Being trolled online has become somewhat of a norm. People consider creating fake accounts abusing someone’s identity as a casual indulgence, which is indeed a very dangerous attitude. Specifically, with the boom of social networks, the trend has gained traction. In what may turn out to be the first case of its kind, a woman who has been trolled on Facebook now aims to bring these trolls to the realm of legal action.
Nicola Brookes became the target of Facebook trolls when she commented on the Facebook page of Frankie Cocozza. Cocozza is a teenage singer in the X Factor show. While Cocozza was ridiculed and jested at, at the page, Brookes went on to post, “Keep your chin up, Frankie, they’ll move onto someone else soon.”
And that was enough to fuel online trolls. First, the comment attracted the scorn of the trolls who started abusing and and threatening Brookes. This turned even more serious later when they set up a fake account with her name and tried to portray her as a paedophile. In her own words, “Facebook users began deliberately targeting me, writing under my comment that I was a paedophile and hoping that I would die.”
Naturally, this was somewhat of a hell for her as she says, “They started getting very personal, looking at my Facebook account, and talking about my appearance, my age and my illness. I hadn’t invited any of it, but they ganged together and started inciting a sort of public hatred of me.”
She eventually decided to report this to the police but that didn’t yield much. Eventually, Brookes decided it was time to take it more seriously. She has now brought on board lawyers who will be filing a High Court action against Facebook so that the social network would reveal the identity of these trolls and then legal action can be taken against those who have been involved.
The official stance of the police is, “We have looked at the material sent to us by Ms Brookes and we have made every effort to the trace the person responsible for creating the false profile of her on Facebook but this is notoriously difficult to prove. As Facebook is an international website, millions of people from all over the world use it. We need to gather evidence to prove who the person is for a successful prosecution to take place.”
Facebook, too, for now, seems to stick to its stance that it already tries hard to take care of the trolls and is very strict about guarding user’s privacy. Thus, for now, the matter hangs in the court of law.
Source/Image Courtesy: Telegraph