Mercury Opinion: How to deal with issue of web trolls
The internet has been a tremendous force for good. It has allowed people to communicate and access information in a way which was never possible before. However, it has a dark side, providing a conduit for people to make all manner of vile comments. We have seen several examples of this lately, the most recent of which were some appalling remarks made to Gary Lineker's son by a Twitter user who has since apologised.
This is a phenomenon known as "trolling", a phrase which refers to the practice of making inflammatory and upsetting comments in social media and discussion forums.
In its most extreme form "trolls" have made offensive remarks on memorial pages. Not surprisingly, this has caused intense pain to bereaved relatives.
There is lots of other offensive stuff around – such as a revolting page posted on Facebook which is devoted to "dead baby jokes.".
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One of the common factors about trolling is that those responsible for such material are inevitably anonymous.
This assumption on their part may prove to be mistaken as it seems to be pretty easy to track at least some of them down. However, one suspects that if they had to put their names and addresses to their comments they would be less likely to make them in the first place.
It is just a thought – and we accept that there are probably some practical problems – but perhaps the answer is to move to a situation where people using social media can be more easily identified.
Leicester is shining example
Idi Amin was a deranged despot whose decision to expel Ugandan Asians from his country was one of his many atrocities.
From this dreadful act of inhumanity, however, came a great success story. Many Ugandan Asians moved to Leicester, where their entrepreneurial spirit has been a vital source of economic success and where they have added to and enriched the city's community and culture.
It is a story which stands as a shining example of successful integration and one which we are very proud to celebrate on the 40th anniversary of this historic event.