According to The Guardian, a British teenager has been arrested on suspicion of “malicious communication” after sending a heartbreaking tweet to UK Olympic Diver Tom Daley who came in 4th.
The teenager tweeted, “You let your dad down, I hope you know that.” Daley’s father, whom he was famously close to, died of brain cancer last year.
If you work within online publishing, you know all about trolling. People seem to gain power by delivering sucker punches to famous people and non-famous people alike, without thinking much about the fact that they’re talking to a person. It’s inspired one of my favorite lines to describe what life is like dealing with online publishing, “Dear Internet: This is why you can’t have anything nice.”
What do think of the way trolls attack people? Are these simply anti-social people who would do the same were they face-to-face, or does anonymity bring out people’s mean side? What is the end-game for trolls in doing something this heinous? Would this teen ever have said such a thing to Daley in real life?
If you’ve “trolled” in the past, feel free to log in anonymously and explain why you did it, and why you think this teenager felt comfortable saying what may be the cruelest thing you could ever say to a man who just lost his father.
Tom Daley’s Twitter handle is @TomDaley1994 in case you want to drop him a note of encouragement.