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Social Media and Internet Regulation Essay

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Trolling is the new title that has been given to harassment that takes place on the Internet. A common example of trolling would be sending provocative messages via a communications platform for the pure entertainment of the sender, which then has a harmful effect on the recipient. There are different types of trolling; messages sent to harm others for the sender’s gratification are called ‘flame trolls’, and those to entertain others for their gratification have been given the title ‘kudos trolls’ (Bishop 2012a, 2012b). Where these actions have the resource to legal remedies they are called ‘electronic message faults’ and where the message fails to constitute an offence ‘electronic message freedoms’, and there is quite rightly nothing to prevent those from expressing free speech online.

Recently there has been widespread controversy on whether the Internet should be left to its own methods of self-regulation or whether an authoritative body should be put in place to protect Internet users. Statistics show that an increase in internet trolling and cyberbullying correlates with the increased interest in social networking and social media such as facebook and twitter. There has been a change in the way legislation has been used as a result of the increase in social media; the Malicious Communications Act 1988 has seen a sudden increase in usage since the invention of Facebook, which is being used to prosecute numerous individuals for eighteen weeks imprisonment when found guilty of the offence trolling (Bishop 2012b). The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 introduced a provision which has made electronic documents that have been interfered with through wrongful use of communications systems admissible as evidence in court. Th...


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...Avatars and Characters.” In Social Networking Communities and Edating Services: Concepts and Implications, edited by C. Romm- Livermore and K. Setzekorn. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Bishop, J. 2010. “Tough on Data Misuse, Tough on the Causes of Data Misuse: A Review of New Labour’s Approach to Information Security and Regulating the Misuse of Digital Information (1997–2010).” International Review of Law, Computers & Technology 24 (3): 299–303.
Bishop, J. 2011. “All’s WELL that ends WELL: A Comparative Analysis of the Constitutional and Administrative Frameworks of Cyberspace and the United Kingdom.” In Investigating Cyber Law and Cyber Ethics: Issues, Impacts and Practices, edited by A. Dudley-Sponaugle and J. Braman. Hershey, PA: IGI Global.
Tan, L. M., and M. Newman. 1991. “Computer Misuse and the Law.” International Journal of Information Management 11 (4): 282–291.



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