• Online homophobes prosecuted in the Netherlands A Dutch man who was subjected to a barrage of homophobic abuse in an online chat room took a printout of the attack to police and got the offenders prosecuted, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reported Dec. 31. Franklin Hill, a 32-year-old flight attendant, was bashed with comments such as "Dirty faggot," "Death to fags" and "The Third Reich should be resurrected." A court determined that such language is illegal and sentenced one of the bashers to 15 hours of community service and fined another one 750 euros ($1,100). "The fact that they now know they can't just say what they want in a chat room, and that they didn't get away with it, gives me satisfaction," Hill told the radio station. "You just have to do something about it when people do something like this," he said. "There are enough laws and legislation to take on discrimination and threats."
  • They should have done 90 days but at least they were punished in some way. Their second offense should be 1 year in prison. I wish I could make that a law
  • It's a shame that people aren't allowed to have opinions or are subject to some sort of civil or criminal action taken against them. This world is becoming similar to George Orwell's "1984" where thought crimes (especially thoughts that differ from society considers acceptable) will be punishable offenses. If you cannot have an INDIVIDUAL opinion, then we all become sheeple, not people.
    • Linda Joy
      There is a big difference between an OPINION a DEATH THREAT!
  • Unfortunately that would never happen here in the United States thanks to all the bleeding heart liberals in this country who believe that those words are protected under the U.S. Constitution by free speech laws. Granted anything which was deemed as a threat towards someone would not be tolerated but calling someone a filthy fag unfortunately is protected under the 1st Ammendment of the Constitution. On a more personal note I am completely straight but cringe every time I hear someone utter such vile filthy garbage. Makes me want to haul off and knock out their teeth for being such closed minded ignorant jackasses.
  • It's not just a matter of spewing hate. Trolls take a lot of effort to get rid of. I can't imagine how many man hours go into cleaning up Troll messes--I am sure that many websites would love to recover some of the cost associated with these pains in the arse.
  • I'm sorry, but I can't agree with your main point Ben. I agree that this shit is wrong, but sticks and stones man, sticks and stones.
  • There IS a big difference between free speach and hate speech. Internet bullying is a big issue here in the St. Louis area. It's a story people have heard nationwide now about a local girl with emotional issues, was bullyed online by someone who had set up a fake MySpace page. It turned out it was the mother of a neighbor who did it. The mother has not been prosecuted. But now that the story has gone nationwide, some are trying to take action.
  • I find this question to be a little misleading. Homophobes are not trolls, and bashing is not trolling. They are very different things. A troll does not usually beat up on somebody, but rather plants a leading question, or starts a provocative encounter by baiting people. They tend to be quieter and more devious, trying to consume people's time, or attention. Homophobia itself is not a crime, but acting violently or hurtfully is, and then it's considered a hate-crime. I do not know Dutch law, that regulates speech. I'm guessing that it may be illegal to threaten violence, or to support old Nazi symbols and rhetoric. I might suggest the phrase "violent bigots" or "hate-criminals" or "written threats", instead of "trolls". It's a minor point, but would make the question more balanced and credible. If you are truly interested in an answer, and not just spreading some vitriolic news, my answer is: Yes. I hope that a simple yes or no is genuinely helpful to you, as requested. :)
  • I agree that trolls are really annoying, and the small number of people who spew hateful things are spineless. However, I really don't think it's prudent to be wasting resources on glorified name-callers. The punishment is another issue - are we really going to fill prisons with glorified name-callers? Is 15 hours of community service or a fine going to make someone think twice, or just make them more spiteful (and probably use a proxy). And finally, it sets a very tricky precedent: where would we draw the line? It starts with hateful name calling, but how is that defined? It's either incomplete or far too objective. In short, trolls are annoying and quite pathetic, but classifying them as criminals is quite a slippery slope.
  • I am heartened to know that steps to punish hate speech on the Internet are being taken. Hate speech is a crime in any form. If anyone is worried that it may be difficult to distinguish between free speech and hate speech, then be glad we have a court system. Let a jury of ones peers decide the difference.
  • its about time
  • What is a troll ( and i dont mean the mythological creature)
  • probably
  • Yes because in the USA there is freedom of speech.
  • some might think that way
  • some might think that way
  • It was horribly mean spirted for those scumbags to make homophobic remarks. Heck any hateful comment to anyone on an individual level or ones due to one's sexual orientation, gender, race, religion, disability whatever are wrong. I do believe in freedom of speech and I'm anti censorship. I do draw the line if there are serious threats mentioned. By serious threat I mean ones that are clearly possible to achieve.
  • probably
  • That all depends on what country you live in. I'm sure some countries do not tolerate extreme criticism. But AB doesn't revolve around the Netherlands. In the US, trolls are free to express their opinions, whether you agree with them or not. If you can't beat them, then don't feed them. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

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