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back to article Dead baby taunting troll feels wrath of law

Do not piss off the moderator – or a jail sentence could await you. In fact, do not generally piss people off on the net, or the same may apply, as unemployed Colm Coss of Ardwick, Manchester is likely very soon to be finding out. Mr Coss is a troll, with the particularly unpleasant habit of seeking out online tribute sites – …

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likely to cause gross offence to those to whom it relates

I'm grossly offended that you have not commented on the potential for abusing this legislation and so demand that you be prosecuted.

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FAIL

Loser...

Unemployed, acting like a six-year-old and proud of his accomplishments. His photo should grace the Wikipedia page for "Loser".

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And

Under "troll" too ...

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Troll

Well...

"His downfall came about only after he distributed photos of himself to residents on his street, saying he was an internet "troll". His neighbours rang police."

I think I spot his second mistake. His first, of course, was all the obscene trolling...

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WTF?

exactly what I was thinking....

His downfall came about only after he distributed photos of himself to residents on his street, saying he was an internet "troll".

1st: Why would you do this? was it a bet/dare

2nd: why did the neighbours think this was alarming enough for the police? - men in white coats maybe.

I suspect this troll could actually be devoid of grey matter...making him a proper troll afterall.

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Troll

Re: Neighbours

"why did the neighbours think this was alarming enough for the police? - men in white coats maybe."

They probably thought troll meant paedo.

Got to think of the freakin children!

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Perhaps not...

..perhaps his other mistake was failing to learn about and use Mixmaster encrypted remailer systems. Then the dotty judge would be left to grind his teeth in the night.

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i stopped reading b3ta

Not because be its not funny, but because there seemed to be a user or two who constantly made fun of the McGan family whose daughter was taken in portugal a few years ago.

Being a little offensive is one thing but really hurtful and mean is just not very nice.

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The difference...

...there is that the b3ta users are joking between themselves, not trying to send offensive comments TO the McGanns. I'm fairly sure the b3ta users in question wouldn't stretch to that.

By the way, author: I think you mean 'slash genre' not 'slashdot genre' - slashdot.org might have a thing or two to say about that :)

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Go

I still read b3ta...

...and I will agree to being offended at times. The question is, does the poster mean to cause offence or am I simply taking offence? Hell, I get offended by the cover of 'Private Eye' at times. Some of the most offensive posts are also the most thought provoking and the posts are not usually targeted *AT* the person or event, but at the media's reaction to said person or event.

Also, as Ian Ferguson says, none of this is being punted directly TO the McCanns (although I am bemused by the fact that you can't even be bothered to get their name right).

B3ta is also a very mixed community with its own rules and these rules are (surprisingly) rigidly enforced by the community. Just post a link to the main board, I dares yah. The most caustic exchanges are usually between the people who know each other best and are not to actually offend the recipient. If a third party chooses to take offence, that is entirely the problem of the third party,

Now, if you will excuse me, it's squirrels this week and I'd like to get my yiff on.

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Grenade

I must agree with Ian

and also point out that b3ta members know exactly what kind of site it is and therefore wouldn't be surprised about the content they find. I must assume that Jeremy was a lurker rather than a member. Jeremy also seems to be so concerned about poor Maddy that he can't even remember that her name is actually McCann.

On a wider note, regardless of what an unpleasant individual this guy is, it should not be an offence to offend somebody. After all, it's purely subjective as to what is offensive. I find Simon Cowell grossly offensive. Can I get him arrested?

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Unhappy

Thin end of the wedge

The problem here is that in five years time, when the government is feeling the need to crack down on all the offensive "free speech" that's bringing down the tone of their internets, they might find this legislation rather handy. At that time, the distinction between Mr. Coss's actions and those of your average b3ta member might be somewhat lost on the 80 year old judge who's about to set precedent.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC I must agree with Ian

When did it become acceptable to poke fun and laugh at people who have lost someone they loved? I write as the father of a profoundly disabled daughter whose own life often hangs by the slimmest thread. She will die young and when she dies, even though her mother and I have prepared ourselves for it a dozen times or more, our devastation will be total.

Any of you fancy exercising this right you believe you have to take the piss out me and a child who only ever wanted to live a long and normal life?

Sometimes the freedom to do something that is grossly offensive to someone is a freedom too far. The law is nothing in this; common humanity and an acceptance that there are times when it is best to shut the f*ck up should be all the "law" we need.

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Stop

@ac2

Nobody is taking the piss out of you, nor are they defending this vile moron, but you can't use an emotional situation as a substitute for legal argument.

It makes for bad law.

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FAIL

Clearly a troll fail...

As he didn't obey rules 1 and 2.

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I think running around telling everyone it was you

falls more under the 7 Proxies Protocol

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Anonymous Coward

Commentards

Some of the worst trolls and commentards are on the Guido Fawkes political blog at www.order-order.com . Some of the people there could do with locking up or failing that, Sectioned. Well over 75% of the comments are the full on foaming-at-the-month hate filled vitriol type.

If The Moderatrix thinks the comments posted here are bad, I'd would think she's quit after an hour if she had moderate those comments.

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Anonymous Coward

everything in moderation

I think you'll find that moderation on a site such as order-order, would create more problems as by moderating them, he would be effectively agreeing with them. IANAL, but I think I read that on outlaw.com

I agree that comments there make the comments here look like vicar's tea party banter, occasionally, though, there's a real gem.

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In danger of abuse or not...

...S127 is a good thing for society in general. Trolling is bad. Abusing legislation is bad. The legislation itself is not a bad thing.

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Legislation

Poorly worded or ambiguous legislation can invite abuse. Whence the local council using terror laws to spy on your wheely bin.

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Trolling is bad?

Ooo, that nearly made it past me irony filter.

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Joke

"...the late UK Big Brother star, Jade Goody."

Ah, I guess that's the new description since everyone realised the significance of section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

She always used to be: "that fat ug........

<Battering ram>

<Door off hinges>

+++

NO CARRIER

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Do feed the troll(s)...

then get them nicked and removed - result!!

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Anonymous Coward

Whether the law is good or bad

This piece of shit needs locking up.

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Big Brother

Maybe

But however much someone needs locking up, a bad law is *never* *ever* the right way to go about it.

Better to have the Internet become totally unusable due to trolls (and figure out its own way to recover), than to have laws like this on the statute books.

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Go

Trolls can be dealt with

They can be punched you know!

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There's a talk I'd like to see

"Method for jodan-tsuki over TCP"

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Happy

[Trolls] can be punched you know!

I believe the traditional method of dealing with trolls is to refer them to your big brother for a good head-butting.

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Dead Vulture

@Trolls can be dealt with

Sure, that's why they are so much more common on line than in meat space, eh? I mean, people behaving like the Westboro Baptist Church members, for example, are few and far between out of the net, I think. (by the wayt, how er... interesting... would it be if one day they mistakenly picketed the funeral of some Russian mafia guy...)

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Trolls ...

For much the same reason, you never here of animal rights activists demonstrating at a bikers rally.

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Anonymous Coward

Internet shminternet

I felt a great disturbance in the t'interwebs, as if millions of trolls suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

Posting an opinion about something or someone on the net is one thing, going out of your way to target family and friends of the deceased clearly demonstrates a flaw in this individuals perception of the effects of his actions. I bet he wouldn't dream of saying anything face to face.

i.e. It's the internet, it doesnt matter, the people aren't real.

WRONG!!!!

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The required title is here, and contains letters and/0r d1g1t5

"I bet he wouldn't dream of saying anything face to face."

From reading what he did, (and knowing people with similar mental faculties) say that he probably would.

In fact if he carries on that way, he may not be that safe in prison!

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That's not trolling.

That's being an asshole.

There is a major difference.

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Not a troll.

Nothing like a troll. Trolling is an art, this guy is merely an asshole.

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Troll

Rubbish

Trolling is a science.

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Anonymous Coward

The internet is pernicious.

Ordinary people become someone else. The problem is lack of meaningful feedback.

Some people are made without in social inhibitors, it's not their fault, but it was unnecessary before the advent of the internet, because you got direct feedback of your behaviour.

With the fire and forget nature of the internet, you just don't get that feedback, and like stress, or mental illness, the gone too far nature is detectable by all the people around, but not the person themselves.

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Irony

...especially when you post as "Anonymous Coward"

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If that's irony

Your name's Alanis.

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DT
Grenade

Whilst I disagree with what you say, I'll defend etc...

Most people quoting Voltaire's "defence to the death" remark about free speech don't seem to have the balls to follow it up when it comes to this guy, Abu Hamsa, or various Dutch politicians...

Truly free speech doesn't exist in this country, and whilst laws on liable/slander, threats to life and racial hatred are one thing, "offensiveness" is very much in the eye of the beholder. There's a definite thin end of the wedge; look how criticism of religion was effectively outlawed as "blasphemy" until relatively recently. It's a technique of silencing detractors; the weaponised taking of offence....it doesn't even need to be genuinely felt, all one needs to do is claim that their opponent has grievously hurt their feelings!!!

It's as disingenuous as the cop shows where on an empty street (with only the police in earshot), those they encounter are threatened with public order offences for using bad language. I'm of the opinion that if no public complaint has been made, no offence has been committed; if the police are too sensitive to cope with hearing bad language; they should seek other employment.

This is a major step backwards; especially in a country without a defined constitution....first they came for the internet trolls... "so what?" you might ask, yet comedians like Rowan Atkinson seem more acutely aware of the direction this trend has the potential to take us in.

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Anonymous Coward

This person had nothing to say

There is no free speech argument here.

Being vulgar to cause distress with no opinion or analysis is not supportable under this argument.

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You miss the point

I fully agree with the sentiments of "I disagree with what you say..." however with the Right of Freedom of Expression comes the Responsibility to use it sensibly.

Posting messages (as this idiot did) with the *deliberate intent* to cause others distress goes way beyond the limits of responsible comment, consider the difference between my saying "I don't agree with what you're saying" and "Hey, everyone, let's go around to DT's house and give him a good kicking for saying this!"

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repercussions

He did have the right to say what he wanted - after all, he did - he wasn't stopped from writing it by a filter or firewall etc.

But, he also had the responsibility to accept the repercussions of saying what he wanted, and this is what this is about.

A great deal of what's wrong with this country is the attitude of "I can do what I want" without expecting any consequences.

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FAIL

@DT

I hereby invoke the Niemöller corollary to Godwin's law.

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Free speech rights don't cover psychosis

Free speech rights are needed because we are not a perfect society, because without free speech those with power and influence have no accountability. But free speech rights don't extend in our imperfect society to shouting 'Fire!' in a crowded theatre, or certain kinds of incitement to hatred or to psychotic behaviour like this.

Someone who frequented a cemetery to hurl abuse at those mourning their departed loved ones would probably be sectioned under mental health legislation. So maybe this response to him would be more appropriate than using the criminal law to curb his online equivalent behaviour, which seems equally psychotic, disturbed and unacceptably hurtful to those in grief.

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Pretty Sure

Quirkes exception would apply here.

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@RichardB

Eh? I'm pretty certain that's pronounced "Quirk's Objection":

http://catb.org/esr/jargon/html/Q/Quirk-objection.html

But I think you really mean Formosa's Law:

http://catb.org/esr/jargon/html/F/Formosas-Law.html

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Troll

Interesting you should mention "good kicking"

3 drunken stockbroker-scum who gave a chap a "good kicking" on a train for asking them to quieten down - a sustained, vicious, thorough good kicking, all caught on CCTV, including their celebrations afterwards - just got 4 months each, SUSPENDED - i.e. walked free and laughed their stripey braces off.

Let's see how much this 'tard gets for hurting someone's FEELINGS.

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Lessons to be Learned

There's a lesson, there. Don't go around insulting people on the internet "anonymously" because it'll come back and bite you on the *rse. You bastards.

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Welcome to China.

That effectively illegalises most online jokes, forums, and a substantial chunk of blog posts and social networking traffic. Because most things are offensive to someone.

Consider how often the BBC publishes an apology for something that 4 viewers complained about, but the other 9 million didn't.

From now on, be warned. You can only be nice online.

And as for ebooks. Well fiction may have a degree of protection when it is printed on paper, but online it could come under an entirely different set of laws.

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