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Legal action to be taken against Facebook trolls

50 comments

Jane Osmond
WVoN co-editor

As the regular Facebook ‘call out’ editor on Women’s Views on News, I am beginning to think I should set up a monthly column.

This time, Facebook has refused to provide details of abusers to a woman who has been savagely abused by online Facebook trolls.

Nicola Brookes decided to show support for someone else – Frankie Cocozza, a contestant on the TV programme the X-Factor – by posting a positive message on his facebook page to counteract the online bullying comments he was receiving, the Telegraph reported this week.

Ms Brookes then found herself subjected to a barrage of abusive posts which included death threats, the setting up of a fake profile which portrayed her as a paedophile, and her home address published online.

As with others who have found themselves in this situation, Ms Brookes reported this stalking behaviour to the police and Facebook, neither of whom took any action.

Infuriated, Ms Brookes has now taken legal action against Facebook to obtain information that would identify the abusers so she can bring a case against them.

Rupinder Bains, a partner at Bains Cohen, the legal firm bringing the action on a pro bono basis, said it appeared police were less willing to investigate harassment when it was online and did not involve public figures.

For instance, the proposed action to be taken against Twitter abusers in the case of British MP Louise Mensch, or against those who outed the rape survivor’s name in the Ched Evans case.

Ms Bains, who recently made representation to the House of Lords for the 2012 National Stalking Day, pointed to a survey carried out by her firm into cyberstalking.

This found that 53% of the 16-40 year olds surveyed had received abusive messages online but only 14% had reported the issue to the police, with almost 80% feeling that the police ‘would not take their matter seriously’.

To address the usual ‘freedom of speech arguments’ that are routinely served up by various commentators in reaction to pesky people such as Ms Brookes’ can we please agree that the same freedom of speech rules apply both offline and online?

For example, if these abusers stood in the middle of a town centre and started shouting that Ms Brookes was a paedophile and that she should die, they would be arrested immediately for inciting hatred against someone, would they not?

So why is online abuse any different?

Given that social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter attract a population density that matches or outstrips physical countries (Facebook reported 901 million users at end of March 2012, three times the size of the US, with Twitter boasting 140 million active users) we need to recognise that posts on these communication mediums can reach several million more people than ‘the street corner shouter’.

By this reckoning then, online abuse is much more damaging, but at the moment is seen as much less important by the police.

As I have stated before, the developers of online social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter cannot continue to bury their heads in the sand and pretend that their creations are some kind of abstract concept immune to the laws of the land.

We need a social media protocol that allows freedom of expression that not only adheres to the law, but also respects people’s rights to be free from online abuse. And we need it fast.

As it stands, Facebook has issued the following statement, reported on the BBC website:

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people that use our service.

“Unlike other websites and forums Facebook has a real name culture, which provides greater accountability and a safer and more trusted environment.

“We are clear that there is no place for bullying or harassment on Facebook and we respond aggressively to reports of potential abuse.”

This is another example of the boys who run Facebook issuing a self-serving statement that bears no relation to the actual experience of people who suffer online abuse on its platform.

And, of course, there is always the subjective stance taken by the Facebook boys, who, for example, do not see rape jokes as abusive and indeed encourage this kind of joke to be clearly marked as  ‘humour’.

Meanwhile, a lot of interested parties will be watching Ms Brookes’ case, and she deserves all credit for her bravery.

Nicola Brookes wins legal challenge: latest news here.

  1. vicki wharton says:

    Yes, it’s about time that the virtual world started being bound by the same rules as the real world – hopefully so that they finally realise that there actually is only one world – and no such thing as virtual abuse and virtual bullying – it is all real and should be subject to the rules of the real world. Publishing abuse is libel – and should be prosecuted as such. Half the problem is that we live in a secular world where most people have no real buy in to the concept of right and wrong – it’s just against the law – with a legal system that is mainly based on Christianity and the concept of good and bad behaviour. Think we are in the mother of all fuck ups!

  2. Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe says:

    This woman is an absolute lunatic. She’s so scarred by the “abuse” that on several occassions (after no one had even mentioned her) she returned to my page (allegedly one of the abusers) and started posting psychotic crap all over my wall. I would love this matter to go to court because one will be turning up in my finest hand woven tweeds with my evidence of her inciting pretty much as the “hatred” against her. *snort*

    • Samit Shah says:

      Cuthbert your such a liar you do go around trolling people and you know you do bring your evidence and we shall bring our’s and see who shall win.

  3. Liam Burrows says:

    These sentences:

    “Unlike other websites and forums Facebook has a real name culture, which provides greater accountability and a safer and more trusted environment.

    “We are clear that there is no place for bullying or harassment on Facebook and we respond aggressively to reports of potential abuse.”

    – are untrue. This suggests that this sentence:

    “Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the people that use our service.”

    – is also untrue.

    Facebook does not have a culture of using real names (verification of ID via email address and mobile number is hardly verification at all) and Facebook does very little to deal with bullying, and in fact provides a safe harbour for trolls hiding behind fake ID so that they can carry on bullying people and posting abuse to memorial pages practically unchallenged.

    Ms. Brookes deserves protection from the bullies and the trolls, and if Facebook is unwilling to provide that protection, then of course she has every right to attempt to gain legal redress. I wish her every bit of luck with it.

    I would encourage the moderator of this page to delete the comment by Mr. Smythe above. Cuthbeert Bollingsworth-Smythe is a fake ID used on Facebook by trolls to attack others. Evidence of the activity of this faked individual can be found on the Troll.B.Gone Facebook page.

  4. Neutral Michelle says:

    It’s a terrible thing what initially happened to Brookes, and even more horrific were her tactics in trying to combat the problem. On top of which, she banded with true Trolls In Disguise. Just because I don’t agree with how one exonerates themselves certainly doesn’t make me, in particular, a troll. Seems those who disagreed were treated as such. Innocent until proven guilty, not let’s point the finger and blame in a paranoid state of frenzy. Cyber bullying is a problem, I agree. However, a bit of banter is having fun in exercising your freedom of speech. Mr. Burrows should get his facts straight before throwing around his assumptions. And Ms. Brookes should bone up on her researching skills and learn how to not feed the trolls.

    • Liam Burrows says:

      Neutral Michelle said ‘a bit of banter is having fun in exercising your freedom of speech.’

      The problem with this statement is how one defines ‘banter’. You see, I think banter is what happens between people where the power balance between them is even, and where both parties are happy to be involved in the social transaction. Banter is what groups of friends get involved in.

      But if you look at what ‘Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe’ was doing to Ms. Brookes and to many, many others, you will see that the power balance was not even because Cuthbert and the worst of his troll chums were posting from a position of absolute anonymity. In addition they were also involving people who had no desire to be involved in their childish antics and would often ask for the ‘banter’ to stop. This would be people like Ms. Brookes – and we all know what happened next when she asked them to desist. Again, I would ask anyone who is interested to visit the Troll.B.Gone page to look at what the ‘banter’ being discussed here actually looks like. It isn’t pretty.

      To my mind, what has been going on is not banter. What it is, is bullying. Often disgustingly sexist in nature, sometimes homophobic, sometimes racist, and on occasion just nasty. The individual behind ‘Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe’ is a bully. It’s as simple as that. He directed a number of really nasty comments at Ms. Brookes, and with his troll mates embarked on a campaign of bullying and attack which culminated in the events being discussed in this story. It’s as simple as that.

      According to Neutral Michelle, Ms. Brookes should ‘learn how to not feed the trolls.’ In the same way, I imagine people who are mugged should learn not to leave the house, and people who get bullied should learn to hide better. Ridiculous. The solution is not that the victims should learn not to put themselves in situations where they can be victimised. The solution is that the bullies must be stopped.

      As for freedom of speech – I’m all for it. But on Facebook I would prefer people to be properly identifiable, and available to be held responsible for their free speech.

    • vicki wharton says:

      The trouble with on line bullies and the anonymous hatred they spew is their chronic lack of self awareness and humanity. They lay about people with the verbal equivalent of a baseball bat, and then sit there critisising the victim’s attempts to defend themselves. These people printed lies about Ms Brookes, made up fraudulent Facebook pages in her name that labelled her as a paedophile, used violently sexist and ageist descriptions of her … and then you lecture her on how she should view people as innocent until proven guilty. I think if someone is set upon by a sexist mob of Facebook bullies, she is entitled to defend herself any way she sees fit. And one of the first rules of the playground is, if you don’t want to get hit, don’t throw the first punch. Ignoring bullies, as we found with Hitler, doesn’t work, as they have no boundaries and will just keep going until someone stands up to them and stops them from their relentless need to take over the world, or in this case the internet. And banter is only fun if both people are laughing – what you are talking about in the case of Ms Brookes is verbal intimidation and libel in an effort to remove her freedom of speech which she exercised initially with no expletives, no verbal threats or personal insults. And by the way banter is, by its dictionary definition, an exercise in good humoured raillery – not the outpourings of a hate filled personality.

  5. Jane Osmond says:

    ‘However, a bit of banter is having fun in exercising your freedom of speech.’ No Michelle – being threatened with rape and death is not a ‘bit of banter’ and is not freedom of speech.

    And Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe: the woman is not an ‘absolute lunatic’ – she is a women who has been bullied and threatened.

    Sadly for you both you will find that Women’s Views on News does not feed the trolls – we are also happy to register IP addresses if this will help Ms Brookes’ case.

  6. Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe says:

    Be my guest, there are two sides to every story. Nicola’s side and the truth. I look forward to her pro bono team paying my court costs. I take it she showed you a screen shot of when she posted a picture from psycho on my wall? Also, who on earth threatened to rape her????

  7. Michelle says:

    Please do, I have nothing at all to hide. I have never personally witnessed such “banter”, but I HAVE witnessed Troll B Gone’s abusive nature and how they are famous for capping content out of context. Troll B Gone would be the last reference stop I make on your credibility train.
    “Sadly for you both” as if I would be happy in your taking pleasure in feeding the trolls? Surely, that statement alone shows how biased you truly are, Jane Osmond.
    If I was mugged, I certainly would want to be sure who my attacker was before condemning them. I wouldn’t go about the streets pointing the finger at every man claiming they were my attackers. That might make alot of people mad.
    If one is living in fear, they collect the evidence they need and then take the proper avenues, which seems to me to have been Brookes’ last resort.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Go to any of the pro rape pages on Facebook – there’s plenty of ‘banter’ there, or after any female columnist that writes about equality … or actually after virtually any female that comments unfavourably on gender violence. The fact that you aren’t aware of this … or more to the point, probably don’t register abusive terminology as abuse shows your equally one sided view of the topic. After all, you don’t have to look very far for people that deny The Holocaust either.

    • Liam Burrows says:

      You are not sounding especially Neutral, Michelle.

      It is very hard to quote the comments I have seen out of context. In fact, I would say it is impossible. When someone is, without provocation expressing the hope that someone ‘die of AIDS’, or when someone is accused of being a paedophile on the basis of a fake page created (presumably) by the accuser, or when someone makes an unprovoked comment about a person’s weight, or an unprovoked comment about someone’s sexuality, or suggests that someone ‘touches girls’, or without provocation attacks someone because of their size, or posts hideous comments on a memorial page which might be viewed by grieving friends and relatives it is quite clear what is going on. The context is quite plain. Certain people, ‘Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe’ included, use Facebook to entertain themselves by attacking other people, without provocation and in a quite abhorrent and disgusting manner.

      Even as I write, another page has been set up on Facebook by the same group of bullies who were previously involved in this despicable behaviour, and with the same specific intent of continuing to bully Ms. Brookes and another woman through gender orientated attacks and sexism. It isn’t funny and it needs to be stopped. Your attempts to defend this behaviour by describing the evidence of it as being ‘out of context’ really does you no favours at all. These trolls are vicious women-hating animals.

      As for ‘taking the proper avenues’, all I can suggest is that this has very likely been a learning experience for Ms. Brookes. Facebook encourages people to post using their real names and is set up to encourage openness and connectivity. This is the whole point of it. But Facebook lies. The ‘real names’ policy is a sham. Their claim to protect their users with a reporting system is simply untrue. We know, for fact, that the reporting processes provided by Facebook simply do not work. I have seen countless examples of serious and extended bullying reported over and over again with absolutely zero effect. Ms. Brookes had the sad misfortune of running into a group of idiots who were just waiting for the chance to attack an innocent bystander.

      On the whole, Facebook is not especially unsafe. But if you have the misfortune of running into a gang of trolls, it can become a nightmare very, very quickly. Unless you have gone out of your way to research the privacy settings and locked your profile up, trolls can access your photographs, your friends lists, a list of your likes and dislikes, and often your personal details such as telephone numbers and email addresses. Once they have you in their sights they don’t stop and Facebook will do very little to help you. The bullying can be unrelenting and go on for months. And the UK Police are utterly powerless and will do nothing. So as I have said, I would not be at all surprised to hear that Ms. Brookes attempted to confront her attackers. If I were in her shoes, I would probably have done the same. Taking ‘the proper avenues’ is useless, I can assure you. If it worked, Ms. Brookes would not be in the position she is in now, having to raise the profile of this problem in a very public way and unintentionally provoking even more abuse from the likes of ‘Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe’.

      • vicki wharton says:

        Is the British police really so powerless – these are death threats and hate speech which are against the law surely? I think the problem is police seem to dismiss violence, threats and intimidation until a dead body turns up, then they ring their hands in horror, say sorry, we got through a very expensive public review, a lengthy report filled with earnest advice is published and then everyone goes back to what they were doing before, having learnt a few extra buzz words to cover their backs with. I think if the police were serious about crime prevention rather than mopping up the bodies, they would do well to prosecute a large number of these internet cowards and give them a taste of their own medicine by locking them into a life made hateful by other people that they cannot control – prison. There is nothing Ms Brookes can do but fight Cuthbert and his gang and defending herself is not provocative behaviour, it is her human right, but not a right that Michelle and Cuthbert recognise.

        • Jane O says:

          Thank you Vicki – your point is well made as usual 🙂

          • vicki wharton says:

            Thanks to you too – its like pushing water up a hill with Facebook, particularly when you read the total hypocrisy of their public facing press statements.

  8. Liam Burrows says:

    Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe

    ‘I take it she showed you a screen shot of when she posted a picture from psycho on my wall?’

    If you hadn’t deactivated your Facebook page to make it more difficult for the lawyers to gather evidence against you, we’d be able to see for ourselves, wouldn’t we?

    • vicki wharton says:

      LOL! Reality always catches these psychotic personalities doesn’t it?!! Their lack of empathy catches them out as they can’t step into other’s shoes long enough to check out how much of their behaviour is visible to others, leaving a trail of clues as to their real intentions, rather than the propoganda they put up about themselves. False name, false speech, false personality – you really are a totally made up creature aren’t you Cuthbert Bollocks and Twaddle?

  9. K Boss says:

    After reading all these stories and even worse ones, I’m asking why all of you just don’t delete your Facebook accounts! I am 61 but look like I’m in my 40s–and got lots of messages from illiterate trolls describing acts they wanted to do to me. Young enough to be my children. If someone I know wants to talk to me they can phone or email. Facebook is a time sink. Delete it and you will find yourself free of these idiots, bullies, and trolling creeps once and for all. Feels great!

    • Jane O says:

      K Boss: yes this is an option but that means that people are giving into bullying surely? In my view the bullying needs to stop so people can communicate with each other without fear of being targeted.

    • vicki wharton says:

      Unfortunately, in deleting a Facebook account, you don’t actually delete the trolls. They exist in real life and their wretched writing is evidence of a twisted and spiteful mind set which they carry about them in real life, interacting in the real world in exactly the same way as they do on the net. They are abusive bullies as capable of lying, slandering and making up false accusations about anyone they don’t like the look of or who stands for values they despise be they women, children, homosexuals, immigrants, anti nuclear protesters or any other part of the population they fancy ruining the life of. Standing up to bullies and standing up for equal basic human rights for all is something we must all do or lose this country to the bigotry that they embrace.

  10. Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe says:

    The most frustrated thing is screen caps can be faked can’t they? Makes them worthless in court. Sadly, Brookes can’t delete the utter crap she posted on my wall with my account deactivated. Must point out, she’s only after the person who “cloned” her. Not the people who she abused…. Such a shame it wasn’t actually me.

    See you when x factor starts again. Chin up Nicola.

  11. Liam Burrows says:

    According to Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe…

    ‘The most frustrated thing is screen caps can be faked can’t they? Makes them worthless in court.’

    How wrong can a troll be? Yes, of course screen dumps can be faked. But the underlying detail cannot because it is all saved on Facebook’s servers. It works like this:

    Lawyers say: “Cuthbert encouraged one of his troll comrades to post Ms. Brookes home address on his page, and taunted Ms. Brookes about it.”

    Cuthbert says: “Faked screen dump. Not evidence”

    Lawyers say: “Here is the date and the time the comment was posted. We would like Facebook to release evidence.”

    The Court says: “Facebook must provide details to corroborate.”

    Facebook says: “Here is a transcript of what was said, and when, and by whom, including underlying identity information.”

    At this point whether or not the screen dumps have been faked becomes apparent. I am very confident they have not been. The point I am making is that the evidence is not in the screen dumps. All the screen dumps do is record the existence of the real evidence. The real evidence is on Facebook’s servers.

    Your best hope, Cuthbert, is that Facebook refuse to release the information. But I can’t see why they would want to protect you. Why would Facebook want to protect someone who preys on other Facebook users?

    • Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe says:

      Oh really? Her address was obtained from a public information site and posted by someone else. Despicable behaviour isn’t it. Can you imagine if someone else had done that, maybe about Lee or Julie? No one sent anything to her house, no one even cares. Chick out Nicola’s msn trolling, she practically gives her address out on one post there. Also, just to clarify, IT IS THE PERSON WHO CLONED HER SHE WANTS TO TAKE TO COURT!!!! As that was not actually me you might have a not of a problem getting me there. I do have at least 50 fans willing to come along anyway, bit of a shame really because I’d love to meet up with Jamie, Katie, Erin, Kev, Stelly etc they all seem really nice. More fun than turning up with Samit and Karin anyway. Haw Haw Haw!

      • vicki wharton says:

        Inciting other people to break the law is an offense in itself. And using offensive language in a public place … old laws, but still viable laws … as those two ‘lads’ found out on Facebook when they tried to use Facebook to start a riot in their local area and were convicted.

  12. Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe says:

    I don’t think you understand the irony Vicki. Liam Borrows is Troll B Gone. He posted a picture of the street where one of my friends lives because he thinks its me. He even named the street & posted a map how to get there. My page is a humour page, not a hate page. When people started being racist I hid the page. People I’ve argued with have become my friends. Have a look on Troll B Gone’s wall and tell me he’s not a weirdo.

    • Liam Burrows says:

      “People I’ve argued with have become my friends.”

      Many more have reported you to Facebook and to the Police.

      You sound scared, Cuthbert. You should be saving your arguments for court, really.

  13. Annie Samilov says:

    Cuthbert’s page was misogynistic, racist, homophobic and abusive to non-trolls who happened upon it. Ms. Brookes was one of many individuals abused and harassed by the group of trolls on that page. I witnessed/screen capped a gay Welsh man beg Cuthbert to remove his stolen photos and leave him alone. Cuthbert’s response was a resounding NO. The fact that Cuthbert had RIP trolls such as Jamie Card/Levett and Iona Page/Yardley on his page supporting him tells you a bit about what sort of troll Cuthbert is! Ms. Brookes was taunted, abused and harassed. She defended herself. As anyone else would do confronted with such a malicious venomous lot as the Cuthbert clan are.

    • Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe says:

      Just a few points to address:
      – I probably befriended more women than men as Cuthbert. The gimmick is that of a snooty upper class lord who looks down on everyone. Making clearly tongue in cheek sexual references to women hardly makes me from the 1970s.
      – the only people who find me ‘racist’ are you, Troll B Gone and Samit. In Samit’s case because you told him I was nasty to him because of his ethnicity. Incorrect. I was nasty to him because he was annoying me.
      – My best ‘facebook’ friend who I have never met is a homosexual. I have real life gay friends who like my page and no one has ever complained about my conduct. I value their opinion more than yours.
      – The ‘gay welsh man’ decided to post abuse on my wall because we differed in opinion over a Britain’s got talent act. He annoyed me and being as he had his photographs open and no clear copyright/ownership notice. I posted two pictures. One was removed the instant he said it was his deceased boyfriend. The other jokingly made out that he was drinking urine instead or a pint of cider or whatever it was. That was also removed a day later. At no point did he “plead” to have to picture removed.
      – I have never seen Jamie or Iona RIP troll. If they do that kind of thing it’s really up to them. I don’t do it and I don’t like it.
      – Ms Brookes relentlessly blamed me for the cloning of her profile and a picture of her face painted green. I did neither. Months after the whole thing had died down (in reality the “abuse” of Brookes probably lasted a day and a half) she came on my page having a go at me again and cried when people starting taking the mickey out of her again. At one point my page was deactivated, she harassed my brother, Humphrey, and demanded I come and answer her questions etc. I returned, she threw a hissy fit and trolled my wall again.

      I wouldn’t believe a word Samilov says, she’s impersonating a woman who was actually genuinely ‘trolled’. She likes to create fake profiles. And expose herself on webcam. Classy.

  14. Liam Burrows says:

    This is my last comment on this subject.

    I just want to point out that almost everything Cuthbert says above is (at the least) somewhat shy of the truth. His sexual references to women (the ones I have witnessed) have been disgusting and really obnoxious and have not appeared even slightly tongue in cheek. The extent of his racism is, I think, something best judged by his victims. Certainly I witnessed some racist comments which I found to be bordering on actionable. Cuthbert’s abuse of the gay man mentioned above was certainly unwarranted and vicious. He certainly did not post abuse to Cuthbert’s wall until after he had been horribly attacked because of his sexuality by Cuthbert, and he was clearly very upset and distressed at what Cuthbert said about him and to him. And despite his claims to the contrary, Cuthbert was very much one of the individuals leading the abuse of Ms. Brookes. Whether or not he created the image of Ms. Brookes he describes above is open to debate. But he certainly posted it to his page on more than one occasion specifically to harass Ms. Brookes.

    You are a liar, Cuthbert. A liar and a bully and a coward. I sincerely hope at some point you are made to take responsibility for your actions.

    • Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe says:

      As per usual I see you are backing away when you can no longer back up your evidence. You can’t find one offensive sexual reference to quote. Your idea of racism is nationalistic banter, such as what I was having with some Scottish people on a buy and sell page. If I am guilty, how come you are relentlessly following them for calling me an “English t**t”? He wasn’t attacked at all, let alone for his sexuality. I would love to paste a link to the start of that however “Jeff” appears to have deleted it. Free speech – if you post on a public forum you should expect people to agree AND disagree with you. If you don’t want to hear opinions other than your own, don’t post on there. I really couldn’t care less if he is gay or not, just the same as I don’t care if Samit is Asian or not. They both have the facilities provided by facebook to report me if they so desire, if I have breached facebook rules then they will remove the post or ban me.

      I don’t know how many times I have to say this – I DIDN’T CREATE THE FAKE BROOKES PROFILE, NOR DID I FIND THE CONTENT POSTED FUNNY!

      Ms Brookes was starting on literally hundreds of people. Yes, I made comments, mainly regarding her age, attitude and unarousingness. I hardly think calling her “an old trout” is going to land me in court is it? If you want to give me the opportunity to post on your wall, I can show you a screen cap of when the Green picture of Ms Brookes was posted on my wall and who it was posted by. Not that you will. That would prove you wrong again, wouldn’t it?

      I look forward to not hearing from you again.

      See you in imaginary court.

      CBS

      PS Thank you for the mod of this forum for allowing my side of this debate to be posted. It certainly makes a change.

      • Samit Shah says:

        What Troll B and Annie have said is true Cuthbert is a such a liar and a bully. If it’s not true then how comes he is editing people photos and changing to others and posting it to his wall as I write this.

        It is time Cuthbert and the other trolls got what they deserve what comming to them.

  15. 8ball says:

    Actually, this WHOLE thing has been dragged on and elaborated beyond belief! Cuthbert did not clone Mrs. Brookes, but she was told this by the same page admins that is posting here. The only mistake Mrs. Brookes done was get involved with a certain page that condones attacking and conversing with these people. I seen them attack a woman whom they called a RIP troll and a pedophile. I am in constant contact with this woman, and I can assure you, she is none of this matter. So either get your facts straight or keep you tongue in your mouth!! It’s Appalling! This is a constant war, that reporters and the like don’t know nothing about. This is just something the average person just can not comprehend:0( I did not know any of this went on until this woman showed me. I thought it can’t be real:( But it surely is.

  16. Annie Samilov says:

    8ball is a Canadian troll who also goes by the name Tonya Moores. Tonya is a pathological liar and attention seeker as are ALL trolls. Tonya was involved heavily in the abuse and harassment of Ms. Brookes. She threatened Ms. Brookes constantly saying she needed to leave Facebook as SHE was causing her own abuse by being online! Tonya is on the friends list of some of the sickest trolls on Facebook and does nothing but help the sick people who instigate the abuse and abuse the victims of trolling. If anyone should leave Facebook it is this very disturbed attention seeking troll 8ball who has no morals whatsoever. Troll B Gone is one of the few anti troll pages which does not cater to this sick troll Tonya is 100% honest and decent.

  17. Albert Fawson says:

    Just three days ago I was a loud vocal advocate against government agencies having any involvement in the internet. However, just yesterday, after becoming the targeted victim of Internet Harassment from a Facebook user nonetheless, I have done a complete 180 in my view. I hope Nicola Brookes sweeps Facebook’s floor and gets what she is entitled to. The anonymity and protection of abusers must end. The specific harassment I received was from a user in Facebook’s cyber space who didn’t agree with my political views. He/She decided to take screen shots of my arguments and send them to the CEO of the company I work for. Luckily everyone in my company is completely reasonable and didn’t take the email or the screen shots seriously, nevertheless it’s extremely embarrassing to have my strongly held political views thrown around the office. In order to keep things from escalating my work has kept me from any information about the user. However, if I ever do figure out who made the complaint I will definitely have my lawyer contact them.

    • I think more and more people are going to feel like you Albert – this trolling is becoming mainstream and people are shocked and horrified at the vitriol that they are targeted with.

  18. Annie Samilov says:

    My experience with trolls is that none of them feel any remorse for the evil they perpetuate. Trolls found pics of my disabled child and photo shopped them with porn and then posted her on porn sites. She is age 4 in the pics. I informed Lee’s gang of troll groupies what was done to my child and they thought it was hilarious. None of these people have a shred of decency.

  19. Latest news:
    Nicola Brookes wins legal challenge – Facebook will now hand over the details of her online abusers – deactivated accounts no protection.

    http://www.womensviewsonnews.org/2012/06/nicola-brookes-wins-legal-challenge-against-facebook/

  20. Dave McCullough. says:

    Of course the police aren’t interested – and if they were, I’d want to know why. With terrorists, rapists and murderers stalking the land, and our police force losing officers and services like never before because of government cut-backs, the last thing they need to be doing is wasting what little resources they have investigating trite, arbitrary accusations of cyber-crime (!) made by obsessive, over-sensitive, mini-Mary Whitehouses holding moronic grudges over texts on a screen.

    • janeO says:

      Dave – I don’t think you quite understand how intimidating women find online abuse – being threatened with rape and death and having your address published online is inciting hatred against someone. I am sure that you would not wish a female (or male) family member/friend of yours to be subjected to this.

      • Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe says:

        Jane, what do you think about the Troll B Gone page posting the address of Lee on their page? Probably hoping that people would go round or send pizzas? Is that ok because he is male?

        • I can’t comment on this particular example, but I think that anyone who posts someone’s address online is compromising that person’s safety and so it is to be avoided at all costs, whether the person is male or female.

    • vicki wharton says:

      The police are becoming more interested Dave – as trolling has turned from the slightly offensive to harrassment and intimidation of various groups of people defined mainly by their gender, sexual orientation, race or religion. It’s not cyber crime – it’s crime – slander, intimidation, threats to murder and rape posted on line – no different from sending poison pen letters. People don’t need to be patronised by your condescending label of obsessive, over sensitive mini Mary Whitehouses and it is hardly moronic to find being subjected to hate filled abuse and incitement to harm them objectionable and scary. If you think the police are too busy to deal with criminal activity then maybe you should tell the trolls to back off and learn how to behave decently to others before venturing into a public space like the internet.

  21. Cuthbert Bollingsworth-Smythe says:

    I wish she’d make up her mind whether this is criminal or civil. At civil court all she could possibly hope for is money…. Why would she want money? I thought her new found fame would be enough… Either way, I have my reasons (not excuses or defences before you ask) for any thing Ms Brookes would like to bring up that I may have said.

  22. Well I’m sitting back marveling at all this mayhem and complete childish stupidty amoung a bunch of adults. Not one of you trolls or antis will ever have your day in court because none of this has anything to do with acts of felony. My name is Jason and I’m a reformed hacker poseing this whole time as a troll and I’m the only person replying on this blog that knows the direct ramifacations of improper activity on the internet. I played what I thought was a harmless prank on a website for a us state building, hacking the website and reposting photoshoped state officals in comical scenes. The federal bureau of investigation in the US and thier department for Internet Crimes paid my home a vist 3 days after posting, removing all computer related material from the home leaving some family members quite frustrated with me. One year of probation (and several impact classes that I was forced to take), gave me a great understanding of the legal system pertaining to what law enforcement classifies as “REAL” internet crimes. Everyone involved right now would be considered by this department to be nothing more than (and I’m using an exact term from the mouth of an agent) as
    “GLORY HOUNDS”

  23. LaughingatYou says:

    Welcome to Government control of your internet. You will be required to log in using your drivers license or other government issued bar code (that you must purchase). Your ability to surf anonymously will be gone. Your internet experience will be controlled by advertisers paying top dollar. You will not have access to information that outs the wrongs of your government.

    The “Trolling” and “Cyberbullying” issues will be the demise of you freedom to information.

    • kingtrollinc says:

      You have made the most logical statement yet on this blog. Hackers are rubbing thier hands in glee to the lack of being anonymous. Surfing anonymously hurts a hackers bussiness. The more you are required to login or use the internet with personal info, The easier it is for a hacker to prosper.

  24. robert jablonski says:

    IM glad i live in a country that has free speech, unlike England.

  25. Annie Samilov says:

    Free speech has its limitations even in the USA. You would not be allowed to shout racist abuse in the streets. As this case takes place in the UK our laws are what is pertinent not yours Kingtrollinc.

    I look forward to the day when surfing the net is no longer anonymous and trolling is extinguished.

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