The word “troll’ has taken an all new meaning in the last few years as the persona for anyone meaning to be hurtful or bothersome on the internet.Things trolls do usually are harmless acts, like saying hurtful things to a certain person, trying to get a negative reaction out of them.But in some extreme occurrences,the troll will go as far as spreading personal information about someone,such as addresses and telephone numbers to the public.Some cases have even ended in both homicides and suicides.If some trolls can gain access to our most personal information,be the source of suicides involving cyberbullying and can be considered dangerous in certain cases,then shouldn't it have a more fitting name?If actions such as these occur in real life receive punishment,shouldn't actions online receive the same ones?
When the word “trolls”is heard or seen,the brain conjures up images of hideous monsters lurking under bridges,not people looking at a computer monitor out to harass others.This name can make them look like a joke and not a serious problem or threat.The word “troll’ originated in Norway and Denmark's mythology to describe giant cave-dwelling beasts.So how did it become synonymous with internet trolling? The internet version of this word comes from internet chatrooms to describe annoying members during the late 1980s. During this time the word only referred to annoyances rather than actual harassment. But as time went on, it eventually came to generalize all forms of internet harassment.This means that calling someone a hurtful name and legitimate death threats fall into the same category.
I want to change this by having different internet troll actions into different categories. As well as different levels of punishment. Because of how easy it is to become anonymous on the internet, punishment for illegal actions is difficult for law departments. But for those caught, I believe actions should be taken against these individuals. I believe the harshness of the act determines the harshness of the punishment. For example, I think trolls who do nothing more than call someone a hurtful name or spread a nasty rumor deserve nothing more than a slap on the wrist. While trolls who do more extreme actions like sending death threats or repeated hurtful harassments deserve to pay fines or even face jail time. If actions like these in person receive punishments, I believe actions on the internet deserve the same.
I believe the word “Trolls” should be changed regardless of what the action is, as I believe it does not make as important enough impact as it can and should. Trolls can cause long lasting psychological damage to the victim and they should be treated as criminals rather than a nuisance.