back to article You're outta here! Baseball star strikes out sleazy trolls who targeted teen daughter

A former star of Major League Baseball hit a pair of alleged Twitter trolls out of the ballpark this week – by naming and shaming them on his blog, causing one to be fired and the other suspended from school. Former Arizona Diamondbacks Boston Red Sox Curt star Schilling published screengrabs of obscene tweets about his 17- …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    get yer pitchforks

    El Reg supports vigilante justice!

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: get yer pitchforks

      I wouldn't call it vigilante justice. No masked men in the middle of the night (or A/C for that matter) kicking down a door and hanging some poor bastard on nearby tree.... guilty or not.

      No, their Twits had their pictures and enough relevant info for anyone to find them. All he did was call them out for their actions. I think if Shilling posted here, he'd get a thousand upvotes compared to your one downvote of his actions. It's about time these asses were taught "don't be an ass".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: get yer pitchforks

        vigilante justice;

        Hanging is too good for trolls who threaten young women; South African vigilantes use stoning or necklacing.

      2. Triggerfish

        Re: get yer pitchforks

        @Mark 85

        Couldn't agree more shame you can have only one upvote from me.

      3. launcap Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: get yer pitchforks

        > It's about time these asses were taught "don't be an ass".

        In the old days of Usenet we had a persistent problem with idiots with the attitude of 'online doesn't matter - it isn't real life' and would say things that they would never, ever dare say face-to-face.

        Outing them usually had the effect of teaching that, yes - speech is free. But not without consequences..

      4. xerocred

        Re: get yer pitchforks

        "No, their Twits had their pictures and enough relevant info for anyone to find them."

        In this case yes... but what if someone had stolen their identities...

    2. Purple-Stater

      Re: get yer pitchforks

      As long as no laws were broken, it's simple citizen justice.

      Simple right vs wrong, everybody should support it.

    3. DougS Silver badge

      Re: get yer pitchforks

      Sounds like an AC is worried that someday he might be outed for things he's said on Twitter, thinking he was safe and sound in his mother's basement.

    4. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: get yer pitchforks

      Do you support vigilante action against anyone appearing on or mentioned on the internet while daring to be female?

      Is Posting While Female to be classed along with Driving While Black?

      1. Christoph Silver badge

        Re: get yer pitchforks

        Interesting. Would the people who downvoted my post like to explain to me why they did this? Why they think it's OK to harass people online just because they are female?

        1. John Gamble

          Re: get yer pitchforks

          " Why they think it's OK to harass people online just because they are female?"

          I don't think anyone thinks this. But your post was a marvel of obfuscation -- my first impression was that you were claiming a double standard for women, and frankly even on re-reading it still looks that way.

          I didn't down-vote you. But at the very least you need to be clearer when you post.

    5. Jim 59

      Re: get yer pitchforks

      Lol. I believe the Americans have a saying, "Sh*t just got real!".

      Sh*t just got real for these lads, and no mistake. Personally, if I was going to make vulgar comments to a young girl on or off line, I probably wouldn't pick one whose father is a professional athlete and carries a bat for a living. The trolls are lucky, sh1t could have got even realer.

      1. Ian Tunnacliffe
        Headmaster

        Re: get yer pitchforks

        Not grammar pedantry, just the smart-arse know-all kind. Curt Schilling, hero of the American League Championship Series in 2004 is/was a pitcher. In the American League, as distinct from the National League, pitchers don't bat. So he would have very rarely carried a bat for a living.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: get yer pitchforks

          > So he would have very rarely carried a bat for a living.

          That would be more down a veterinarian's alley, wouldn't it?

      2. ecarlseen

        Re: get yer pitchforks

        Screw that bats, worry about the ball. Being hit by a major league pitch sucks pretty badly, and a baseball is a ranged weapon. A baseball weights 145 grams, is rock hard, and someone like Schilling would be throwing it at 150 - 170 kilometers per hour with pinpoint accuracy. Here's a classic video of a poor bird who was astronomically unlucky enough to fly into the path of a fastball pitch:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orI26C05udY

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: get yer pitchforks

      These guys have not read: http://www.daddygotcustody.com/rules-for-dating-my-daughter/

      On a more serious note, they are morons and got whatever they deserved.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: get yer pitchforks

        > These guys have not read: http://www.daddygotcustody.com/rules-for-dating-my-daughter/

        I have. Must say I did not even chuckle. Found it kind of sad that people can be so repressed about sexuality. I feel tempted to say that helps breed a certain kind of idiot such as illustrated here, but they're actually everywhere.

    7. keithpeter
      Windows

      Re: get yer pitchforks

      "If I was a deranged protective dad I could have been face to face with any of these people in less than 4 hours. I know every one of their names, their parents, where they go to school, what they do, what team they are on, their positions, stats, all of it."

      Quote from blog post by Father. Looks like he isn't rounding up any lynching party with pitchforks and torches. I admire his forebearence.

      In my own teaching, I remind 17 year olds that facebook and twitter are NOT the back room of a youth club. When they post on 'social' media, they are basically standing in the centre of their city on a soap box with a megaphone, with *everyone* they know in the front row of the audience. That includes Mother, Significant Other and Future Employers. C.F. Jaron Lanier's arguments.

      I hope Daughter can move on from this fast. UK specific: 17 year old lasses are sensitive to self image issues and actually *worry* about online comments.

    8. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: get yer pitchforks

      It's called "shaming" and as long as it doesn't involve slander or libel, it's a perfectly legal and time honored way of dealing with assholes.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmm...

    So these 2 assholes just go around trolling men with daughters? It's called Twatter.

  3. Bob Dole (tm)

    About time people start standing up to this bullcrap.

    Dox them. Dox them all. You want to publicly spout this garbage? Fine. Do it while everyone knows exactly who you are and let's see how that works out for you.

    ProTip: there is no such thing as anonymity on the internet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes... two clowns posting under their real names and photos have struck a massive blow against internet anonymity...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > ProTip: there is no such thing as anonymity on the internet.

      Even ProerTip (even if this has no bearing whatsoever on the case at hand): Yes, there is. However, anonymity carries a strong societal responsibility and is there to be used, not misused or abused.

  4. LaeMing Silver badge
    Go

    Doxing

    always makes me think of the removal of a sheep's tail to combat fly-strike (which I believe is known as docking). Or maybe the removal of other parts.

  5. Turtle

    Dare.

    "According to Schilling, the harassment began after he congratulated his daughter Gabby on being accepted to university. Having 112,000 followers, his public tweet spread, and both Schilling and his daughter received replies ranging from sexually suggestive quips to overtly obscene threats."

    I am going to assume that Schilling loves his daughter. Because that's a reasonable assumption. Now, bearing that in mind, and knowing that there are legions of people who, when using their computers, comport themselves in a way in which they would never dare behave in real life, but knowing that, then why, exactly, would Schilling want to make his daughter a target for such people?

    I am not excusing these people at all; what I don't understand is what it is that Schilling expects by talking about his daughter to vast numbers of people via a medium through which any of those people can reply in any way they want.

    .

    1. Florida1920 Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Dare.

      Blame the victim. MASSIVE FAIL.

      1. Crazy Operations Guy

        "Blame the victim. "

        I've always wanted to know if that would work in court

        "No, I didn't shoot that asshole, it was his fault for not getting out of the way of my bullet."

        Especially when I hear idiots going on about "What did she expect going out dressed like that and at that time?"

    2. frank ly Silver badge

      Re: Dare.

      So, tell us about your wife and children Turtle; (or whatever loved ones you have). Oh, wait, you can't talk to strangers can you? It's too dangerous and you accept that situation.

    3. Gotno iShit Wantno iShit

      Re: Dare.

      Turtle, your shot at a Wooden Twig of Fail is transparent. You shall not receive the downvote you crave. I simply cannot accept that someone dumb enough to genuinely believe your twaddle would remember to breathe. Ergo it has to be a shot at a WToF.

    4. PassiveSmoking

      Re: Dare.

      In other words if you're in the least bit a notable public figure (and maybe not even then) and you want what's best for your friends and family, you must under no account acknowledge that your friends and family exist on a forum such as Twitter or Facebook?

      That sounds reasonable.

    5. Triggerfish

      Re: Dare.

      You're right, maybe we should also keep them in doors, they could wear a big long cloak and some sort of veil thing when they are escorted out to stop them from tempting the rest of us.

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

        Re: Dare.

        > You're right, maybe we should also keep them in doors, they could wear a big long cloak and some sort of veil thing when they are escorted out to stop them from tempting the rest of us.

        I actually believe that is why they behave like that and I have a lot of respect of the behaviour of these guys. It is weird isn't it?

    6. Just Enough
      Facepalm

      Re: Dare.

      You are quite right. No-one should ever dare celebrate in public what their daughter does. We should hide them away, keep their existence and achievements a shameful secret. Let females know that their place is not on the internet. It would be fine if it was his son, but a daughter is just asking for it, isn't it?

      Because we should let trolls and morons dictate what goes on in public and on the internet.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dare.

      Whenever you're about to say

      "I condemn threatening to beat and rape women, but" stop and go back a word and leave it there. There's no excuse and there's no "well they should of known better" because why shouldn't it be safe to congratulate your child in a public space?

      Why do we as a society tolerate such behaviour? I'm depressingly reminded of the recent article about the Delhi bus rape. The abuse isn't the problem it's the symptom. There's a big difference between the trolling I'm sure many of us have enjoyed in the past (ergo winding people up by taking opposite opinions on something they care about that you don't for shits and giggles) and what passes for trolling now days which is vicious hateful and generally illegal assaults and threats towards generally, woman, children and those with learning problems or mental health issues.

      And I don't think it's a thing that can be fixed in laws and stripping anonymity from people - but instead calling people out when they do things that are morally reprehensible and not go "well, that's bad, but what can you expect on the internet?"

      Wasn't long ago people would go "Well it's bad she got raped, but she was wearing a short skirt"

    8. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Dare.

      ...and knowing that there are legions of people who, when using their computers, comport themselves in a way in which they would never dare behave in real life...

      I think this phrase points to one of the sources of this sort of problem (the other being that these fellows are what they are). Online behavior is "real life." It may not be in person, but talking in a public forum or through e-mail are very much real interactions with very real people. Just because we are not standing face to face talking does not make our communication any less real. It makes me wonder how long it took people to realize that in sending a letter by post or calling the boss on the phone that they were having a conversation with another person. In the 1950s, did people separate the conversations they had on the phone from real life? It's been about the same length of time for us since the inception of the internet. Why is this such a persistent way of looking at online interactions?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proofreading?

    Former Arizona Diamondbacks Boston Red Sox Curt star Schilling

    Ok, I know that this article was posted at 02:15 but really.

    Shouldn't that read something like....

    Former Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox star Curt Schilling

    I guess that the writer is Dsylexic like a good many of us (including myself).

    1. JimmyPage Silver badge

      Re: Dyslexic ?

      aren't we all at 02:15 ?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is the problem

    You either have:

    No anonymity on the internet and your full name, verified, is used for everything.

    Result? More constraints, less freedom to speak your mind, BUT less abuse because the PoPo would be down on your ass straight away.

    Or you have full anonymity where people can say and do what they like under false identities.

    Result? Well, the internet we have today. Massive amount of abuse, bullying, threats and obscene, offensive and often illegal comments where you as the user have to protect yourself from those threats, which some people cannot do.

    What do we want? I'm not talking about these two guys, they were assholes and deserved what they got, but in general, how can we tackle this?

    Right now if someone feels they are the subject of threatening comments online they can report it to the Police and depending on the service provider, the timescale can range from three days to a couple of weeks to identify who the culprit is, AND that's often only barely enough to charge them as there are numerous defences they can use. A section 127 CA2003 demands that we are able to accurately identify that person as being the sender of the comments, which you simply CANNOT do unless they make full admissions.

    The usual is: "I was at a party and left my phone unlocked", "I forgot to log out my laptop", etc, etc. So we can charge them if it's severe enough and let the PF deal with it, (they might just red-pen it and chuck it out) BUT it then means that we have to stand in court and get fucking annihilated by the defence as to why we charged their client with an offence we couldn't prove (even though we all know it was them).

    It's a nightmare right now and it needs fixed.

    I also forgot my point.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interwebs = real world

    Schilling has little remorse for the pair, adding: "The real world has consequences when you do and say things about others."

    Mr Schilling is spot on the point. I think we now have a generation that didn't know the pre-internet civilisation. They may have been growing up when it was possible to have a 'second life' on line, do and say things that you wouldn't normally. However, that's changed now, and your life on line is now the same as your real life. The links between the online world and the real world are too strong, and too numerous. Therefore people need to learn to behave on line like they would in real life. And that means not making threats to other people's children, amongst other things. I actually think that this has turned out pretty well, a couple of arseholes have been called out for their very poor behaviour. Save for the fact that Mr Schilling has drawn more attention to his daughter than would probably have been ideal. But he seems like a guy who knows how to play social media, so I'm sure he knows what he's doing.

  9. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

    Violence for comments

    There is a worrying trend recently towards people apparently condoning physical violence for people making verbal or written comments. The Pope seemed to give approval to it recently: "“If my good friend Dr Gasparri says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch. It’s normal. It’s normal." Unsurprisingly, we get the usual "hang 'em high" comments here, with a depressing number of upvotes. Am I the only person reading this that has *never* hit (or worse) anyone because they said or wrote something unpleasant? I doubt it, so why give support to the same sort of trolls that the article is about?

    Also, on a side topic, in the comment thread under Schilling's post, there are a lot of people identifying themselves by their political orientation - is that common in the USA these days?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Violence for comments

      "Also, on a side topic, in the comment thread under Schilling's post, there are a lot of people identifying themselves by their political orientation - is that common in the USA these days?"

      Yes. Americans always need -something- to fight over.

    2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

      Re: Violence for comments

      You are failing to see the difference between a comment and an expression of desire for physical violence of a sexual nature.

      The latter does not qualify as a comment. It does not qualify for any protection with regards to freedom of speech either.

      The only thing it should qualify as far as I am concerned is self-administration of the aforementioned threat by the issuer to himself. Recorded for posterity.

    3. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Violence for comments

      Intractable Potsherd,

      I don't support the use of voilence where it's not necessary. And I wouldn't respond to anything other than physical force, or the threat of it, with violence (hopefully anyway - I'm sure everyone has a breaking point somewhere).

      On the other hand, sticks and stones may certainly break peoples' bones - but anyone who thinks that "words can never hurt you", is an idiot. There are plenty of things that people can say that are far worse than a bruised jaw or a bloodied nose. Of course one punch can kill/seriously injure somone. But then people who've been verbally bullied have killed themselves too.

      If you got punched in a pub because you'd made obscene comments about someone's daughter, you would almost certainly find yourself lacking in sympathy.

      The law and peoples' sense of fair-play/natural justice don't always perfectly coincide.

      Also, caution about what you say is just common sense. You don't know how good random people you omeet are at controlling their temper. A good deal of our social conditioning is fear of the consequences of offending the group. Of getting ostracised or smacked in the chops. We might have computers and be able to put a man on the moon, but sometimes we're seemingly still just shaved monkeys. I guess it's also part of our less civilised instincts that means we celebrate when somone who's stepped out of line gets brought down a peg or two. Especially when they'd done it in the expectation of safety by being somewhat anonymous and quite far away.

      There's also a certain sense of natural justice that many people have. Which would like the punishment to fit the crime. And often wants the one who provoked someone else to get punished, not the person who was provoked (even if they've also broken the rules).

  10. any mouse cow herd

    Proportionate Response

    His response is completely in proportion to the offence caused to his daughter, they used social media to intimidate a complete stranger, he responded using the same. Had he gone around to their house with a couple of pals carrying baseball bats that would have been out of proportion. Good on him though, these trolls don't deserve to spend their time amongst human beings, hopefully they learned a lesson on humility and decency.

    1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Proportional representation

      > Had he gone around to their house with a couple of pals carrying baseball bats that would have been out of proportion.

      I don't think so. The way that some people respond to trolls is to allow them free rein. The result of that is a crippled internet where only lice live. A short pithy question is about all that most dullards need to wake them up or rattle their cages, whatever. But the sort of thing going on here was too far over the top for gentle, laid back argument and electronic reasoning.

      In this case, gentlemanly conduct requires the administration of discipline.

      > Most of these people would never, ever utter these kinds of comments to their victims' faces.

      But some would?

      That's what I think too.

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Intelligent, measured response.

    Clearly he could never be a politician then.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The reason why these f*ckwits do this kind of thing on the Internet is because of some kind of perceived anonymity. There is a disconnection between their computer and the real world in their minds.

    Most of these people would never, ever utter these kinds of comments to their victims' faces.

    What stops them in the real world is shame.

    In our modern life, we have far too little shame, that emotional response that comes from society psychically telling us that we are being a dick.

    All that this baseball player has done is restore the natural balance. You say something that makes you a dick, then everyone should know about it. He also seems to be advocating that he and his family don't resort to violence even though he comments on his blog about the reasonable outrage that his daughter's boyfriend feels about the whole thing.

    I'm the father of a 19 year old daughter. I have to say that I don't think that I could be quite so restrained.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Isn't perceived anonymity better than actual anonymity? If they had taken 5 minutes of effort to hide their identities they wouldn't have been "caught".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > Isn't perceived anonymity better than actual anonymity?

        Depends on your perspective.

        My point is that their expectation of any comeback was minimal. They just didn't think that any consequences of their actions would be forthcoming.

  13. xerocred

    But, what if they were victims of identity theft?

    In this case the real culprits seem to have been on the receiving end...

    But we need to be careful here...

    What if the culprit used someone else's identity?... this will become the new way to harm someone... Set up a false account (with the victims identity) and threaten a celeb or the Feds...etc

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But, what if they were victims of identity theft?

      It has happened in the past however various records were obtained to show that the IP addresses came from a location that couldn't have been the Accused and who also had various other sources corroborating where they were at that time.

      It is however an easy way to get someone at least detained for interview if nothing else.

  14. Last Bandit

    Good on 'im

    That is all.

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