The dark side of the internet

Ofacebook1h yes there is one unfortunately. The powers of the internet are wonderful, no longer do we have to trek out in the rain to pay that Gas Bill, we simply log on to our online banking sites and pay.  With a few clicks you have saved yourself a good soaking and the bus fare.

When a new born baby enters the world, family that live far and wide no longer have to wait for those pictures to be developed, put in an envelope and posted.  They don’t have to sit waiting for the mail man to arrive in hope those photos are in his post bag.

They just simply, open up their email account and download those photos.  No long waits, just a few clicks and they can see that new born baby within minutes.

When your grandson or granddaughter live far away and you can’t spend their Birthdays with them, by the powers of the internet and video calling, you can talk to them, wish them ‘Happy Birthday’ and watch them open their presents.

But unfortunately there are people who abuse a wonderful thing.  They take things to the extreme.  If you care to read you can see the dark side of the internet.  What people do online that causes great distress to another person.

For instance take this story from the Cyprus, a young 13-year old student killed himself.   His family had to endure the pain of losing their son, but some people instead of offering support and their condolences decided to deface tribute pages set up on the world wide wide.  The article states:

Once Asher’s case drew national media attention, trolls descended on the late teen’s memorial page on Facebook with a vengeance, posting hateful comments across pictures of the boy’s face – such as “Bullied in life, bullied in hell” and “Hey, Mom… sorry about the mess! LOL.”

The trolls also posted pornographic pictures, made fun of Asher’s sexual orientation and even posted a graphic photo of a man who shot himself in the head in a car, writing, “Did he look anything like this afterwards?”

“No matter whatever you people do, you cannot hide from us trolls,” one anonymous poster warned.

The schoolmate who started Brown’s “Rest In Peace” page on Facebook became so overwhelmed by the trolls’ attacks that he shut down the forum.

“Who keeps putting (up) those pictures? Those are so bad. Please stop,” the boy wrote one day. He deleted the offensive images. Then, several days later, he deleted the entire page.

The trolls “put more daggers in an already wounded heart for us,” said Asher’s stepfather, David Truong. “It’s almost like them putting graffiti on a physical memorial and kicking it over. That’s what it feels like.”

Remember as we watched in horror at the floods in Queensland where many people lost their lives.  Well for some people that did not matter, they got their jollies by defacing the Facebook Tribute page, the Herald Sun reports:

INTERNET trolls have defaced a Facebook site paying tribute to the victims of the Queensland floods.

Images of bloodied dead babies and pornography appear in the photos section of the “R.I.P Families who lost members in the Toowoomba Flood” page.

The article then goes onto tell you of another story:

In November, Facebook pages paying tribute to two dead teens Cameron Lowe, 17, and Chantelle Rowe, 16, were defaced.

One of the people behind the defacing was reportedly a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan in the US.

And of course there is this incident as reported by TNW

An Australian man has been jailed for seven and a half months after he was found guilty of defacing Facebook tribute pages for two dead children.

Bradlet Paul Hampson, a self-confessed Internet “troll” from Brisbane, posted offensive messages on the two Facebook pages, uploading pictures of male genitalia, in February of last year.

On one Facebook page, Hampson wrote “woot I’m dead” across a photo of the dead child, morphing the boy’s face to the inside of a woodchipper and making it look as if blood was coming from the machine. On the other, he wrote messages on its Wall, implying he was responsible for raping and murdering the 8 year-old girl.

The Brisbane Times posted the message:

“My definition of pleasure … listening to her ribs crack,” he wrote. “I got mad … so I murdered her.”

Hampson assumed another identity to post the messages, posing as a man he claimed he used to have gone to school with, and when police tracked him down, they found over 200 images that depicted children as victims of abuse. Some of the images included pictures of Madeline McCann and James Bulger, two of the most high-profile UK child kidnapping and (possible) murder cases of the past decade.

In court, Hampson pleaded guilty to distributing child exploitation material, using the internet to menace, harass or cause offence and possessing child exploitation material. He was sentenced to three years in jail and ordered to be released after 12 months.

Having served a little over 4 months behind bars, Hampson will be out of prison by September.

And this one reported by the Brisbane Times

Facebook “troll” Jessica Chantelle Cook has been given a suspended jail sentence for posting offensive material on a tribute page for murdered Sunshine Coast woman Justine Jones.

Cook, 22, pleaded guilty yesterday in Gympie Magistrates Court after helping to create a Justine Jones hate page and posting offensive remarks and photos under the name of Wendy Woods.

The content of the fake page included images of pornography and human remains as well as comments from Cook boasting about her “achievement” at having the page mentioned in the media. Cook described herself as a “troll” – a person who defaces internet tribute sites to cause grief.

Those stories are just a selection of many incidents where tribute sites and support sites have been invaded by people who want to add to the pain of people who are already suffering.  And no person in their right mind would agree that kind of behaviour is acceptable, whether it be in the real world or virtual world.

And I fully appreciate that the comments and images left are of the extreme in those stories, but irrespective of whether they are extreme or not, someone going to any tribute site or support site just to cause harassment, pain, and suffering is not acceptable.

No person in their right mind could ever say they agree with that kind of behaviour and find it acceptable. Most normal people would find that kind of behaviour unacceptable and stomach churning.  When it comes to a tribute or support site, as far as I am concerned,  if you don’t have anything nice to say, in common decency you say nought.  There is no need to act like an internet troll and then brag about it.  Any person who does that really in my opinion, is nothing but a troll and should hang their head in shame.

From where I am sitting if you don’t agree with what is happening on a tribute/support site and you feel it is wrong, go through the correct channels and report it.  Let the owners of platform decide if that page is within their terms and conditions or not.  If they feel that page is breaching their terms and conditions they will remove the page.

Those people in those articles above are sick in the head, they deserve to be behind bars and locked up in some mental institution and never allowed to have internet access ever again.

And the vast majority of sane people would agree with me on that.  No tribute/support site, needs to be invaded and defaced by people who have nothing better to do other than post vile comments which are designed and written to cause endless amount of pain.

In my opinion first and foremost  it is disrespectful to person who the site is dedicated to.  And secondly it just goes to show that the mentality of people that invade the internet and make a good thing turn into a bad thing.

For any person who thinks it is funny, a good laugh, just think, you never know what is around the corner.  One day you might find yourself in a vulnerable position where you have a tribute site or a support site dedicated to someone you love.  That person, who you love so dearly, could be missing, they could have committed suicide or been killed in a tragic accident; or that person, whose love and life you hold so close to your heart, could be fighting for their life.

How are you going to feel then if some sick individual descends on that page/site and started to post horrendous, vile, comments which are designed to do nothing other than cause you extra pain?  If you have defaced another site how can you complain if ever some ones defaces a tribute/support site for created for someone who you love? Wouldn’t that be hypocritical if you decided to take action?  Wouldn’t that be a case of don’t do as I do, do as I preach?

Nobody in their right mind could ever agree with this behaviour, so please could someone tell me why people think it is acceptable to deface a Facebook page dedicated to help someone find their missing child?

It is not ….. end of.


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