For those who use Twitter as a means of making political comment, as I do, there is a constant menace – Trolls. These are people who tweet gratuitous insult which often descends into threat and abuse, and maybe worse. So I was glad to read that Mary Beard (someone I entirely disagree with politically and who has exchanged tweets with me) was able to name and shame one particularly obnoxious troll as you can read here.
In a way the social networks are worse than the blogosphere. People who you have never spoken to can suddenly appear and say the most obnoxious things about you. Of course the laws of libel apply on Twitter, as one particularly obsessive troll is finding out at the moment with regard to me, and people cannot allege things without consequences. But on a more general level, I am all for swatting trolls. I advocate vigorous if not fiery debate, I enjoy taking contrarian views and defending them but I ALSO like politeness and the right to disagree agreeably! I think Twitter is really useful and has many benefits but the lurking trolls who stalk people like me and Beard, and who abuse regularly, should face the consequences. Personally, I think they should be banned from Twitter and sent into oblivion.