With the possibility that Internet trolls could now face two years in jail, Igniyte explores what it could mean for your online reputation.

What Is Internet Trolling?

In the ‘age of social media’ Internet trolling is one of the most prominent threats to anyone’s online reputation. Different from simply leaving a review, trolling, is where an anonymous user targets someone relentlessly by posting inflammatory or off-topic comments online.

We’ve seen the damage trolling can wreak just recently. Following comments made by Judy Finnigan in relation ot the controversy surrounding footballer Ched Evans, Finnigan’s daughter – Chloe Madeley, was targeted by trolls online. They threatened her with a torrent of abusive posts.

Government Introduces Plans for Harsher Punishment of Internet Trolling

Incidents such as this have now prompted the government to confront the issue of Internet trolling. According to the BBC, plans are being introduced that will increase the current sentence for such acts from six months to two years in jail.

In an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill, the new laws would enable magistrates to pass on serious cases to crown courts. They would also give police more time to collect a greater array of evidence, so that successful prosecutions can be made in cases of internet trolling.

A Stand Against the Baying Cyber-Mob

Chris Grayling, the UK’s current Justice Secretary, spoke out on the plans to the Mail on Sunday, suggesting that the government is committed to taking “a stand against a baying cyber-mob.”

He went on to say: “These internet trolls are cowards who are poisoning our national life. No-one would permit such venom in person, so there should be no place for it on social media. That is why we are determined to quadruple the current six-month sentence.”

A Monumental Move

Considering the damage trolls can wreak on personal online reputation, this is a monumental move, as it would ensure that the people who engage in such activities are provided with an effective deterrent.

Furthermore, it should remind you that there is a way to deal with internet trolling. When comments stray into the realm of abusive, they can no longer be considered in the same category as reviews. At that point, you can take legal action.

Find out more about online reputation management – contact Simon Wadsworth on email: [email protected] or phone: +44 (0) 203 542 8689.