Friday, September 2, 2011
TROLL FACES TRIAL
When I think of trolls I think of Shrek, we’ll at least I do think of Shrek and his swamp. I was not joking in class when I said I am not well versed with the internet beyond the simple email and Google and Yahoo search engines for research. “In Internet slang [however], a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troll_(Internet))
But when the posts are directed to a specific person, which not only provokes but threatens the very life of the same although in vague terms not clear enough for conviction beyond reasonable doubt, does it fall under the protection of free speech. The courts may now have venue to decide on the matter as a criminal complaint is filed against William Lawrence Cassidy for posting some 8,000 tweets to harass Alyce Zeoli, who is a Buddhist leader based in Maryland. (See:http://boingboing.net/2011/08/27/troll-who-harassed-buddhist-leader-with-8000-hate-tweets-claims-free-speech-defense.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+boingboing/iBag+(Boing+Boing)&utm_content=Google+Reader#)
Cassidy is now claiming the defense of free speech against the complaint. The question as to whether a public tweet can be considered as harassment to a specific person and is of no consequence to Cassidy is claimed by the defense.
One person commented:
technogeekagain 08/27/2011 01:08 PM
Threatening someone is Assault, and actionable. Free speech is not a defense.
But another comments:
elix 08/27/2011 10:08 AM
Because harrassment and stalking are what the First Amendment was primarily designed to protect. Yes, that seems like a perfectly sound defense. I guess he doesn't have any other one other than an insanity plea.