Metropolitan Police ‘sexist’ and ‘racist’ for ‘trolling’ claim

The London Metropolitan Police have been criticised for being institutionally sexist and racist, following being forced to drop a prosecution against a Caucasian man, who was arrested and charged following being outspoken on Twitter against a muslim woman.

In an embarrassing climb-down, the Metropolitan Police were forced to drop charges against the man, who was arrested and charged under Section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986, following heated exchanges with a Muslim woman on Twitter.

The man, aged 46, was arrested and charged by the Metropolitan Police following using Twitter to ask a muslim woman to “explain Brussels,” but the prosecution was halted following the intervention of the Crown Prosecution Service.

The Metropolitan Police confirmed that the man had been “charged under section 19 of the Public Order Act 1986; publishing or distributing written material which is threatening, abusive or insulting, likely or intended to stir up racial hatred,” adding that, “This follows an investigation by officers at Croydon police community safety unit.

Internet trolling and cyberstalking expert Jonathan Bishop criticised the police, saying that the arrest and prosecution of the man sadly comes as no surprise. “The Metropolitan Police still have not learned the lessons from the time of Stephen Lawrence,” he said. “They feel they have to respond to certain enquiries based on the protected characteristics of the alleged victim, in this case a woman that is a muslim, but this amounts simply to benevolent sexism against men and institutional racism against Caucasians.
My research has found that crime recording by South Wales Police is sexist against men when it comes to Internet trolling, and in fact I have found that there are often more than double the amount of arrests and prosecutions of men for Internet trolling than women.
This goes against my other research that finds that most breakdowns in relationships online involve women and their interactions with other women, and the lack of replication of this fact in crime recording seems to be an endemic problem across police forces.

Jack Straw ‘peerage block’ is ‘disgusting’ says ex-Labour councillor

A former Labour Party councillor who documented New Labour’s reforms to data misuse laws says he is disgusted that former Home Secretary Jack Straw is to be denied a peerage by Jeremy Corbyn.

Independent councillor, Jonathan Bishop, wrote the research paper, “Tough on data misuse, tough on the causes of data misuse: A review of New Labour’s approach to information security and regulating the misuse of digital information (1997-2010)” says that Jack Straw’s contribution to legal reform should not go unrecognised.

Jack Straw introduced the Human Rights Act, Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act, all within the space of two years.
JACK OF ALL TRADES: Jack Straw introduced the Human Rights Act, Data Protection Act and Freedom of Information Act, all within the space of two years. Courtesy: Obtained from Wikipedia

Claims in The Guardian that Jeremy Corbyn is to deny Jack Straw elevation to the House of Lords was criticised by Councillor Bishop. “It was Jack Straw who introduced the Human Rights Act, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Data Protection Act,” he said. “These were the biggest reforms to data, information and privacy rights in the space of two years that the UK has ever seen.
So what if Jack Straw made some mistakes. It is my view that if Jeremy Corbyn does block his elevation to the House of Lords that he should apply to be a cross-bencher, as having seen in recent weeks the poor quality of the Human Rights Committee in the House of Lords scrutinising Justice Secretary Michael Gove, someone of Jack Straw’s caliber is desperately needed.

Campaigners rejoice as Texas introduce cameras in special needs classes

Campaigners are celebrating a victory in ensuring the protection of special needs students in Texas schools through the introduction of CCTV.

Since June, schools in Texas have been able to install cameras to protect students. Senate Bill 507 was created following the alleged rape of a student with autism, for which a prosecution was not able to be brought due to lack of evidence.

Dr Diana Otero is Executive Director of Special Education at YISD. “There have been concerns in the past from other districts, that probably prompted the need for this (law),” she said. “And I say we have great teachers, I don’t see a problem with any of that. I see it as another layer of safety that parents feel they need.”

Tara Heidinger runs the Cameras In Special Needs Classrooms campaign. “Texas families, advocates, and more stuck together, shared their testimonies, and let their voices be heard all the way to state house,” she said. “Texas families, advocates, and more have been fighting for cameras in special needs classrooms at least 4-5 years now.
With everyone sticking together and never giving up, they passed the Bill this session to have cameras in special needs classrooms in the State of Texas. Georgia state has a Bill currently and more states in the USA are fighting for Bills. Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, and more are also getting involved for Cameras In Special Needs Classrooms.

The Facebook Page for Cameras In Special Needs Classrooms is: http://www.facebook.com/CamerasInSpecialNeedsClassrooms

Secret courts ‘do not go far enough’

The coming into force of a law that allows lay judges to make decisions on criminal cases does not go far enough an Internet trolling and cyberstalking expert has said.

Jonathan Bishop, who edited the book, Examining the Concepts, Issues and Implications of Internet trolling says that whilst he supports the Single Justice Procedure, its application through using local lay judges is not appropriate. “There are thousands of miscarriages of justice every day where members of the public are being told to plead guilty when under the law they are not,” he said. “The Single Justice Procedure, if carried out by specialist judges expert in the area of law applicable, could weed out cases that are not in the public interest,” he stated.

Bishop, who spoke at the E-Society conference this year on how youths are being misrepresented as trolls, said he believes the current system where people are encouraged to plead guilty is wrong. “It should not be for the accused to say they are guilty, as in my view many people who plead guilty would be found not guilty if the law was properly applied,” he said. “The current implementation of the Single Justice Procedure does not go far enough, as no one should be allowed to admit to committing an offence unless a fully qualified judge has given a view that they might have.
If, and only if, a judge says someone is guilty should a case then be able to proceed to trial, and then only if the accused is of the view they are not guilty, as no one should be allowed to admit they are guilty of an offence, when the proper response should be to feel remorse for whatever they did, whether legal or illegal.

Anna Wolkowski ‘sacked’ volunteer for digital illiteracy

The Chief Executive of Dove House Hospice, Anna Wolkowski, has sacked a volunteer because she lacks digital literacy.

Anna Wolkowski sacked volunteer, Jane Brooks, 75, because she was not able to use a computer.

Anna Wolkowski sacked 75-year-old Jane Brooks.
SACKER: Anna Wolkowski sacked 75-year-old volunteer Jane Brooks due to her digital literacy. Courtesy: Obtained from Twitter.

Anna Wolkowski justified her behaviour, despite Jane Brooks working solidly for the charity since the 1980s. “Despite repeated attempts to engage with these volunteers and support them to continue to volunteer in a way that they felt comfortable with, the requests that were made on the hospice were unreasonable and as such it was felt to be in the best interest of all parties for them to no longer volunteer at the Cottingham shop,” she said.

Jonathan Bishop is a researcher in intergenerationalism in online environments and project manager at Crocels. “It is disgusting that Anna Wolkowski is willing to sack people just because she lacks the ability to help motivate her staff to develop their IT skills,” he said. “I have found it challenging dealing with workers who are resistant to change, but one does not get rid of them if they are still able to contribute to one’s organisation in cooperation with other workers who can help them fit into organisational change.

Are young people being held hostage by smart devices?

A new report published by the Youth Sports Trust has revealed that nearly 25% of children consider playing video games as a form of exercise.

Nearly 75% of young people have access to games consoles, and daily screen time eclipses activity time with young people averaging close to 3 hours per day using technology.

Amongst 11 year olds, 70% say they watch YouTube, 15% log into Facebook and 11% post on Instagram.

Ali Oliver, chief exec of the YST, says that the digital revolution presents opportunities and challenges with young people “potentially held hostage” to their handheld devices.

The trust has called for more PE and technology integration in schools, and the government has provided £300m in funding earmarked to “prioritising PE” and improving school sport.

Some 75% of the five to 16 year olds surveyed say they enjoy PE at school and two-thirds feel better after taking part in sport.

Edward Timpson, the Children’s Minister, is encouraged that the research shows millions of young people are enjoying PE lessons. “[PE] remains a government priority,” he said.

But the report says that there is “no resisting” the march of technology and in order to get children active a more holistic approach to PE is needed. It recommends one which “integrates technology and the delivery of a seamless, intuitive and digitally enhanced form of physical activity.”

Some believe there is a block in teachers using technology in lessons due to a lack of training or software comprehension. A college worker has described that some lecturers “just don’t want to know” about using animations or apps.

Others note that technology has been historically blamed as leading to sedentary lifestyles: books, radio, TV, video games and now smart devices face criticism despite it being difficult to pin-point their attributions to overall physical wellbeing.

One parent notes that it would not be difficult to create parental controls to deactivate devices remotely. “[The report] clearly signals that action is needed now to modernise approaches,” says Oliver.

Big Brother Watch ‘deluded’

The civil liberties campaigning group, Big Brother Watch, is “deluded” – that is the message of Internet trolling and cyber-stalking expert, Jonathan Bishop.

In the last week, Big Brother Watch’s research director, Dan Nesbitt, claimed trolling laws were ‘out-of-date’. “In the age of social media it is essential that action be taken to ensure that the legislation is up-to-date, proportionate and properly recorded,” he said. “Until then, more individuals, most of whom are guilty of stupidity rather than criminality, will find themselves unnecessarily dealing with the law.

Jonathan Bishop is highly critical of Mr Nesbitt’s comments. “Dan Nesbitt has no idea about what he is speaking about,” he said. “Big Brother Watch are totally delusional if they think it is the law that is to blame for people being wrongly prosecuted for Internet trolling.
The legislation, case law, and prosecution guidance all set a high threshold for action to be taken, but my research shows that this is all too often ignored by the police, seeking to shore-up their figures, and in many cases fulfil out-dated chivalrous attitudes.

Harassment warning safeguards needed

The action of police in issuing harassment warnings against members of the public has been criticised by a powerful committee in the UK Parliament.

The Home Affairs Select Committee, chaired by Rt. Hon Keith Vaz MP, has severely criticised the use of what have been called ‘police information notices.’ Mr Vaz is very concerned about the figures. “Tens of thousands of PINs are issued by the police every year,” he said. “Although a useful tool for stopping harassment, meeting the needs of the victim and addressing problematic behaviour, there is a clear danger that they may be used inappropriately if they are not done in conjunction with good risk assessment and sufficient investigation.
The lack of any procedure for appealing against a PIN can feel very unfair to recipients.
Police forces should provide further training to officers on the use of PINs.
It is also vital that intended recipients of a PIN are given the opportunity to give their account of the situation before a police decision is made.”

Jonathan Bishop is an Internet trolling and cyberstalking expert. “Police Information Notices are being used on behalf of politicians and others to curb free speech online, so they can be unaccountable,” he said. “The findings of the committee are very important and I would hope that the police would now withdraw the harassment warnings they have served on people who they could not prove commented a course of conduct in terms of harassment and stalking.”

Women must stop being ‘second sex’

In order to have true equality, women need to stop thinking of themselves as the “second sex” and being “bitches” – that is the message of writer and critic, Hannah Betts.

We know men do it (trolling) to women, far more men, one should note,” Hannah Betts said. “There is hardly a female in the public eye, however marginally, who has not felt this venom,” she continued. “But the revelation of cases such as that of the feminist campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez and the swimmer Rebecca Adlington is that women are laying into other women equally savagely.
In July 2013 Criado-Perez became the focus of a torrent of Twitter abuse, receiving 50 rape and/or murder threats hourly for two days.
Two people pleaded guilty to the offence: one a woman, Isabella Sorley, then aged 23.

BITCH?: Caroline Criado-Perez is fighting for rights that already exist says Jonathan Bishop. Courtesy: Obtained from The Women's Room
BITCH?: Caroline Criado-Perez is fighting for rights that already exist says Jonathan Bishop. Courtesy: Obtained from The Women’s Room

Jonathan Bishop, known in politics as Dzon, is a Women’s Studies researcher and says that Hannah Betts is spot on with her analysis. “The fact is, there is equality staring us all in the eyes on the statute books, but it seems feminists like Caroline Criado Perez would rather we were still in the 1930s where men had more rights than women,” he said. “Caroline Criado Perez asserts she wants more rights for women, and that is why she is being targeted by trolls, because they see her as a hypocrite.
If Caroline Criado Perez were to adopt the philosophy of those in women’s studies – that women should be equal to men and vice versa – then Caroline Criado Perez could start to accept her failings as her own and not blame men because she wants a cause to fight that has already been won in law!

James Corden trolls ‘snobs’

The Twitter trolls who made critical comments about James Corden being awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Years Honours List are ‘snobs’ an Internet trolling expert has said.

Jonathan Bishop, who edited the book, Examining the Concepts, Issues and Implications of Internet Trolling, said the tweets were a textbook example of what are called Hater Trolls. “James Corden comes across as one of the lads, and thus those who identify his ordinary persona, who are not as successful as him, attack him because they resent the fact that someone like them is capable on being on the same pedestal they put more glamorous actors on,” he said. “At the end of the day these Haters are snobs, who think only the privileged should be successful and therefore also think those from background like them couldn’t possibly be worthy of something they could never achieve.”

Jonathan Bishop’s research paper, ‘The effect of deindividuation of the Internet Troller on Criminal Procedure implementation: An interview with a Hater,’ is published in volume 7, issue 1 of the International Journal of Cyber Criminology. It discusses the nature of Haters and why they despise others’ success.