An initiative, stemming from the Charlotte Dawson troll issues, is being made to have Twitter (and other social networking companies) agree to work in cooperation with Australian police, to have people held accountable for their online remarks and abuse.
Whilst this is certainly a start and unquestionably an excellent idea, I would like to take a moment to point out that even if the social networking sites start cooperating with police and handing over information, what happens if the abuse is coming from another country? Not only would we need agreements with the social networking sites, but also agreements with each and every country to ensure that justice is served?
Furthermore, who decides what is a suitable punishment? We don’t have the same standard of consequence for issues such as drug trafficking, so, is it going to be “good enough” or satisfying for the aggrieved to hear that the person who sent the abuse has been dealt with in a less harsh way than they would have been if they had lived in the same country.
My version of justice can very well be different to someone else’s version of justice.
Do you charge the person who made the first remark or everyone else that joined in also?
The social networking sites can delete an account but how far can they go to stop that person from starting up at another address with a new handle?
Verifying account holders has also been called for by lobbying parties. Although, asking for identification would go against everything that we have been trained to not do. Would you load your licence details onto the internet? How do children join in the fun? Provide a birth certificate? I wouldn’t be comfortable with that!
This is certainly a topic for conversation and by all accounts there needs to be changes made – constant changes that keep up with the technology – but rather than ONLY looking at the social networking sites for long term solutions, we need to also look closer to home for strategies that we can implement today.
Eyes Open Social Media run parent, child and school programs to teach you strategies that you can implement to help reduce the risk of you becoming a troll target.