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Scottish Law on the Internet


Opus Magnus
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I've been reading through this recently while watching the Jan 6 Congressional hearings. This is the version in Scotland as I understand it. It is similar to the laws in Britain, but the laws in Britain are seperate from the laws in Scotland. In Britain as I understand it, the penalty for trolling online is up to 2 years in prison. The document goes over how to tell the difference between protecting the Freedom of Speech, and when it goes over the legal limit. 

Some points that have been brought up in law are internet grouping, mafia like tactics, pile-ons and bullying. It brings up that if the freedom of speech is making it so other people can't express their own personal beliefs, then that is cancelling the meaning of freedom of speech. These rules are not getting lighter, but heavier. The point seems to be, that if you can't get away with it in person, then it should be the same on the internet.

This is also brought to light during the current media attention to the social media connection to mass shootings and terrorism. As I understand it, there aren't more shootings this year than last year but media coverage is higher. Still the connection is real, and the warning signs are not easy to report. There is a government outcry to fix this gap and to stop trolling and administrative abuse on internet platforms.

The warning signs are apparent like expressing suicide, bragging about guns, anti-social behavior, a hatred toward religious groups, sexual harassment, and abusive behavior towards others in general. These are warning signs and if you can't get away with it in person, then the consensus is you should be stopped online. So there is a gap that is desired to be filled on the internet. As I see it, and as Jesus said in Matthew 5:17, "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have not come to abolish, but to fulfil the law." That law is the Freedom of Speech.

https://www.gov.scot/publications/independent-review-hate-crime-legislation-scotland-final-report/pages/7/

 

https://www.theukrules.co.uk/news/homes-and-lifestyle/cps-to-prosecute-internet-trolls.html#:~:text=Criminal Charges for Internet Trolling,avoid stifling freedom of speech.

https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/blog/teacher-resources/know-the-signs-of-gun-violence/

Also I think every administrator was supposed to get a copy of these:

https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2017/30/section/103/enacted

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/650949/Internet_Safety_Strategy_green_paper.pdf

 

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It primary school this one

"sticks and stones break my bones but names shall never hurt me!"

I know another but I won't put it here.

Trolling is the law of the underclass - the lowest common denominator - if you can't take the heat stay out of the kitchen so on and so forth.

Anyway - most internet discussion sites are moderated - so whats the problem?

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I should add - I don't know what "Trolling" is.

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Trolling actually goes over a number of different bad internet behaviors that range from legal to illegal. Here is a brief description:

Quote

Those who behave abusively online are referred to as internet trolls, and examples of ‘trolling’ include: -

 

Posting repeated ‘comments’ on message boards or news articles, attacking someone’s character and/or invading their privacy, or designed to provoke argument

Repeatedly sending abusive or otherwise upsetting Tweets‘Following’ a person into online chatrooms or Facebook in order to interrupt conversations and invade their privacy

The new bills being added to this are mainly focused on large social media like Facebook. I don't think this exempts forums like this, and I expect at least some trickle down. Some things which are being done is making sure that troll content not only gets removed, but that repeat offending trolls must also be banned.

It intends to put more power into the hands of the users, while making sure trolls get punished.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-plans-to-protect-people-from-anonymous-trolls-online

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Three new criminal offences, recommended by the Law Commission, will be added to the Bill in an effort to make the law fit for the internet age, the Government said.

The new offences cover communications that are sent to convey a threat of serious harm; those sent to cause harm without a reasonable excuse; and those sent which are known to be false with the intention to cause non-trivial emotional, psychological or physical harm.

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/internet-trolls-jailed-5-years-online-threats-nadine-dorries-online-safety-bill-b980907.html

Here is some advice to dealing with trolls.

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What to do if you are being trolled

Do not engage with a troll or retaliate.  The common mantra “do not feed the trolls” is good advice.  If you do not take the bait, they may eventually lose interest.  If you have already engaged with a troll then simply make it clear, on one occasion, that you want them to stop what they are doing.  Do not get drawn into dialogue about this.

Keep a record of the trolling.  Print off relevant webpages ensuring they are dated.

Consider making a complaint to the police.  You should certainly do this if you believe you or anyone else is in danger.If the harassment is ongoing and you feel you need to take legal action contact us.

 

 

 

https://www.brettwilson.co.uk/services/defamation-privacy-online-harassment/harassment/trolling/

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Posted (edited)

Scotland already prosecuted comedians for jokes with a Scottish judge ruling that "context doesn't matter" when saying hurtful words.

But I bet they won't prosecute ricky gervais or dave chappelle for saying pretty much the exact same things other comedians were charged and fined for.

One person's troll is another's comedian

Edited by Hugh Mungus
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·
3 hours ago, Opus Magnus said:

The new bills being added to this are mainly focused on large social media like Facebook. I don't think this exempts forums like this, and I expect at least some trickle down. Some things which are being done is making sure that troll content not only gets removed, but that repeat offending trolls must also be banned.

It intends to put more power into the hands of the users, while making sure trolls get punished.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-plans-to-protect-people-from-anonymous-trolls-online

These provisions are aimed at social media sites because most of what is described is not applicable to other platforms.

Also, the catch-all use of the word "troll" is messy - essentially applying to anyone who writes anything that someone else finds objectionable.

This bill is actually highly damaging and will cause more problems than it solves, since it requires that everyone identifies themselves online (thus removing the protections of anonymity from vulnerable users) and forces platforms to ban people too readily without appeal or recourse.

Like many similar bills regarding online safely, it has been put together by people who don't understand the Internet or how social media sites work. Also like many similar bills, it's unlikely to have the desired effect and I very much doubt Twitter and Facebook are going to start demanding that every single user submits identification in order to continue to use their platforms.

If this was to ever apply here, then you - for example - would be required to provide your driving license or passport in order to use the forum.

It's unworkable, it's based on the misunderstandings of incompetent politicians and it's highly unlikely to happen.

Also, contrary to the title of this thread, this is a British bill, it's not specific to Scotland.

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