The Policing of Trolling, Hate, and Lies Online

London, UK

15th May 2018

Trolling- the targeting of social media users with defamatory and antagonistic messages – has grown alongside the popularity of social media platforms. It takes multiple forms: cyberbullying, cyberhate, cyberstalking, cyberharassment, revenge porn, sextortion, flaming and naming and shaming to name a few. Cyber-vigilantism is the related practice of punishing, sometimes by making visible, people who break norms or laws. In some contexts trolling and cyber-vigilantism are sponsored, with organized groups representing political agents (sometimes even national governments) who use aggressive and defamatory language (and misinformation??) to counter and harass those who criticize others viewpoints. Some trolls follow up their online abuse with offline aggression.

This workshop will explore a number of key questions related to the implications of trolling and hate crime on public security and policing:

  • Where does the responsibility – both legal and moral – for intervention lie?
  • How can Law Enforcement Agencies improve their human and technological resources to intervene in trolling effectively?
  • Should social media providers react to online abuse, because it happens on their platforms and because they have the discretion to remove material?
  • Do organic, community-driven counter-trolling actions offer a cheaper, faster, more effective and more responsive approach to trolling than the actions of public authorities?
  • Are some anti-trolling actions themselves trolling?
  • And what legal and policy frameworks should be developed to assist and facilitate all actors in playing an effective role in countering trolling?

These questions will be addressed through a creative and open-minded dialogue. We will focus on three areas of trolling-related activity: hate and abuse online; the influence of organically formed online groups who crowdsource knowledge and resources for counter-trolling efforts (cyber-vigilantes/digitalism); and the intersection between politics and trolling.

The workshop aims to create a common agenda for the policing of trolling. It will provide a forum for sharing of best practices and lessons learned among European security professionals and other actors.


The Venue

Who can participate?

Places at this event are limited. Applications are now open and will close on Tuesday 13th March. Successful applicants will be notified by Wednesday 21st March.

Participation Costs

Participation is free of charge. We have funds to reimburse travel and accommodation costs, following the regulations of the European Commission.

Further details and questions

Further details will be shared with confirmed participants before the event. For other questions please Contact Dr Kat Hadjimatheou.

Register your interest in this workshop