Cyberstalking follows ‘digital addiction’ says expert

Cyberstalking can be a consequence digital addition an expert on the topic has said.

Jonathan Bishop, who has edited the book, Psychological and Social Implications Surrounding Internet and Gaming Addiction, made the finding as a result of research he has conducted since 2011.

Jonathan Bishop’s research chapter, ‘Determining the Risk of Digital Addiction to Adolescent Targets of Internet Trolling: Implications for the UK Legal System‘, found that young people who had met someone offline they had a bad experience with also showed symptoms associated with Internet addiction.

Jonathan Bishop runs The Crocels Trolling Academy and says that he hopes his research will help professionals working with young people. “My checklist will help for example teachers identify whether one or more of their pupils have the signs of digital addiction and therefore  exploitation through stalking and grooming,” he said. “The links between stalking and addiction are overlooked, and this means young people are being put at risk because just because they can often show mastery of using technology it does not mean they automatically know how to keep safe online or manage the time they use it.

Jonathan Bishop’s chapter is on pages 31 to 42 of his book, Psychological and Social Implications Surrounding Internet and Gaming Addiction, which is being published in August 2015 by IGI Global.

Twitter reacts to Bath truck accident

Twitter users have had mixed reaction to the Bath truck accident in which a girl and three others died.

Some expressed anger at how the tragedy was being investigated, whilst others posted words of sympathy to all those affected.

At the time of reporting there was no obvious signs of abuse on Twittter, but Internet trolling expert, Jonathan Bishop, said those involved should be cautious about how they use social media. “At times like this the natural instinct will be to seek support from friends and family, and in the Internet age set up a memorial page,” he said. “Because of the media attention given to the tragedy I would advise those affected to only use social media with privacy settings on to exclude potential trolls.

Jonathan Bishop runs the Crocels Trolling Academy and edited the book, “Examining the Concepts, Issues and Implications of Internet Trolling.” The Trolling Academy website – www.trollingacademy.org – includes advice on how to set-up troll-proof memorial pages on Facebook, among other helpful articles.

Bedroom tax ‘will cause trolling’

The bedroom tax will cause Internet trolling. That is the finding of research published in the International Journal of E-Politics.

The research, carried out by Internet trolling expert Jonathan Bishop, who runs the Crocels Trolling Academy, analysed trolling levels and geo-demographics in Wales, Scotland and the South East of England.

The study found the number of NEETs and productivity was lower in Wales than the South East of England. However, with the number of trolling incidents in the South East of England being 690, which is 5 times the amount of trolling in Wales, then the research shows that it is not NEETs that do trolling, unlike often thought. The exact number of trolling incidents recorded in Wales was 135 and the number of rooms per house and quality of life in Wales was higher than in the South East of England.

Jonathan Bishop, known in politics as Dzon, said that this throws the UK Government’s bedroom tax into turmoil. “The bedroom tax is being applied to social housing where an arbitrary ruling is made about how many rooms a family can have, with those with young children being entitled to less,” he said. “My research shows that when these children get older and the houses are to small, the issues arising from this are likely to include more incidents of trolling.

Jonathan Bishop’s paper, ‘Digital Teens and the ‘Antisocial Network’: Prevalence of Troublesome Online Youth Groups and Internet trolling in Great Britain’ is published in volume 5 issue 3 of The International Journal of E-Politics.

Twitter troll makes apology

A Chelsea supporting Twitter troll who sent a racist remark to Manchester City footballer Yaya Toure has apologized for his mistake.

The user of the Twitter account, @IconicLamps sent a tweet containing the n-word to the footballer, but said sorry via the Starsport website. “I apologise to Yaya Toure & to all those offended,” he said. “It was a foolish act and I deeply regret it as I’m not a racist.”

Trolling Academy founder Jonathan Bishop said he hoped police investigations into this incident would be dropped. “The Guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service says that if an incident of trolling is a one-off and the troller shows remorse then no prosecution should be brought,” he said. “I would be disgusted if this troll was prosecuted when Rio Ferdinand has got off from sending a racist tweet about fellow footballer Andy Cole, calling him ‘choc ice.’

Police in Manchester are also investigating a number of other incidents of racism on Twitter against Yaya Toure, including people who have since deleted their messages also. Bishop says only those who have not deleted their racist tweets should be prosecuted. “Racist messages are grossly offensive, and can be easily found on platforms like Twitter by people with sensitivities,” he said. “The Public Order Act 1986 has been used to prosecute racist comments on Twitter in the case of Liam Stacey, so I would hope any prosecutions arise out of this Act and only against those who have shown no remorse.

Trolling laws ‘sufficient’ say Lords

A House of Lords inquiry in relation to the statutory and common law offences that can be used to prosecute offences arising out of social media has found that existing laws in the UK are sufficient enough to deal with the problem.

The Communications Committee looking into the issue said, however,  whilst the law can deal with Internet trolling and cyberbullying, greater clarity is needed from the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to the prosecution of a group of people known as Porn E-Vengers who post private pictures of their former partners online.

Lord Best is chairman of the committee. “Cyber bullying, revenge porn, trolling and virtual mobbing are new phrases in our media vocabulary, but they generally describe behaviour that is already criminal,” he said. “Although anonymity has a valuable place when using social media – enabling human rights workers and journalists working in conflict areas to communicate with the outside world, for example – its negative effects when used as a shield for offenders to hide behind should be addressed.
“We need to be careful: we need to balance people’s right to freedom of expression with implementing the criminal law, whether the offences are committed online or off-line. It’s a complex subject, but we feel that legislation as it currently exists is generally fit for purpose and doing the job, even though it was drafted before the social media were first invented.”

Internet trolling expert, Jonathan Bishop, of the Trolling Academy in Swansea, agreed. “I am glad that the Communications Committee came to the same conclusion as me that the existing laws are tough enough,” he said. “A lot of the submissions to the committee were on presentation issues – whether the current laws are in the public consciousness enough – and even I would say some of the most severe trolling offences, like the ones that lead to suicide, need to be re-branded, such as being named ‘manslaughter.'”

Lord Best said social media platforms and parents have a part to play in conveying that message, including to digital teens. “We encourage websites to speed up processing law enforcement requests for identities, to develop further their ability to monitor the use of their services and to build on the effectiveness of measures already in place to enable people using social media platforms to protect themselves,” he said. “Just as importantly, as well as the legal measures available to us, we must ensure that parents and schools are taking on board the extent of the problem.
“They need to make sure that children are taught – at home and in school – that being horrid, offensive and rude to people online is just as wrong as it would be to do it face-to-face.
“Educating the next generation about how they should behave in the technological world is as important as teaching them the rights and wrongs of how to behave in person.”

Neknominate ‘already illegal’

TROLLING ON: Jonathan Bishop says many of the laws used to prosecute Internet trolling can be used in relation to Neknominate. Courtesy: Steve Powderhill Photography.
TROLLING ON: Jonathan Bishop says many of the laws used to prosecute Internet trolling can be used in relation to Neknominate. Courtesy: Steve Powderhill Photography.

The Neknominate craze is already illegal says an Internet law expert specialising in gamification and Internet trolling law.

Jonathan Bishop is Principal of The Crocels Trolling Academy. “Section 2 of the Suicide Act 1961 can be used against those who incite others to commit suicide using the Internet,” he said. “Sections 44 to 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007 can be used to prosecute those who encourage others to commit an offence, such as under Section 2A of the Suicide Act 1961.
And Section 127(2) of the Communications Act 2003 can be used to prosecute those who have persistently neknominated others where they have caused needless anxiety to others, such as families of those nominated.”

Shadow Home Office minister, Diana Johnson, whose party introduced the legislation referred to by Bishop said: “Facebook needs to look very ­carefully at what they are allowing and to make sure this stops.” While Shadow Media Minister Helen Goodman said: “Encouraging this kind of behaviour on social media sites is totally irresponsible,” and “we need to regulate its (Facebook’s) content.

But Bishop says that politicians are out of touch with the legal system in England and Wales. “Most actions that can be facilitated via the Internet that have a harmful effect on others have probably already been made illegal by the 1997 to 2010 New Labour Government,” he said. “Labour promised to be tough on crime and in terms of cybercrime they were.
The authorities should not be passing the buck, and if they think it is in the public interest to take action then they can as there is more than enough legislation on the statute books for them to do so.

Jonathan Bishop is author of 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),” which was published in the International Review of Law, Computers and Technology in 2010.”

Caroline Criado Perez messages ‘should be expected’ says expert

Two people have been convicted for the sending of abusive messages to Caroline Criado Perez – the feminist campaigner who was abused on Twitter following calling for more women to appear on British banknotes.

Isabella Sorley, 23, of Newcastle, and John Nimmo, 25, of South Shields, pleaded guilty at Westminster Magistrates Court to sending the grossly offensive , threatening and menacing messages over a public communications network (i.e. Twitter).

CAMPAIGNER: Caroline Criado-Perez has successfully campaigned for Jane Austen to appear on £10 banknotes from 2017. Courtesy: Obtained from The Women's Room
TROLLED: Caroline Criado Perez suffered “life-changing” psychological effects from being trolled. Courtesy: The Women’s Room

Alison Morgan was prosecuting. “Caroline Criado-Perez has suffered life-changing psychological effects from the abuse which she received on Twitter,” she said.
In particular, the menacing nature of the tweets sent by both defendants caused her significant fear that they would find her and carry out their threats.”

Internet trolling expert Jonathan Bishop says that Caroline Criado Perez should have expected what she got. “You cannot expect to not be challenged in the digital age if you advocate policies that will disadvantage a group to which you don’t belong,” he said. “Based on the evidence Caroline Criado Perez was being misandrist by advocating women like her should have more rights to be on bank notes regardless of merit.
It is perhaps an unwanted truth that Caroline Criado Perez and anyone else with any form of protected characteristic should expected the sort of abuse she had.
The people who abused Caroline Criado Perez in a chauvinistic manner would have instead been racist if for example Diane Abbott asked for more rights for Black people and less rights for White people.
It is the way things now are an unless one develops the abilities to deal with being trolled, such as to see all trolls as a crowd of people and all posts to be bullets to be fended of, and to enjoy this, then one should not choose to be a public figure in this digital age.”

Jonathan Bishop runs the Internet Safety Awareness course at the Swansea-based Trolling Academy. The Trolling Academy’s website is: http://www.trollingacademy.org.

Swansea University in ‘favourtism’ charge

An Internet trolling expert whose company participated in the European Union funded Institute of Life Sciences program has blasted Swansea University who runs the scheme alleging favouritism to Swansea University staff over his own research venture.

Liberal Democrat Mike Day is alleged to have edited Wikipedia to spin the 2011 Welsh devolution referendum result. Courtesy: Twitter
CONTRACT OUT: Former Institute of Life Sciences manager Cllr Mike Day cancelled the contract Crocels had with the European Union funded venture, following disagreements over the use of the building for Crocels’s Trolling Academy Project. Courtesy: Twitter

Jonathan Bishop ran the Trolling Academy within the Institute of Life Sciences at Swansea University, founding it in 2011. In March 2012 relations became strained when Liam Stacey was convicted for trolling and Swansea University would not allow the media on campus to interview Bishop about trolling . It is understood that Swansea University took steps to try to prevent the association of ‘The Trolling Academy’ with the university, even though there were no issues between its formation in Autumn 2011 and the media frenzy around Liam Stacey in March 2012. The incident was followed by the manager of the Institute of Life Sciences, Cllr Mike Day, cancelling the contract Bishop’s company had with the Institute of Life Sciences, even though Bishop’s company was meeting the terms of the ‘deminimis funding’ his firm received from the program.

Bishop’s charge of favourism is directed at the fact that Swansea University academic, William Merrin who is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Swansea University, is due to speak at the University of Glasgow on 13 November 2013 in a speech titled, ‘Annoying the world: Defence of Trolls.’

As Bishop explains, his integrity was questioned by Swansea University, whom he said has acted unethically. “It comes to something that Swansea University implied I could damage its reputation by the association of The Crocels Trolling Academy with Swansea University,” he said. “It was revealed that they disciplined Liam Stacey not for racism, but for damaging their reputation.
Swansea University seem so concerned with their own reputation, they forget what they are there for and why they are receiving public money from the European Union and the Welsh Government, which is to benefit the people of Wales and the local economy.”

Bishop said that the alleged favouritism shown to William Merrin was unfair. “It is totally unethical for Swansea University to censor my Internet trolling research initiative, yet to allow its own members of staff, such as William Merrin to make speeches and write papers and books on trolling, when few people knew what was prior to Liam Stacey in March 2012,” he said. “William Merrin has described himself as the head of the ‘Centre For Lulz Research, the Vice-President of the Universe and a troll,’ which are titles that if anything should belong the the Trolling Academy and myself respectively.

Public figures should ‘enjoy attention’ says trolling expert

Internet trolling expert Jonathan Bishop has said that being offended by trolls gives them what they want and learning to feed off their venom can counteract abuse and reduce the harm they can cause.

Bishop was responding to the abuse of leading feminists on Twitter, including campaigner Caroline Criado-Perez, who faced a barrage of detailed rape threats on Twitter following her call for Jane Austen to feature on £10 banknotes. “The way I see it is that if you put yourself in the public eye and go on Twitter then you should expect people to hold you to account in the most stern of terms,” he told Nicky Campbell on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Bishop said that one thing trolls hate more than anything is confidence and resilience. “People like Caroline (Criado-Perez) who had the horrible rape messages sent to her should enjoy the attention,” he told Campbell. “It might not seem the natural thing to do, but trolls hate it when they are being ineffective at trying to get at you.
These Haters as they are called feed on offending others, and if people like Caroline Criado-Perez can put up a stance against the trolls, it grates them more than anything.” 

The interview followed Bishop speaking with Elena Cresci of Media Wales specifically about how Caroline Criado-Perez should have responded to her abusers based on the precedent set by Isabel Fay. “In this case, when someone is getting 40 to 50 tweets in an hour, the best thing to do is to have your credibility boosted without being victimised,” he said. Bishop has also written a tutorial for his Trolling Academy website on how people like Caroline Criado-Perez can deal with such vile abuse. “The rape threats against Caroline Criado-Perez are totally unacceptable and meet the definition of ‘grossly offensive,‘ under the law” he said. “My tutorial however will help people enjoy the attention so that the words cannot harm them, by helping them to consider responses to rape-callouts that have become memes that taunt the Hater trolls, as Isabel Fay achieved.

Bishop’s free tutorial is available at: http://www.trollingacademy.org/online-safety-sociability/1965/do-or-dont-feed-the-trolls/

Censorship challenge dismissed by court

An appeal to Cardiff County Court by Crocels, Europe’s leading multimedia and community regeneration partnership, has not been upheld by Judge Anthony Seys Llewelyn, the Designated Civil Judge for Wales, who heard the case.

MOUTH WIDE SHUT: Judge Anthony Seys Llewelyn, the Designated Civil Judge for Wales, has refused to uphold the right to Free Speech of Crocels and its associates
MOUTH WIDE SHUT: Judge Anthony Seys Llewelyn, the Designated Civil Judge for Wales, has refused to uphold the right to Free Speech of Crocels and its associates. Courtesy: Obtained from bangor University’s website.

Crocels appealed a judgement of Pontypridd County Court that dismissed a claim that Heart Internet Ltd and Rob Percival, who trades as Eco Web Hosting, were wrong in requesting Crocels remove content that an Internet webmaster called Mike Slocombe said were defamatory and breached copyright laws.

Crocels argued that as the Defamation Act 2013 will remove liability for alleged defamatory content from website hosts if they provided the identities of the alleged defamers that the court should mandate this requirement for Heart Internet Ltd and Eco Web Hosting as it would mean those threatening legal action against them, like Mike Slocombe, would have to bring it against Crocels directly rather than get lawful content removed through making vexatious and unfounded legal threats against them.

His Honour Judge Anthony Seys Llewyellyn set out why he could not uphold the appeal. “I have read the whole of the materials submitted by the Claimant to the court,” he said. “It is impossible to discern within it any reasonable grounds for bringing a claim or any hit of reference to facts which might reasonably support a claim in law.

Jonathan Bishop is the chief executive officer of the Crocels Community Media Group. “Since its formation in 2011 Crocels CMG has put free speech at the heart of everything we do whether in relation to our Trolling Academy and Free Digital initiatives’ stated aims right through to our information-based online communities such as Crocels News where we ensure all views are heard even, or especially, if they are different from those contained within the articles we publish.

Crocels now intends to relocate all its web hosting operations to the United States of America where free speech is a constitutional right. Bishop says how he regrets having to make this decision. “The reason we chose to use Eco Web Hosting was because it was carbon neutral including by planting trees to absorb carbon which is a key feature of our environmental policy,” he said. “But at the end of the day our ethics extend beyond the environment to fundamental human rights such as free speech and as His Honour Judge Anthony Seys Llewyellyn has not been able to appreciate why free speech should be put before censorship we have no alternative but to relocate to a legal jurisdiction that respects our ethics in all their forms.
We have chosen to move our services to justhost.com by clicking through from its UK affiliate Super Green Hosting, who support all our ethics from protecting the environment to respecting free speech.

Kevin Edwards runs the Justice 4 Linda Lewis campaign and has had prior experience of the perceived unfair decisions of Judge Anthony Seys Llewelyn. “Judge Seys Llewellyn is a political judge,” he said. “He allowed endemic perjury to take place in his court in his determination to prevent Linda Lewis from seeking justice over the kidnapping of her then twelve year old daughter.