I came across this amazing story today while going through my feeds, it was about how a guy called Leo Traynor was targeted by a troll for 3 years and how he finally tracked the troll down and confronted him.
Trolls are the bane of anyone who spends significant amounts of time online, or has a fairly visible online presence. Sometimes they are attention seeking dysfunctional types, and other times they are malicious, angry individuals who need some serious help. We all tend to hate them, but this story is also one of redemption and we hope, second chances. Give it a read.
In July I was approached by a friend, who’s basically an IT genius, and he offered some help. He said that he could trace the hackers and trolls for me using perfectly legal technology, which would lead to their IP addresses. I said yes. Then I baited them – I was deliberately more provocative toward them than ever I’d been before.
Holidays intervened. My Twitter account was deactivated but before doing so I posted links to my Google+ account, blog and invited people to contact me on Facebook. I’m delighted that a lot of my lovely friends did. I’m also delighted that The Troll did too.
It transpired that the abuse had emanated from three separate IP addresses in different corners of Ireland. Two of them were public wifi locations but the third….
The third location was the interesting one.
The third location was a friends house.
The Troll was his son. His 17yr old son.
Read the entire post here.
“While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies,”
Says Tom Lantos, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to Yahoo!.
Information Yahoo! released to Chinese authorities in 2004 on Si Tao’s (a journalist) online activities led to Tao being jailed for ten years. Si Tao was engaged in pro-democracy efforts which were labeled subversive by the Chinese authorities. China has been restricting online activity for the past couple of years, closing down blogs, requesting the registration of blogs, and restricting the results of search engines with regards to any ‘subversive’ topics.
Yahoo! has been involved with legal battles of similar nature for some time now, with a French court requesting that Yahoo! ban access to websites containing Nazi memorabilia. Yahoo! is not alone in its efforts to please China, with Google and Microsoft unzipping their pants as well in their greed to grab China.
Online freedom is something we treasure, a way to break free from restrictive governments or society. Once companies like Yahoo! start bending over for governments like the Chinese, we are going to be in trouble. Am I glad Sri Lanka is not a huge internet market.
Read the articles here:
New York Times
Millions and millions of exuberant monkeys … are creating an endless digital forest of mediocrity
And that is us! according to Andrew Keen in his book titled The Cult of the Amateur: How Today’s Internet is Killing our Culture. You can read an article about it here.
In a way, Keen does make some sense. It is all to easy to copy and paste any bit of some one else’s work and make your self seem smarter than you are. Bloggers and web tabloids would probably be the main target of this tirade. And being a blogger myself, I am not really happy being referred to as a monkey, but yes, there is a lot of cut n’ paste going on. We have intellectuals and pseudo-intellectuals all debating against each other through their blogs, and rarely, if ever is there a winner. And that is all because of Google. If you cannot answer a question or accusation, hell, google it. Surely someone has an answer. I for one, would love to see some bloggers face to face, and see how they stand up to a debate without their beloved search engines.
But no matter how much Keen complains, this ‘pajama army’ is here to stay. The internet is the ultimate virtual democracy. It is where everyone
can be what they are. can be what they make themselves out to be. It may not be perfect, but it’s here to stay. And it’s also the only way some of us can have our voices heard.
The pajamas are here to stay!