posted at 18:50
Author: Gregory Ferenstein
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 01:05:14 +0000
Internet trolls could face 2 years in prison if British proposal becomes law
Britain is considering harsher punishments for online abuse. Currently, the Malicious Communications Act allows for the prosecution of users who are sexually offensive or verbally abusive, and there have already been a handful of cases. Critics warn that it could chill free speech if applied inappropriately, such as when it was considered for a user who criticized an olympic diver. "[Y]ou let your dad down i hope you know that," user @Rileyy 69 tweeted during the Olympics in 2012. Online abuse is a serious problem and tech companies aren't waiting for a legal solution. Twitter has implemented measures for high profile users who are verified. After the daughter of Robin Williams was harassed online, Twitter vowed to introduce new policies to protect users. Verified users can filter replies by users who are also verified, and thus be less likely get harassed from the most vicious voices of the general public.

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