24 Jan
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Is It Finally Time For Twitter To Deal With Abusive Trolls?

It is a well-known fact that Twitter has given birth to “keyboard warriors” off late. These are users that abuse celebrities or other Twitter users. Sometimes this borders on criminality, as the abuse can be racial in nature. In other cases people have been found threatening other users with death and violence. Twitter and social media is a place where opinion makers are now using to tap into an audience. Trolls are using it to launch attacks on people with different opinions to theirs. 

Hence the question keeps arising whether Twitter should devise a policy where abuses, racist comments and death threats should be a strict non-negotiable when it comes to their policy. It is no longer social networking when a nameless and faceless stranger for making a comment or opinion contrary to theirs abuses you on a public platform.

The latest high-profile case of abuse and racism on Twitter emerged on January 21 when a user began racial abusing ex-footballer Stan Collymore. This then snowballed into a huge controversy when CNN’s chat show host, Piers Morgan leapt to the defense of Collymore. Piers Morgan was abused by the same user and was sent a death threat via a tweet.

Piers Morgan then went after the user whose name was  @philliplad by asking his 3.9 million users if they knew him or had any information about him. Morgan apparently got some information about the user. He then tweeted to Facebook co-founder Jack Dorsey about the same incident. 

 

Piers Morgan then went on to report the offender/s to the Metropolitan Police of the UK, as he was a UK twitter user. The offender however continued to taunt Morgan despite knowing well what he said was a criminal offense. 

The entire saga was played out on Twitter. It happened as stated below:

 

Timeline

Jan 21

@PhilippLad @piersmorgan @StanCollymore He's a cotton field n****r, you're a fat c***. both deserve a horrible and painful death

@piersmorgan Jan 21

Who is @PhilippLad ? Let's see how big, tough and racist he's feeling by the time I've finished with him.

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Jan 21

The law is crystal clear...racially abusing someone & making death threats are both crimes in the UK. As @PhilippLad will soon discover.

Hi @Twitter - this person > @PhilippLad  is making death threats & racially abusing people on his timeline. I suggest you do something.

Hi @metpoliceuk - this person > @PhilippLad is making death threats & racially abusing people on his timeline. I suggest you do something.

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Jan 21

Anyone who knows @PhilippLad please contact me. I'm going to wipe the ugly, vile smirk off his racist little face.

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Jan 21

Hi @TwitterUK - this person > @PhilippLad  is making death threats & racially abusing people on his timeline. I suggest you do something.

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Jan 21

Hi @jack - this person > @PhilippLad is making death threats & racially abusing people on his timeline. Over to you.

@PhilippLad he'll get me suspended, but he's not going to 'catch me' lmao

@PhilippLad You promised to catch me @piersmorgan, How stupid of you lmao

@WMPolice We can confirm @StaffsPolice are investigating alleged abusive tweets to @StanCollymore.

CONFIRMED: Police investigating vile racist death threats to @StanCollymore

Piers Morgan ‏@piersmorgan Jan 21

I'll now leave @StaffsPolice to do their job. Racist taunts & death threats both criminal offenses. The culprits will be dealt with.

 

Twitter then suspended the accounts of the offenders and the Straffordshire Police is now investigating the case of racism and abuse. Hence this raises the broader question of whether there must be some sort of verification or filter for Twitter users. The current system is giving rise to a lot of negativity and lowering down the public discourse to a whole new low.

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