By January 26, 2014 0 Comments Read More →

Twitter ‘Trolls’ Jailed For Abusive Messages

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Caroline Criado-Perez, a feminist campaigner for a female figure to appear on a Bank of England monetary note, found herself the victim of numerous threats and hate mail via her Twitter account.

Criado-Perez said she had been put through a “terrifying and scarring” experience as a result of the tweets.

Now, both a man and a woman have been jailed for sending some of the messages.

Isabella Sorley, 23, and John Nimmo, 25, confessed to sending numerous threats of death and rape to Criado-Perez after her campaign for the bank-notes to be changed received wide-spread attention.

The convicted Sorley, was – according to her lawyer – a “victim” of new technology that she didn’t understand. She was jailed for 12 weeks, while Nimmo was jailed for eight weeks.

Even though Judge Howard Riddle said that it was “hard to imagine more extreme threats”, Sorely’s attorney said that she just didn’t understand how serious her tweets were.

Criado-Perez didn’t attend, but did comment that “hearing the outcome has made me realize how tense and anxious I have been feeling”.

“I did not attend the sentencing as I didn’t feel I could cope with being in court with them – and I didn’t feel sure that the judge would understand how terrifying and scarring the whole experience has been for me, which again is not something I could face,” she continued.

“I feel immensely relieved that the judge clearly has understood the severity of the impact this abuse has had on me.”

Sorley and Nimmo pleaded guilty on January 7 to being behind upwards of 86 separate Twitter accounts from which Ms Criado-Perez had received threatening messages.

Amongst threats of rape and death, the tweets urged Criado-Perez to commit suicide.

The judge explained that the abuse of Ms Criado-Perez was “life-changing”.

The judge further said that “The fact that they were anonymous heightened the fear.

“The victim had no way of knowing how dangerous the people making the threats were, whether they had just come out of prison, or how to recognize and avoid them if they came across them in public.”

What are your thoughts about this case? Is this the first of more such legal challenges to threatening “trolls” to come?

(Article by Ezekiel Adams; image by PBSpot)

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