Under the banner of a new defamation law (preventing people from making nasty or harmful comments about another person without any evidence to support it), the Government are getting ready to fight the war against internet bullies. At the moment people can make threatening or hurtful comments using the anonymity of the internet without really fearing the consequences of any legal problems. The reason for this is that it is very costly and can take a long time to get information from websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Therefore these so called “trolls,” are able to make comments without any fear. This has led to a new form of internet bullying, one which is hard to control as the bullies cannot be identified. Under these new powers social networking sites will be more involved in controlling users who behave badly and the courts will be used as a last resort. The entire process will be cheaper and quicker. The hope is this will reduce the harm caused by internet bullies but also mean that people will be more aware of their actions online and ensure that their online behaviour matches the way they would speak to people on the street.
We asked a Sirius Academy student their opinion on the news:
Bradley Graves (Year 10): “I think it’s a good thing because it will prevent people from being bullied – people won’t commit the actions if they know they will be held responsible.”