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It's Gettin' Hard Out There For A Troll

By / 06.12.12

It’s no secret, at this point, that trolling trolls are have had a detrimental effect on the internet, to the point that some people who run websites are considering shutting down comments all together because they’ve become too troll-laden and trolls ruin everything. Still, while trolls are a huge pain in the dick, the thought of any government stepping in to “protect” the web from trolls is a little unsettling. But, not surprisingly, some government bodies are initiating laws they say are intended to curb trolling but raise questions about free speech.

For instance, under a new British law website operators may soon be forced to referee disputes between alleged defamers and the defamed — and then reveal commenter identities if someone believes that they’re being defamed and a resolution can’t be reached.

Under the new proposals, website operators would act as intermediaries, trying to resolve the dispute between author and complainant.

If attempts at resolution failed, they would be required to hand over the subscriber’s contact details so the complainant could pursue legal action against the author. The website itself would be protected against any action as long as it complied with these rules.

The government’s Defamation Bill aims to make the process of suing for defamation less expensive and more accessible, while providing for free speech.

So when is the British government going to force bar owners to put cameras in bathroom stalls to reveal the identities of people who write stuff like, “Becky McRottencrotch takes it up the butt” on walls? Surely they’ll get to that soon, right?

But what’s much more disturbing is a proposed new law right here in the good ole U S of A — in New York to be specific — that would ban anonymous commenting entirely in an effort to cut down on “cyber-bullying.” As Jay Smooth notes in the video below, that’s like trying to stop shoplifting by banning shopping.

Politicians ruin everything. Can we please keep their grubby little hands off the internet?

(Pic via)


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