UnNews:FaceBook comments arrest terrifies trolls

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9 October 2012

Only Venn I laugh: Woods' comments were said to fall in the dreaded orange area, known as the comedy black hole.

LANCASHIRE, England -- The jailing of Matthew Woods for making nasty comments on FaceBook about a murdered child has sent shockwaves through the world of internet trolls who do basically nothing but make nasty comments.

In the UK, under the Communications Act of 2003, internet users can be charged with "sending by means of a public electronic communications network a message or other matter that is grossly offensive."

The grossly offensive JasperJesusJuice, a troll who has used YouTube for 5 years and has clocked up over 6,000 unnecessarily agressive and insulting comments trembled over his keyboard as he posted in a forum: "YOU ARE SO RETARDED. WHY DON'T YOU GET A SPELL CHECKER BEFORE YOU START POSTING STUFF ON HERE. I HOPE YOU DIE OF CANCER YOU DOUCHEBAG. Oh man, I can't believe this! Does anyone know how to wipe clean everything you have ever done on the internet?"

Woods himself was arrested for adapting some jokes he found on Sickipedia, a website specialising specifically in making horrible gags (and imagine! A website that attempts to legitimise its humour by basing its format on Wikipedia!). Social commentators pointed out that this problematises the case, because it is not clear to what extent the state is prepared to chase through cyberspace prosecuting keyboard warriors.

Barrister (or wait, is it solicitor?) Graham Lehman QC said, "There are two issues here. First, we have to bear in mind trolls come in different forms. Some are vile little bastards, but others are the vile little bastards that we all carry inside of us. We can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. The second is, when can we prosecute someone for making a horrible comment? At the moment, legal precedent suggests that you can say what you like on Sickipedia but not on Facebook. And if a vigilante mob of 50 people go around your house wanting to smash your skull in, this will also be a factor police take into account."

Vigilante ringleader Sophie Watson said: "When I heard about April's murder, I thought, 'There's nothing worse than killing a child.' Then, when someone told me that this man had drunkenly posted things about her, I thought, 'There's nothing worse than a drunk 20 year old who makes comments about killing a child.' That's when I decided, 'There's nothing better than a gang who physically threatens a 20 year old who made drunken comments about killing a child.' I see us as a form of the police, but with a copy of The Sun instead of any lawbooks."

FaceBook comments arrest terrifies trolls was an article written for the Noob only writing competition 2012!
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