back to article Cameron demands Brits BOYCOTT angry-troll-infested websites

Prime Minister David Cameron has told Brits to "boycott" websites that allow trolls and bullies to publish reams of nasty abuse and threats with wild abandon. His comments came after the father of 14-year-old Hannah Smith claimed his daughter, who had been bullied on Lativan-based ask.fm, had killed herself to escape the …

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  1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Coat

    Just Say No...

    and stop using Twatter & FacePalm and such sites. There is a life outside them you know.

    Ok, I'm gone( out for a walk, I might be sometime)

    1. Don Jefe
      Meh

      Re: Just Say No...

      Going outside really isn't safe. You could be kidnapped, raped, photographed, killed, catch cancer from second hand smoke, killed by a terrorist or speeding motorist, irradiated by WiFi or be decapitated by a wind turbine. Best to stay indoors and take your vitamins.

      I say it in jest, but far too many people are scared of absolutely everything and it is bad for society and the offspring of those that live in fear. It is the mindset that allows government to walk all over the people.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just Say No...

        but the life outside is far easier to organise if you use facebook and twitter.

      2. Pete the not so great
        Thumb Up

        Re: Just Say No...

        but, but , (as the saying goes) most accidents happen at home

    2. Psyx
      Pint

      Re: Just Say No...

      I read his comments as 'Stop reading the Daily Mail site'. Because - let's face it - if you want hatred, bigotry, loathing and discrimination, then there's no better place to start.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The populous will seek out freedom wherever it can

    Trying to nanny the state rather than educate means they'll not know what to do when they find [some of] it

    Also, 'trolling' is not online bullying, that's bullying whatever the medium

    'Trolling' is all abou

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All abou? What's the matter too stupid to finish a sentence? trololol!

      Trolling is about getting a reaction from somebody, like saying Dane Cooks sucks on a Dane cook video. Or going to an xbox fansite and telling them why the PS4 is superior to the XBotch en every way. Both of which are true statements by the way but they're put in a location in order to get a reaction out of people.

      So far as the bullying thing is concerned, I do feel for the parents, and for the young girl but, cameron said it himself.

      "The 'off' button is a great regulator,"

      Nobody forces you to use twitter or facebook, if bullying starts, you can just close your account and walk away. It isn't like bullying irl where they can follow you around and taunt / bully you. I do however agree 100% that there should be better and more effective ways of reporting trolls and internet bullies.

      I also kind of wish there were a better way of regulating the age of users. There are rules of "you must be 13 to sign up" or "you must be 18 to visit this website" however it's easy to tick a box and click "yes I'm 18" I mean what are they going to do, ask for ID?

      Maybe instead of a crusade to ban porn (like that'll work) or boycott social media (like that'll work) maybe cameron should spearhead something that makes sense, like an online proof of age system. You need ID for everything else, why not that? When kids hit 13 at school, have them fill out a form and send it off for processing, much like the national proof of age card thing. They then get posted an ID card with a QR code, and a manual number they can type in.

      Then rather than "tick I am 13 or over" they can scan the code, or type in the number which would confirm a few basic details on the account are true.

      Will it work? It'll work better than the idea of blocking everythinig for everyone.

      Will it be expensive? Probably cheaper than the current proof of age card system, heck they could link the two and charge a few quid to get one of the cards

      Will it lower costs elsewhere? Well, you need ID to sign up for a site, so it'd have a record of who you are... So yeah it would cut costs. Rather than a length process of find IP, trace, blah blah blah, Find ID of user. Oh that's billy from manchester. BAM!

      And yes there are a heck of a lot of flaws and 'i don't like it's' in this post. Even I can see them, but it's still a better idea than blocking everything and telling people what not to watch.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "you can just close your account and walk away"

        Not when you're a younger teenager and the entire social life of all your friends is arranged and conducted on a particular social media site. It's not as if there are many youth clubs and you can't go to the pubs and clubs yet. You'd totally isolate yourself from all your peers which appears at least as bad to many. This is exactly why it's such a powerful tool for bullying. That and the fact that it's always there, on your phone or laptop at home. The "just walk away from bullies" advice went out in the 80s as it doesn't work and often makes things worse.

        Then, even if you do stop using a site where you're being bullied, everyone at school still uses it and the bullies, or possibly even well intentioned friends, will tell you about what's being said about you on the Internet.

        1. Bluenose

          Why can't you walk away@

          If you are only connected to your friends and they are posting horrible things or bullying you then they are not friends and you need to walk away.

          If they are strangers then a)more fool you for letting them have access to your account, posts or page. But you can shut down the account and create a new one (to which you don't give access) and then let your friends know about your new account.

          Pretty straightforward if you ask me.

          As for sites like Ask.FM as everyone seems to work on an anonymous basis only it seems to me that cancelling and setting up a new account would be even easier.

        2. Jediben
          WTF?

          Jesus just make a new account then. You can have unlimited accounts - the beauty and the problem with the internet is that you can exist in more than one account, and not all of those accounts have to be truthful and honest.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            missed a spot

            I think you meant 'not all of those accounts should be truthful and honest'

            Of course, how to teach children personal responsibility while using a pseudonym is a rather tricky question.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Not when you're a younger teenager and the entire social life of all your friends is arranged and conducted on a particular social media site."

          Oh! Well then, your trapped and you can't escape!

          What a ridiculous statement of fiction! Of course you have choices, you choose not to accept the most logical course of action. If you advocate this whole fallacy of your entire life being online, that can ony be described as tragic! Ultimately YOU are to blame for any ill.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            @Obviously - just because your culture isn't the same as 14 year olds, doesn't mean that theirs is trajic or it's fictional that they have different problems to us.

            I'm making a wild stab in the dark here and going to suggest that it's quite a long time since you were 14 and that things have changed more than you can imagine since then. I'm not going to tell you to get with the times, but you should at least allow others to grow up using the tools around them. It was a BBC Mirco for me, once or twice I actually used a bulletin board on a friends machine, I can't imagine how I would have reacted to the Internet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        ''All abou? What's the matter too stupid to finish a sentence? trololol!''

        Too stupid to realise you just got trolled ?

        zaaactly

      3. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
        Trollface

        Trolling is about getting a reaction from somebody,

        Yes, all 50+ lines of a reaction...

      4. MJI Silver badge
        Happy

        They may agree

        "Or going to an xbox fansite and telling them why the PS4 is superior to the XBotch en every way."

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: They may agree

          Not too clear - quote from above, but I have heard of a lot of Xbox fans are not a fan of the XB1, and are considering the PS4,

          Hence that troll may fail!

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Coffee/keyboard

        very true.

        And to save money, they'd only have to print a handful of cards and just let the Internet take care of the rest.

        Boy, you're naive.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Very true, about the trolling, el'reg is rife with it but I don't think it often descends into bullying. Occasionally insulting and often volatile.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Your father was a hamster and your mother smelt of elderberries!

    3. Ted Treen
      Headmaster

      Hmmm

      Populous - adjective - having a large population; densely populated.

      Populace - noun - the people living in a particular country or area.

  3. CADmonkey
    FAIL

    "step up to the plate"?

    What a cock. Next he'll be 'doing fantastic'.

  4. Wize

    Getting too much grief on a website filled by anonymous idiots?

    Why not delete your account. They can't reach you anonymously. They have to do it in person.

    Perhaps children need better education in social media and how to deal with problems.

    1. Amorous Cowherder

      Sorry Dave but it's not always nice out there

      This is part of it, the internet is an adult playground and as such you need to have had that bit of life experience to know how to deal with fecking idiots just like you do in real life. Sadly your average kid up to about 15 doesn't have enough life experience to know to fully handle some situations, they get thrown to the wolves online and torn to pieces. Most of us can take it or leave it, it's not the be all end all. I've been in stupid online arguments and you either fight back with stupid comments or just say "Oh bollocks to you!" and walk away.

      It's pretty sickening when a bunch of scumbags think it's funny when a kid of 14 has taken their own life but some parts of the internet are not very nice. Much like life it's all about spotting the signs of when you're in a dodgy area and either moving through quickly without attracting attention or turning around and heading back out the way you came.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Sorry Dave but it's not always nice out there

        "Sadly your average kid up to about 15 doesn't have enough life experience to know to fully handle some situations, they get thrown to the wolves online and torn to pieces."

        Parental repsonsibility till 16! So why do the majority, it seems, of parents decide not to take responsibility when it comes to net access?

      2. Wize

        Re: Sorry Dave but it's not always nice out there

        "Sadly your average kid up to about 15 doesn't have enough life experience to know to fully handle some situations"

        You teach kids not to walk up dark alleyways in the scary part of town.

        You teach them not to talk to strangers.

        Why not teach them what to do if someone is, say, making unreasonable comments anonymously?

    2. breakfast
      Holmes

      The path to a fractured web

      I am increasingly confident that the days of a universal unified anonymous internet are numbered.

      It will always exist, no doubt, but increasingly a walled-garden de-anonymised overnet where most people will spend most of their time. Identities will be assured ( although doubtless there will be sneaky troll incursions ) and for most purposes this will be the internet that people use. I suspect becoming the starting point for this is already on Facebook's business plan.

      The anonymous part will become a sleazy subnet for trolls, criminals and libertarians, increasingly sidelined and ignored by most users ( except when they are searching for something a bit from the dark side ) but available to those who want it.

      Of course, this won't help teenagers because what is more appealing to a teenager than the idea of a sleazy subnet full of trolls, criminals and libertarians?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Perhaps children need better education in social media and how to deal with problems."

      Perhaps parents should teach children that life ISN'T ONLINE! More respect given to those without a social media presense.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Well I except the people doing it were probably her class mates and it was probably just an extension of classroom bullying.

        I remember a number of cases in Japan but most bullying situations are the same, everyone bullys the kid till they kill themselves and then everyone is like "oh nobody bullied them" or "I'm so surprised" or "I tried to help blah blah blah" and then the teachers are all "there was no bullying in school..."

        I don't really buy it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          expect even...

      2. Wize

        "Perhaps parents should teach children that life ISN'T ONLINE! More respect given to those without a social media presense."

        Isn't that akin to saying "In my day, music had proper lyrics."?

        Many things are moving towards social media. Breaking news on Twitter, job searching on LinkedIn.

  5. LinkOfHyrule

    Bit rich coming from a politician - they basically troll the heck out of each other in parliament day in day out (apart from all those days off they have of course!)

    1. wowfood

      I propose we cut taxes

      RABBLERABBLERABBLEWHATABOUTMYPHILIPINOHOUSEBOYRABBLERABBLERABBLE

    2. Ted Treen
      Devil

      Fairly true...

      ...but you're overlooking that fact that Cameron is an utter twat - as are virtually all of his workmates - on both sides of the House.

  6. Rono666
    FAIL

    Twat

    This comes from a tosser in Government who are bullying the sick, disabled, poor, unemployed and anyone who is not rich, double standards form a unelected twat

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Twat

      You don't elect the Prime Minister. You elect your local parliamentary representative.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Twat

        Technically you are of course correct.

        However, in the real world a lot of people vote for the local candidate that represents the party leader that they like the most.

        In that sense, the PM *is* elected.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Twat

          Which of course is why most people are completely disconnected from politics voting for red blue or orange depending on what leader you like the look of or which tribe you belong to instead of voting for the local person you believe has the most sensible policies in your opinion for your local area and world view. So many people just vote for someone that's been drop shipped into a safe seat instead of actually engaging and ensuring they are the right person to represent their community and interests.

          It's also why many politicians themselves are often so disconnected and non-representative of their local constituency. Of course it's a view that is perpetuated by both the media and parties themselves, but whatever.

  7. Just_this_guy

    Prime Minister makes a noise. Nothing happens. Claims credit.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    next

    the next sites to be added to the big brother porn filters

    1. Craigness
      Childcatcher

      Re: next

      Yep. Last week it was porn now it's "stop access to certain sites such as those involved in self harm or pornography."

      #missioncreep

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Childcatcher

        Re: next

        "Yep. Last week it was porn now it's "stop access to certain sites such as those involved in self harm or pornography.""

        Have you seen the list. It starts with adult and goes on and on. Stuff like.

        Terrorisrm

        Anorexia

        Esoteria (WTF is that category even about? Magic?)

        The old TOTC was (as usual) just a Trojan horse for the rest of this bo**cks*

        Actually reading between the line I suspect Clare Perry had someone look at her kids browsing habits and this is the list of site she doesn't want them to see.

  9. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Cameron you twat

    Firstly, it's not trolling - it's harassment

    Secondly, if it's already illegal, track down and arrest the perps, rather than expecting the carrier to do so. If someone sends an abusive letter, you don't expect the Royal Mail to open everyone's mail to check and make sure it's okay, you find the person who sent the letter and send the boys in blue round to have a little chat.

    In other words, stop trying to get other people to do the job of the police for you because you cut their funding, you revolting little weasel.

    1. Just_this_guy
      Facepalm

      Re: Cameron you twat

      I demand that El Reg do something about the heartless online bullying of the Prime Minister in the post above!

      1. Just_this_guy
        Happy

        Re: Cameron you twat

        On second thoughts, let it stand: Cameron might kill himself...

      2. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

        Re: Re: Cameron you twat

        "I demand that El Reg do something about the heartless online bullying of the Prime Minister in the post above!"

        You're right. I should "step up to the plate" - it is lunchtime after all, and I fancy a pie and a pint.

        C.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Cameron you twat

          Good question about the plate...where is this plate that Camaron wants people to go to?

          Can anybody get a free lunch there? More info please.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Cameron you twat

            I don't meant to burst your bubble or anything, but there is no such thing as a free lunch.

            Unless you are called Ford Prefect.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cameron you twat

      Completely - abuse, in any medium, is already an offence. However it's good to be "seen to do something" even though all that needed to be done was implementing existing laws as neatly summarised here.

      It's not just the cuts in police funding that's the problem, as far as I can see, the police force is becoming more of a political battlefield than doing what it's meant to do... and that's aside from the toll that the "war on terror" scaremongering is having on the police's time to do anything useful. Another problem is that from speaking to friends that are in the police force, they claim to spend more time filling paperwork and trying to hit targets than what they consider real work, and they're frustrated by it. When targets are set, they are human like the rest of us and will take the easy route to hitting their targets, e.g. soft / easy / cheap issues are dealt with to make up the numbers and the others are reclassified or otherwise brushed aside somehow.

  10. Lamont Cranston

    Don't like being bullied on the internet?

    Don't go on the internet.

    Thanks, Dave! Hold on - isn't this exactly the opposite of the message that Stella Creasy et al. have been trying to get across?

  11. The BigYin

    Do I understand this?

    So if you are being trolled - don't go there. That simple.

    If you are seeing porn - OMG! BAN THE INTERNETS! THINK OF THE CHILDREN! Rather than, y'know, block it yourself or simply don't look at it.

    Does this po-faced monkey-boy understand WTF he is talking about?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do I understand this?

      The problem is that the knuckleheads that mostly use these sites, can't resist logging on to see 'What other people are saying about me' in the hope that it is good. Sadly, most of it is bad stuff and they get unhappy about it.

      Instead of then saying to themselves, 'What a load of old cock' (to borrow a phrase from James May) and then stopping, they carry on and get more and more and more depressed etc.

      A lot of people are addicted to these sites and are very happy until someone slags them off.

      {There are people with a modicum of intelligence who use these sites quite happily, some may even frequent this place}

    2. Ted Treen
      Childcatcher

      Re: Do I understand this?

      @The BigYin

      Whilst you're "thinking of the chillun" and banning things, would it be presumptuous to ask if you could ban Cameron, too?

    3. Ted Treen
      Facepalm

      Re: Do I understand this? - P.S.

      @The BigYin (again)

      Q. "...Does this po-faced monkey-boy understand WTF he is talking about?.."

      A. No - and neither does anyone else.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do I understand this?

      "Does this po-faced monkey-boy understand WTF he is talking about?"

      No, but good ole blighty still vote for it! Doesn't inspire confidence in our "peers".

  12. 1Rafayal

    I am going to get flamed for this.

    I watched the interview on TV before going to work this morning. he kind of had a point, but also highlighted one of the problems parents face with letting their kids loose on the internets.

    For a lot of people who were born at the start of the 80's and who have kids now, there is simply a non understanding of how the Internet works, especially when it comes to social media. For a lot of us, we thought it was absolutely amazing to accept a friend request on FaceBook for someone you knew at school 20 years ago and havent seen or heard from since, for kids these days it is an essential part of life.

    We do need to be mindful about what our kids are doing on the Internet and sites like FaceBook need to do more to help kids use their services. It used to be for a lot of us that the playground bullying stopped as soon as home time came round, we could go home or where ever and just tune out all the bollocks that we went through for that day. However kids simply cannot get away from the playground bullies any more - its in their faces 24/4 on their phones, consoles and laptops. Cameron telling us that we should simply turn off the Internet for our kids or apply filters etc to limit the sites they access simply isnt enough, we need to be able to allow our kids to get away from all the bullying.

    Yes, I was bullied at school. No, I didnt like it and yes I loved being able to get away from the place and go home to get away from the petty minded arseholes who were dishing out the barbed comments.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Children, certainly those under 13, shouldn't be on Facebook. End of dicusssion.

      Also, trolling is one thing. That simple trying to wind folks up. e.g. "Mac users have more money than sense".

      Bullying is quite another.

      And this is where simply talking to your kids can help.

      I was bullied as well, I think just about everyone was. People are dickheads sometimes - what you going to do?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > Yes, I was bullied at school.

      Me too. Until I punched him in the face. First and last time in my life I've ever punched anyone, I still remember the noise his head made as it hit the wall behind him, and the look of surprise on his face. I was never bullied again, by him or his mates.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That worked for you - great.

        It doesn't always work like that; someone in my school a couple years below stood up to a bully, and ended up getting beaten unconscious before going to hospital for a few weeks.

        There was no police involvement and I don't know how the school managed to hush it up - waiving all fees until he left the school, I suspect.

        (yes, it was a private school, and has occasionally topped the league tables in the past decade - strange world)

        1. Don Jefe

          That really sucks the bully beat the boy into the hospital. That's just cowardly. However, is rather my kid get the shit beat out of him than cower in fear from a bully. You can get new teeth and scars are no big deal, you can't replace pride or the shame you feel in your heart from not standing up for yourself.

          1. LazyLazyman
            Thumb Down

            Don't be so ridiculous. Teeth are not "replaced". Having dentures or caps for the rest of your life is not fun, and if someone ends up in hospital for several weeks there is a good chance they could have brain damager or even have died from a beating that bad.

            I don't see how anyone could take pride in punching someone. Getting someone in authority involved is standing up for yourself. You know, like an adult should, or do you go around ready to punch people at work or in the street? Lashing out is just a perpetuation of violence. If you are taking pride in that you are part of the problem and if punching someone stops the problem you were not being bullied, you were momentarily picked on. Treating kids to "stand up for themselves" through aggression and violence is what the bullies grow up learning.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              > if punching someone stops the problem you were not being bullied, you were momentarily picked on.

              No, I had spent many months having sports gear and coats stuffed into used toilets, my bike vandalized, and similar incidents. I wasn't the only sufferer. It had been reported, both to my parents and to the school, but it was only when one of those responsible taunted me about it that I flipped. I wouldn't say I was proud of it, I've never done anything like it since, but it worked. Sometimes the only way thugs can learn is when their victim hits back in their own language.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "you can't replace pride or the shame you feel in your heart from not standing up for yourself."

            Hmmm, i've been the one locked up when "standing up for yourself" so your comment seems very narrow minded!

          3. Corinne

            Then again your kid gets the new teeth, bears the scars (and maybe worse) for the rest of his/her life, and still cowers in fear because they remember what happened the last time they tried standing up to a bully.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > I don't know how the school managed to hush it up

          Never mind how, why? When I was in 3rd form (mid-70's) some of the 6th-formers decided to liven up end of term by leaving the head boy, trouserless, well out of town. He was a rugby player, fought back, and ended up in hospital with a broken leg when they all piled on him.

          Not bullying, per-se, but for that display of excessive "fun" the culprits were expelled, refused permission to take their A-levels in the school (they had to go to the local tech for that) and the headmaster wrote to their selected universities to withdraw his letters of recommendation. Rumour at the time had it that some more physical punishment was meted out (the school did use the cane in those days, and a flogging would not have been impossible). Everybody knew about it, and it did the school no harm at all in the eyes of the parents. I don't ever remember a serious bullying incident again. It also used to be of the top schools in the region, and is still pretty well up the league tables.

        3. Pav
          Devil

          Doesn't always work like that, I know a boy who was bullied in his first and second years in school. In Second year he decided fuck this, smacked the boy over the head with a chair and turned into a complete lunatic for the next 4 years or so to insure that it wouldn't happen again.

          Still a bit of an dodgy guy.

        4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Thumb Down

          "a bully, and ended up getting beaten unconscious before going to hospital for a few weeks."

          "(yes, it was a private school, and has occasionally topped the league tables in the past decade - strange world)"

          For what?

          Number of teenage suicides?

          Number of pupils who went on to commit armed robbery, rape and murder?

          Congratulations being psychotically violent has no consequences and will be covered up.

          What a fine lesson to teach someone. Not.

      2. xerocred

        My advice to my young son about handling bullies after exhausting 'official channels' will be to retaliate - make it vicious and make it public.

    3. Eradicate all BB entrants

      You're gonna get flamed .....

      ..... for your ageist comment. I was born in the 70's and had a bloody good idea what the internet before I started working with computers.

      It's not hard to come up with an analogy for parents who don't understand it too. The internet is another door out into the big bad world, would you let your kids wander around the streets by themselves?

      1. 1Rafayal

        Re: You're gonna get flamed .....

        The point isnt that parents dont understand the Internet, its that they do not understand how much importance kids place on social media.

        For instance, on my FB page the majority of the comments are about my friends taking a dump or trying to decide what take away to get.

        When I look at my oldest daughters FB page (she has recently been allowed to join) its simply a continuation of the playground. And it doesnt help to not be friends with bullies, as many of the kids on there simply share posts which ultimately ends up with the target having it on their news feed.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: You're gonna get flamed .....

          "The point isnt that parents dont understand the Internet, its that they do not understand how much importance kids place on social media."

          YOU are responsible for your childs safety, like it or not. That is what the law says.

          I dont teach or allow my children to be suckered in, my kids do not live their life online.

          So it has NOTHING to do with "they do not understand how much importance kids place on social media". A judge would laugh at your lame excuses and accuse you of neglect. And rightly so.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: You're gonna get flamed .....

        Child of the 70s too. I know the Internet. I don't know boilers, so I hire a gas safe registered plumber. If it were reversed, why shouldn't I be expected to hire a qualified person to do the needful to my router etc?

        People are pathetic sometimes. Eton graduates doubly so.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ideally, he wants the websites to allow people to block abusive netizens.

    What sort of tin pot operation doesn't have an ignore function?

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Ideally, he wants the websites to allow people to block abusive netizens.

      Actually, on FaceBook, you'd be better off pressing the 'report abuse' button. Maybe Cameron should focus on educating people instead. Unfortunately, his idea of education probably revolves around the idea that anyone who didn't go to Eton then do an Economics and Politics degree at Oxford is scum.

  14. Ian 62

    Dear Call-me-Dave

    If you're happy to say "that parents have always been in control of what television programmes their children should view. "The 'off' button is a great regulator," he said"

    The same applies to computers, and smart phones.

    PARENTS have the power to regulate what the kids see.

    So stop forcing mumsnet parenting on the rest of us.

  15. codejunky Silver badge

    Question

    At what point did the population become so incapable of thought that they couldnt raise children? A skill developed over many hundreds of years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Joke

      Re: Question

      Because, by the time you've lived 100 years, a female's body is no longer producing eggs, to say nothing about its ablity to carry a child to term.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Question

        "Because, by the time you've lived 100 years, a female's body is no longer producing eggs, to say nothing about its ablity to carry a child to term."

        I gave you an upvote, but it was marginal because a women never produces more eggs. They are born with all they will ever need.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Question

      The problem is that nowadays both parents are working full-time to pay all the taxes to support illegal wars, huge IT projects that fail utterly, and a massive parasitic state run by maggots like Cameron, so they don't have time to bring up their children properly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Question

        "The problem is that nowadays both parents are working full-time to pay all the taxes to support illegal wars, huge IT projects that fail utterly, and a massive parasitic state run by maggots like Cameron, so they don't have time to bring up their children properly."

        If you don't have time to raise your children properly, I can only assume your though processes and decisions are poor. Why did you have them?

      2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Question

        "The problem is that nowadays both parents are working full-time to pay all the taxes to support illegal wars, huge IT projects that fail utterly, and a massive parasitic state run by maggots like Cameron, so they don't have time to bring up their children properly."

        I think we call that the "Yuppie Nuremberg" defense.

        If you can't do the time, don't do the crime?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Question

      "At what point did the population become so incapable of thought that they couldnt raise children? A skill developed over many hundreds of years."

      In the 80's!

      The decade when society changed. The decade when getting as much as you can to spend on your own hedonistic desires with little/no regard to anyone else. (Thanks Maggie, your legacy has caused a severe decline in morality) After that point the majority were taught to go out for all they could get. Great lesson picked by the todays parents. Its so easy to see when you look without jaded glasses.

      Now paretns expect someone else to pick up the peices, mums net is a perfect example of this.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Question

        Not the 80's, there was a sense of responsibility then, a feeling that if you worked for something, you had earned it, and if you didn't get it, it was your own fault. It was more like the 2000's when Bliar & co started teaching people that they would succeed at anything without trying, because they were entitled to it. If things failed it was always someone else's fault, but you could never fail personally. If you want to blame anyone, blame that slimy war criminal.

  16. mark darwen

    Why allow a 14 year old to be on sites like that?

    I just dont get it, once again lack of parental knowledge and education is way down on the check list it seems.

    Don't get me wrong im aware that teenage kids can be underhanded and devious to try and get on to these types of websites if they have already been using them and are then banned by parents, but this assumes that parents have the knowledge to know the difference between harmless and free for all social websites.

    Most readers of this forum will have a clue (broad brush i know when you read some comments) but parental education is surely the key. "call me dave" needs to get on the cluetrain

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why allow a 14 year old to be on sites like that?

      If the parents don't understand they can PAY SOMEONE who does. Just like most pay for a plumber, electrician, joiner etc. You want a service? **PAY FOR IT!!!**

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Meh

        Re: Why allow a 14 year old to be on sites like that?

        "If the parents don't understand they can PAY SOMEONE who does. Just like most pay for a plumber, electrician, joiner etc. You want a service? **PAY FOR IT!!!**"

        I think the fact that as Clare Perry is an MP (and by definition getting everyone else to pay instead) might explain how we got here in the first place.

        But I'll certainly upvote you for that.

  17. Lee D Silver badge

    The "off" button is a great regulator... well, apparently not good enough that we all don't have to tell our ISP's what we'd like to have access to from next year.

    It's really sad that 90% of the country's problems could be fixed by just making people take responsibility for their lives, and those of their children.

    1. Ted Treen
      Holmes

      All too true...

      The whole of modern life seems to be a complete abnegation of personal responsibility

      Naughty? it’s not your fault; you suffer from ADHD.

      Fat/Obese? it’s all the fault of those evil fast-food merchants.

      Unsuccessful in life? None of it is your fault (even if you ARE a lazy sod) – it’s your parents’/school’s/employer’s fault.

      Can’t be arsed to think? Not your fault (see above) – the nice newspaperman will do it for you.

      Also, many more examples, unfortunately, when any form of effort, responsibility or rational thought is called for.

      But then, what do you expect from a populace reared on hand-outs, electoral bribes, and The Jeremy Kyle Show?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When I were a lad....

    We didn't have no fancy tinternets, we used chalk and blackboards to write nasty stuff.

    Like: Sir has a head like a turnip. etc

    Kids of today, eh?

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: When I were a lad....

      Is that you, Molesworth?

      1. Ted Treen
        Happy

        Re: When I were a lad....

        Sounds more like Fotherington-Thomas (who is a GURL and reads 'chaterbox' chiz chiz)

    2. Ralph B
  19. Jeff 11

    "Cameron telling us that we should simply turn off the Internet for our kids or apply filters etc to limit the sites they access simply isnt enough, we need to be able to allow our kids to get away from all the bullying."

    Why?

    Why is there a fundamental human need for your child to visit Facebook or Twitter?

    Was there such a need when you were of the same age?

    People like yourself keep saying how essential it is to ingrain social media sites and services into your lives, but this is a modern, self-perpetuating lie. I have zero day to day interaction with Facebook and zero day to day interaction with Twitter. You don't get ostracized for not having a profile. You don't automatically become a luddite by refusing to use them. The fact that parents are allowing their kids to use these sites is probably doing them more physcial and mental harm than keeping them away from it - it promotes the idea that you can have proper relationships via messaging services and arguably keeps them (at least in part) from having real lives themselves.

    1. LazyLazyman

      Your clearly not a 14 year old kid. You might be able to get away with it. My grandparents didn't have a phone. Things change.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        The problem with telling them not to use it is an age old one.

        Sheep will be sheep.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "People like yourself keep saying how essential it is to ingrain social media sites and services into your lives, but this is a modern, self-perpetuating lie"

      Spot on!

      Of course when I say it i've downvoted like crazy. Speaks volumes for the considered opinions of el reg commetards!

  20. xyz

    It's always funny to watch someone try to control something

    that can't be controlled. I think politicans think the internet is just a TV you can type to and on a smaller screen. If Dave keeps banging on the way he is going the only internet we'll have access to will be "responsible" government approved sites (BBC internet, ITV internet etc) from terminals in libraries. Someone should take his iPad off him before he hurts himself.

    1. Ted Treen
      Unhappy

      Re: It's always funny to watch someone try to control something

      @xyz

      "... I think politicans think..."

      Sorry to disagree, old lad;- but I'm damned sure they don't!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bleedin' media and their desire for a narrative and one that has simple goodies and baddies... really annoying me now.

    Of course a father will look for blame somewhere but now the dumb media are abusing that to make their simple stories.

    Simple stories that cause great harm - If we allow people to just point the blame at a website it's going to miss the point that suicide is a complex issue and no-one kills themselves based on just one thing.

    So we give ask.fm 2 minutes of hate which makes some feel better like they've done something but the problem still remains and people still get bullied, depressed and suicidal :(

  22. MJI Silver badge

    Bully the bullies

    This is the best way of dealing with them.

    There is a fine line between bullying and trolling and trolls who cross the line can end up as victims themselves, either online, or on the end of a fist.

    I have seen NG trolls getting real life warnings about their bullying.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So after all the years of UK politicians lambasting the great firewall of china because blah blah blah. We now have cameron setting up a firewall to

    block porn (same as china)

    moving to boycott and probably eventually block social media (like china)

    So why is our version okay, when china is so bad? Oh right the children, forgot about them, carry on cameron.

  24. Andrew Jones 2

    Is David Cameron also asking us to boycott online newspapers like The Daily Mail and the Express - as generally the comments section on articles is best kept away from.......

  25. Gordon861

    "Prime Minister David Cameron has told Brits to "boycott" websites that allow trolls and bullies to publish reams of nasty abuse and threats with wild abandon."

    So from tomorrow the Daily Mail website will be banned then ?

    It might actually increase teh average IQ of the country if they did ban it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Upvoted 1000 x - plus a free cookie!

  26. nigel 15

    demands Brits BOYCOTT

    not really it was a half assed comment. less of a demand and more of a suppose we could do this.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Because of trolls, I've already boycotted...

    the parliamentary channel on freeview channel 81.

  28. Kane Silver badge
    Stop

    We may be missing something central to the story here...

    ...and that's the fact that the young girl took her own life.

    Now I don't claim to be an expert about this sort of stuff, but is it possible, just a teensy bit, that this girl may have had an underlying mental health condition that was undiagnosed or not noticed by either her family or (irl) friends, that meant when she was harassed she would be prepared to overcome one of the greatest biological imperitives (that of living) to escape said harassment?

    I mean, if every teenager/young adult/adult responded in the same fashion the suicide rate here would be a damn sight higher than it is, yes?

    My sympathy goes out to the family/friends for their loss, and I can't ever imagine what it would be like losing someone close to me in that manner (whether they be sibling, child, partner or friend), but does this not highlight a different issue here that is being overlooked in favour of news grabbing headlines/scaremongering/political manoeuvring/won't somebody think of the children type vitriol, that being the wellbeing of individuals mental health? I don't mean to belittle the parents situation, but instead of giving interviews to the bbc and all or sundry about "interwebz site is evil, it should be shut down" and allowing the likes of "Just Call Me Dave" to exploit the situation for their own political gain and advantage, should they not be closing ranks with their family to allow themselves time to grieve?

    Just sayin...

    1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

        Re: We may be missing something central to the story here... @Kane

        What? You're an expert on the case?

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh come on Regtards !

    What's really going on, with this sustained drip-drip of concerns about the internet, child porn, family filters, nobbling Google etc etc should be patently obvious.

    It's the Main Stream Media doing their best to neutralise - if not castrate - their biggest threat. Rupert Murdoch, and the RIAA would be overjoyed if governments made it harder to go on the net. The chilling thing is, a lot ot governments agree with them, for very different reasons.

  30. NomNomNom

    The solution has been pretty obvious to me for years. What we need to do is being in a license system for using the internet similar to how you need a license to drive a car.

    You would have to be at least 16 years old to obtain an Net License and have no criminal convictions pending or outstanding. There would be a limited child's internet for under 16s (only under 16s, no adults) for them to use only for wholesome activities such as homework but not games. This would encourage kids to go outside.

    To log onto the internet you would need to verify your identity using your Net License chip and pin card, similar to how online banks verify. Needless to say it would be a criminal offense to operate a computer equipment without sufficient licensing. Over time the licensing system could be expanded to verify the software and hardware of the user too to prevent piracy and hackers. If for example the user is found to be logging into a pirated copy of a video game, is found to be younger than the game's age restriction, or is using an AMD chipset, then the logon attempt would fail and authorities notified.

    I am not saying a solution like this could be bought in overnight, and it would need some more consideration to weigh up the pros and cons, but it is an option worth thinking about.

    1. Anonymous Coward
    2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      I would normally just let this slide as an obvious troll, but since it's you I know you mean it.

      " verify your identity using your Net License chip"

      And just where would you like your chip inserted you evil *unt?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Also the internet is nothing like a car, it is far more like having the ability to read and write, and we don't have a license for that.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "You would have to be at least 16 years old to obtain an Net License and have no criminal convictions pending or outstanding. There would be a limited child's internet for under 16s (only under 16s, no adults) for them to use only for wholesome activities such as homework but not games. This would encourage kids to go outside."

      Sounds wonderful, you've cracked it!

      Oh, 'cept it's not workable, damn it!

  31. Malik01

    The definition of Boycott must have changed. I didnt know it meant to ban OTHERS from using something you dont agree with, of course fuelled by ill-informed knee-jerk reactions from the tabloid media.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      to ban OTHERS from using something you dont agree with

      That's not a Boycott, it's a Scargill.

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Recent reports reckon parents are not letting their kids out on bike rides, yet happily give them unfilter net access, because they barely know how it works let alone the dangers.

    Of course I point out the obvious and I get shot down in flames.

    Who is to blame here?

  33. Don Jefe
    Alert

    The Real Issue

    There's a nasty thing happening in this discussion. The term 'troll' is being equated to bullying and that simply isn't the case. It is an effort to control conversation and prevent conversation: It is a very effective way to prevent satire, which has been the bane of political and public types for centuries.

    Control of the populace by hiding behind children - The true mark of the modern politician.

  34. jon 68

    evil Ozzy must be stopped

    It's a crying shame these reckless musicians write about suicide etc and then won't take responsibility when a child acts on the thoughts that were purposely promoted in the ly...

    oops. wrong bunch of morons, same song.

    yeah.. the off button.. great idea.. and YES you can have a life without social media.

  35. g e
    Holmes

    The 'off' button is a great...

    <click>

    Sorted.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Blame game

    A couple of weeks ago, two teens jumped in front of a train and killed themselves. I don't recall any furore about how dangerous trains are or asking for stations to be closed.

    1. Brian Morrison
      WTF?

      Re: Blame game

      Indeed. That incident was very sad and I suspect that there was an issue of culture involved as the relationship between the people concerned (if there was one) was between people from different backgrounds and ethnicity. Knee jerk reactions are certainly not needed, and that's all that our politicians seem capable of.

      I know a young lass that posts on ask.fm, gets quite a bit of abuse there and also self-harms. I do worry about her purely because the social pressures she feels under is something I do not remember from my teenage years. As a parent of late teenagers myself I can only feel lucky that both of my children appear to be pretty much free of such concerns and don't behave that way either, but as to how I managed to support them enough to avoid it I really don't know what we did as parents that made the difference.

  37. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Trollface

    So, if there is a website that allows trolling, discussion of GCHQ spying and child porn....

    Will it cause David Cameron's head to explode or something??

    1. Bernard M. Orwell Silver badge

      Re: So, if there is a website that allows trolling, discussion of GCHQ spying and child porn....

      Dunno. Does he read El Reg at all?

    2. BitterBunny
      Mushroom

      Re: So, if there is a website that allows trolling, discussion of GCHQ spying and child porn....

      You can but hope....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So, if there is a website that allows trolling, discussion of GCHQ spying and child porn....

        /b/ ?

  38. This post has been deleted by its author

  39. hi_robb

    Well I think...

    That Cameron's idea of boycotting troll infested websites is a good one and I'm going to take his advice!

    By avoiding any sites ending '.gov.uk'

    1. BrownishMonstr

      Re: Well I think...

      I'd love to, but then I won't be able to get my student finance loans.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Also

    This is what is known as a moral panic, and shall be looked back on in fifty years in much the same way as mods/rockers, women wearing short skirts and, alcopops, unless of course this particular moral panic manages to restrict our freedom to express ourselves and discover things for ourselves that we can't look back on it without the rose tinted filter of the Authority.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Was anyone who saw the pictures thinking

    "Hmm. She doesn't look fourteen?"

    1. Brian Morrison
      Childcatcher

      Re: Was anyone who saw the pictures thinking

      It's scary how grown up some of the young teenagers look these days, but it's usually only a facade under which lies a very uncertain person. Perhaps this is what leads to the pressure so many teenagers feel under, they attempt to appear more mature without realising what the cost of that approach can be.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm a forum administrator, and although we do try to act with tact to resolve issues that members have with each other we always ban anyone who threatens legal action against either the forum or any other member in good standing. But then it's a forum for grown-ups, if you can't handle a robust debate or some interpersonal difficulties and need to bring the police in, you're more trouble than your worth to have as a member. But then, we don't want your money or advertisers money either, so the rules are pretty much like it or lump it.

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Twitter was forced earlier this week to apologise to a number of the women who were bombarded with sick taunts and threats by users of the micro-blogging site. "

    and I'm sure the Royal Mail apologises every single time someone receives something inappropriate in the post.

    If the posters have committed a crime - a threat, for example - then that's a job for the police, not the politicians. Not the ISPs. Not the site owners. If a crime is alleged, report it to the relevant police force.

    Or would the pols prefer to have "report this" go straight to PC Plod, so "genuine problems can be addressed faster and action taken quickly when needed", and non-problems can go into the "wasting police time" queue for later processing & fines (nice fund raiser). Or the site owner can filter it, and site users can pay for the staff required to do that, plus the legal liability insurance for things they miss or misinterpret - there'll be no end to it, but it could be setup to appear on your credit card bill as the "Idiot Politician tax". No need to name a political party as they're pretty much all as clueless when it comes to this stuff.

    Actually, if the Pirate Bay can inspire new political parties, why can't El Reg?

  44. Dick Emery

    I think it's time

    To have lessons in school on using the internet effectively and safely. Heck an half hour session per week should fit the bill. We can have teachers of internet etiquette. How to use social media safely and how to deal with trolls and idiots.

    Stop trying to censor everything and instead deal with the problem at it's root!

  45. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Perhaps

    the PM could find the time to read the comments section of any CNN story about India/Pakistan, when the nationals of both countries do their best to insult each other in english

    "your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries" has nothing on those guys.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cyber-bullying

    As someone who was actually bullied at school, threatened with physical violence, who had to face my bully every day, people complaining about this as "cyber-bullying" are ridiculous.

    You know, some kids have mental health problems. There was a girl who killed herself for not passing her 11-plus. There are thousands of thin girls that starve themselves because they think they're fat. Everyone looks for easy answers: "it's the fashion industry's fault".

    The reality is that the people most likely to screw up kids are their parents.

  47. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Underlying mental health issues likely.

    Seriously does killing yourself sound like a reasonable response to people saying bad things about you?

    No. You're quite correct.

    I could point fingers at the parents (for not spotting something, not doing something about it if the did and failing to realize that unsupervised access to the internet to a child is pretty f**king stupid, unless you want them to get a rather different kind of education real fast).

    The reactions to this case have been as grossly disproportionate as the governments spying on everybody because 0.003% (2000 in 66 million) suspects might become terrorists.

    It's right up there with the Ecstasy hysteria. It's a personal tragedy (and of course I'd leave a condolence message on her facebook page) but personal tragedy --> policy fail.

    Note. A sustained campaign of abusive messages is nasty. Try getting kicked in the crotch. That will adjust your perspective on what "nasty" means pretty quickly.

    In hindsight most people are sheep, who follow a few leaders. Break the leaders and it ends. I found a broken arm stopped any further nonsense.

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