Anonymity can be both a good thing and a bad thing. It can be a vehicle for a more liberated exchange of ideas or it can unlock the more evil side of human nature. A testament to this is the proliferation of what we now call ‘trolls’. Trolls are people whose actions online are for the sole purpose of causing harm to others, more often than not to cause simple annoyance. Some trolls can be nonsensical, perhaps even a bit amusing. However, some trolls cross the line and go so far as to cause severe emotional distress. Unfortunately, it was this latter type that caught wind of the mining accident that happened just recently.
Four miners died when flood water sped through the tunnel in which they were working. There were actually seven of them, but the other three managed to escape, and one is still in critical condition. The incident occurred in a small community in South Wales.
It was a tragic event, which is why a lot of people were offended when they saw an online hate campaign for it cropped up. The troll created a page called “I’m really sad for those four miners. LOL j/k, they were Welsh.” The page, aside from being terribly insensitive, also reeked of racism. One poster on the page wrote “I just wish more miners had died.” The troll even edited the pictures of the miners, crudely drawing x’s over their eyes.
Many people were of the impression that there was only one person behind these posts and the page has already been reported to the police, requesting that the offensive site be taken down.
It’s unknown what route the police will take in response to this request. One troll has already been sent to prison for defacing the Facebook memorial pages of deceased teenagers. If this troll is found, he might face a similar fate.