Online Trolls Now Face Two Years' Porridge in the UK

By Gerald Lynch on at

The shield that has been web anonymity for online trolls is increasingly being eroded, with the Government announcing that it is to crack down on those responsible for sending abusive material on the web. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has revealed plans to extend prison sentences for the worst offenders to two years, stating that online hate campaigns cause "absolute misery" for the victims.

The move comes in part as a response to the rape threats sent to model Chloe Madeley, who defended her mother Judy Finnigan's comments about convicted rapist Ched Evans.

Serious cases will be handed over to the Crown Courts, where more severe sentences can be handed out. Currently, online bullying and threatening messages are handled under the Malicious Communications Act in magistrates courts, with a maximum sentence of six months given to offenders. These laws predate the rise of Twitter by ten years, and are ill-equipped to handle the newer modes of distributing hateful comments.