraid to show their names, faces, or in some cases, their workplaces. Do not forget Math teacher harassing football player Marcus Rashford and he did so from a Twitter account with his name and work.
Shocked by the prospect of facing their subject, some trolls refused my calls, while others brazenly answered. And when they saw on the internet that I was a real person and not just a name, I hung up without saying anything.
After the tragic death of the deputy Sir David Amesrenewed calls targeting internet trolls and vigilantes by banning anonymous accounts.
Interior Minister Priti Patel said banning anonymous persons social media It can be a step towards preventing radicalization. This is after Ali Harbi Ali, The 25-year-old accused of killing Amess He was said to have been radicalized by materials found on the internet during quarantine.
Diane Abbott, who has got more online abuse Journalist Marianna Spring, who researched the latest Panorama documentary, more than any other female MP, supported calls to end people hiding behind anonymous usernames. sharp increase in online abuse, She testified to a committee of lawmakers this week to inform the drafting of the new Online Safety Act, specifically against women.
Actually, Research from TwitterConducted following racist harassment of young Black players for England during Euro shows that 99% of accounts sending hate are identifiable.
Passing laws that would allow people to use their real names won’t make the problem of online abuse go away – it could even create more problems
Open Rights Group, a UK-based digital campaign organization working to protect our rights to online privacy and freedom of speech, says anonymity is a necessity for some.
“Baning online anonymity, introducing a Twitter passport is a dangerous and practical idea,” executive director Jim Killock told HuffPost UK.
“Anonymous accounts are rarely anonymous, police have the power to identify people who act illegally online. Are lawmakers really suggesting that only people who register with a passport or driver’s license can use Facebook or Twitter? This has been discussed before and the idea was pretty simply dropped as it wouldn’t work.”
Killock adds that maintaining anonymity online puts many people at risk, including LGBTQ individuals, survivors of domestic violence, and campaigners who need to talk about difficult issues or experiences. “People facing discrimination need anonymity to protect their identity. “LGBTQ people, victims of harassment and bullying, trade unionists use anonymity to separate different parts of life,” she says.
So what needs to be done? “The important thing is that those who break the law should be investigated and prosecuted,” Killock says. We can do this with the current forces at our disposal,” he said.
Paul Bernal, professor of IT law at the University of East Anglia, agrees that anonymity is more likely to put the vulnerable at risk than to rein in criminals.
He believes we’re looking at the matter from the wrong perspective – because too often trolls don’t even see themselves as trolls.
“I don’t think banning anonymity will have a noticeable effect on trolls posting abuse, but it could actually make things worse for particularly vulnerable people,” HuffPost tells the UK.
“The evidence shows that trolls can actually get worse when they have to use their real names. It’s also worth remembering that many (perhaps most) trolls don’t think they’re trolls, but that they are the ‘good guys’ and their victims are trolls. They’re not ashamed of what they say – proud of it. they hear – so getting them to use real names won’t ‘shut up’ them.
Prof Bernal adds: “Too many people are advocating [for] real names only think from their point of view: *if they used their real names, they wouldn’t be so angry, so aggressive etc. Trolls don’t see it that way. We need to think a little more from their point of view to understand why real names won’t help.”
What do you think will work? “Better and more responsible media,” he says. “Replacing the ‘recommendation engines’ used by Facebook, Twitter, Google and others will make a lot of difference, because people won’t have as much ‘pushed’ content that makes them more extreme and more angry.
“But most importantly, we have to stop thinking that there might be a ‘magic wand’ to solve this. The problem is a societal problem: when we have a society with so much anger and hate, we will have a social media full of anger and hate.”