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Assistance Hunting Down Trolls and Cyber Bullies

June 6, 2012

Reading about a new free service in the UK to help people hunt down trolls and help them get stuff removed from the web.   I wish this type of service existed when I was being stalked.  I have to put up with it for almost two years before.  I was finally assisted by an Australian guy that was also a victim of cyber stalking.


The UK’s first cyber-bullying charity is offering victims a free “troll hunting” service. The Cybersmile Foundation will work with a team of covert investigators to track down and expose online bullies.

The service will be helped by a team of global forensic analysts. When trolls are identified the charity will contact internet service providers, social network corporations and web hosting companies.

It has been set up by Scott Freeman whose 13-year-old daughter Poppy was targeted by internet bullies. He said: “With the team of experts we have put together from around the world, and the determination I have to make a difference, the war is on.

“Up until now it has been easy for these Trolls to hide behind their computer screens; but not any more. They are being found and exposed.

“The distress and anguish which they cause are not cyber feelings – they are very real”

Poppy Freeman was 11-years-old when the bullying began after an argument with friends at her school in Brighton. She told Sky News it escalated until she was receiving abuse and death threats on a daily basis on her Facebook page, Twitter account and online chat forums.

She says many of the comments were coming from people she did not know.

She described one message which read: “If you don’t kill yourself we’ll do it for you”. She told Sky News she considered suicide.

“I got to a low that was so low I didn’t even know I could come back from it. And I just thought I can’t cope – I’ve got to harm myself – I’ve got to cause the physical pain that I’m feeling inside.

“So I was sitting in my room with a knife and I barricaded myself in there. But fortunately my mum was able to get the door open before I had done something.”

Poppy’s parents say her school and the police were not prepared to get involved. In the end they moved away from Brighton to get away from the abuse. Poppy was home-schooled but is now looking forward to starting at a new school in Cheshire.

The Cybersmile Foundation says one in three children in the UK suffer cyberbulling. Celebrities are also targeted by trolls.

Olympic diver Tom Daley was accused on Twitter of letting down his late father by not winning the gold medal at London 2012. Singer Gary Barlow faced online abuse as he grieved for his stillborn daughter.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “What is illegal offline is illegal online. People should not be able to use social media to post anonymous, abusive or threatening comments without facing any consequences.

“We have robust legislation in place to deal with internet trolls, cyber-stalking and harassment but we recognise that having these laws is not enough on its own.

“That is why we are working with the Crown Prosecution Service and the police to improve guidance and training for police and prosecutors.

“Prevention is also key and the government is working with industry, academia, charities and parenting groups to develop tools to combat misuse of social networking sites.”

A spokesperson for Facebook told Sky News: “We are absolutely clear there is no place for trolling on Facebook.

“It’s against Facebook’s rules to intimidate or harass others, and we provide everyone with the tools to report such content via specific links across every page of our site.

“When abuse is reported to us, we react swiftly and we will disable accounts that are found to be in breach of our terms.

“We strongly encourage people using Facebook to use our tools whenever needed and to report objectionable content so we can investigate reports and take action.”

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The above article was originally posted on a personal blog of Elizabeth Clarke and is reproduced here with her permission.  Elizabeth is now happily married and has moved on.  

Filed in: General

About the Author:

Christopher is an IT specialist with 30 years of experience in developing technology working with corporates and SME’s. Chris is a Microsoft Certified System Engineer and holds a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology, as well as numerous certificate based qualifications in technology and application development. Christopher is the CEO of internetSOS - A project to help people learn how to protect themselves online.

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