Trolls on social media are a reality and in many cases they may be posing real threat and harm to individuals. This is why London is going to have troll police to hunt down trolls on social media. The job of this London troll police will be to curb rising levels of abuse on social media. It’s a five-member team of specialist officers especially focusing on online trolls on various social media and social networking websites.
Scotland Yard will be spending GBP 1.7 million on this troll police unit, which is called the Online Hate Crime Hub. This troll police unit will provide advanced intelligence on offenders and also provide ongoing support to the victims of online trolling and abuse. It will aim at strengthening links between police, communities and social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
In the UK there are laws in place against online abuse and trolling but many victims have complained that the current police force has no clue how to handle online abuse. The troll police will be in a better position to provide support to the targets of online tools. They will be better positioned to unmask perpetrators who operate under the veil of anonymity provided by the Internet in general and social media websites in particular.
According to the London mayor’s office, “Those targeted can become isolated, living in fear of the online behaviour materialising in the real world. The police response to online hate crime is inconsistent, primarily because police officers are not equipped to tackle it.”
Online abuse and trolling has reached alarming proportions and many instances of online abuse have culminated into actual crimes. The troll police unit will consist of one detective inspector, one detective sergeant and three detective constables. A network of volunteers will also be established to report criminal and non-criminal online hate incidents.
Monitoring the Internet and social networking websites for instances of online abuse are being regarded as “thought policing” rather than troll police by many advocates of freedom of speech. After all, there can be different definitions of abuse for different individuals. Although there can be differences regarding what is abuse and what is not abuse, there can be a clear-cut definition of vicious trolling and threatening on the Internet. You can easily make out if the person is simply being rude or if he or she really means to cause some harm physically as well as mentally and financially.