Letter from Wales: Police commissioners to discuss “twitter beats” for cops to tackle trolls

by Julian Ruck

If one was enjoying a pint in a pub or a casual stroll in a park and all of a sudden a motley bunch of cruel antagonists were to pounce with verbal abuse and barrages of weakling insult and threat, the police would jump pretty sharpish.

Not so it seems, at least where the much lowered tone and corruption of Berners-Lee intent is concerned. These pornographers of free speech can provoke suicides, breakdowns, destruction of reputations at will and all with a uniquely derisive impunity.

Democracy in action? It is time is it not, for a fresh look at these new 21st Century multi-headed monsters?

In recent times the media has been beside itself with the rampant pillaging of civilised behaviour by those who seek to make sexism, raw intimidation and vicious personal attack, veritable art forms.

All is not lost however. Readers will remember that only a few weeks ago I interviewed Dyfed Powys Police Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon. Following my interview, his office advise me that the Commissioner is going to discuss a new initiative with other PCC’s in an attempt to consider the potential for an online police presence tasked with patrolling internet trolling activity. Could these “twitter-beats” be the 21st century panda car equivalent of days gone by? One can only hope (or maybe not, to those of us who are old enough to remember them!), but it is at least a start.

On a personal note, my own address is now totally anonymous where the electoral roll is concerned. A Dyfed Powys police superintendent had to sign a five year anonymity authority following threats and relentless daily abuse and smear.

Be in no doubt that these new internet warriors will have their work cut out. Expecting Twitter and Facebook to moderate each and every comment would be comparable to trying to fertilise a fictional TV hanging garden of Babylon, but a high visibility online police patrol would certainly deter, particularly on Friday and Saturday nights when trolls are at fever pitch. Such an approach has worked to pacify the weekend carnivals of boozed up revelry in our towns and cities, why not the internet?

It would also dissuade any opportunistic trolling and compel the police to take action against persistent offenders. Of course, as with all demands on police time, one has to be realistic. The police simply do not have the manpower to patrol every public space, be it cyber or otherwise, but the busiest and most troublesome online areas and locations could be policed. Indeed they should be policed full stop, if online terror trolls are to be brought to book.

The above is not an attack on freedom of speech, neither is it a Leveson-like witch hunt. It is however an attempt to invoke laws which are already on the statute books and make them more effective eg hate crime, harassment etc. More importantly it is about what we as citizens of a United Kingdom are prepared to tolerate.

Should we condone the bullying of innocent youngsters into suicide? Should we rubber stamp profoundly vicious attempts to turn decent democratic principles on their heads? And lastly, why should we allow these low-life, poisoned parasites get away with it?

Julian Ruck is an author, columnist and Freedom of Information campaigner. He also makes contributions to both Welsh and national broadcasting and media

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7 Responses to “Letter from Wales: Police commissioners to discuss “twitter beats” for cops to tackle trolls”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Somehow Julian Ruck articles get even more ridiculous and hilarious every week yet they are still published.

    Nick Cohen wrote a far better piece on the same subject for the Spectator last month. http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9064781/pcs-gone-mad/

  2. Tafia says:

    facebook are a foreign company and the internet is unpolice-able. Even my cat has a facebook account with a hotmail e-mail address.

    The simple-minded still use internet explorer, the more savvy now use Chrome or Firefox, with adblock, DoNotTrack and go via an IP mask known as Tor.

    Likewise you should have more than one e-mail account, with different ISPs, and use different accounts for different things so that they are sanitized.

    Then the really savvy have a jail-broken tablet that only has a hotmail address and with which they only use in public wifi hotspots and which they never even have turned on at home so that it doesn’t cross contaminate – in short it remains purely anonymous.

    Even Pirate Bay is still going load and proud on every ISP in the UK oin spite of what the government, the EU and the USA say. Just type ‘Pirate Bay mirror’ into google and you’ll find scores of entry points. uTorrent will lift anything you want off it and despite all the protestations and attempts by the authorities all over the western world, there is more up & downloading going on through there than ever before.

  3. julian ruck says:

    To Tafia,

    Your comment explains your own multiple identities, and distinct lack of courage where your convictions are concerned, thus your total lack of credibility.

    You are a Troll, nothing more, nothing less.

    Julian Ruck

  4. “In recent times the media has been beside itself with the rampant pillaging of civilised behaviour by those who seek to make sexism, raw intimidation and vicious personal attack, veritable art forms.”

    Sexism – as distinct from essays such as these?



  5. Tafia says:

    I don’t have multiple identities on here. Just me, from my home PC.

    I have plenty of courage and have the medals to prove it.

  6. Freeperson says:

    Couldn’t disagree more.

    Anti -free speech garbage that uses dubious moral blackmail that leads to people being jailed for holding views that ‘the Blob’ of anti-intellectual, brain dead, freedom hating apprachiks don’t like.

    Disgusting, totalatarian nonesense. Orwell would weep at this claptrap.

    Let’s jail people for making jokes, holding non-correctviews and being ‘offensive’. Causing offence shouldn’t be a crime unless the country is run by buffoons looking to sleep walk into a Big Brother society.

    The Police should spend their time on say, arresting men and women who chop of the clitorises of young girls…?rahter than sitting on the internet looking for offence.

  7. peem birrell says:

    Almost bang on freeperson, except I’d quite like the cops to catch burglars & stuff like that too.
    At first I thought this article was a joke. No such luck.

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