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Enough is Enough: Time to hold online trolls accountable for their words

Enough is Enough: Time to hold online trolls accountable for their words
Enough is Enough: Leave Kate Alone

Winnipeg Tribune Guest Columnist: Kevin Klein

Winnipeg, March 27, 2024 - On Friday, Kate, the Princess of Wales, announced that she has cancer and is undergoing chemotherapy. My partner has just finished her cancer treatment, and I can attest to the stress and emotional ups and downs that come with it. We pray for her recovery in her battle with cancer.

However, I have an issue with why she had to make such a personal announcement. The public refused to leave her alone. The media began making up things to account for her absence from the public scene. People, often anonymous on social media, made claims that the prince and princess were no longer together, having marital issues. I saw one person suggesting the royal family hired a lookalike to attend events.

Enough is enough, this nonsense and treatment of people are unacceptable, and it is time to say enough is enough. People should be held accountable for what they say online; they are the ones publishing the statement, and it is hearsay, and they should be liable.

In the modern digital age, social media platforms have become indispensable tools for communication, networking, and expression. However, the rise of anonymous trolls on these platforms has unleashed a dark side that threatens the fabric of civil discourse and individual well-being. These anonymous entities hide behind screens, spewing venomous comments and spreading hate without fear of repercussion. It's high time legislation holds them accountable for their actions.

The impact of anonymous trolling extends far beyond mere words on a screen; it inflicts real harm on targeted individuals and their families. The incessant barrage of hateful messages can lead to psychological distress, anxiety, and even depression. Victims are subjected to constant humiliation and fear for their safety, as the anonymity of the perpetrators provides them with a shield of impunity.

The repercussions of online harassment often spill over into the offline world, disrupting personal and professional lives. Victims may experience reputational damage, loss of employment opportunities, and strained relationships with their loved ones. The toll on mental health and overall well-being cannot be overstated.

I have experienced firsthand the vicious lies and verbal assaults of these anonymous trolls. I have been the target of the cancel culture brigade of some media and anonymous individuals, keyboard warriors if you will, who feel they have the right to attack a person and make false claims hidden behind their own false identity. But, once it is said, you can’t erase it even if the statements are completely false.

Legislation must step in to curb this menace. Holding anonymous trolls accountable for their words and actions is not an infringement on free speech but rather a safeguard against abuse and harassment. Implementing stringent laws to unmask and prosecute these individuals will serve as a deterrent, fostering a safer and more respectful online environment for all.

It's time to recognize that with the privilege of anonymity comes the responsibility to use it ethically. By enacting legislation to hold anonymous trolls liable for the harm they cause, we can protect the dignity and rights of individuals and ensure that social media remains a platform for constructive dialogue rather than a breeding ground for hatred and vitriol.


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