Met Police to Form Troll Hunting Unit to Tackle Online Abuse

Online abuse is a real problem that has been dealt with by the police for a while now. When people threaten someone online, it can make them feel unsafe and at risk in their day-to-day life. The problem has always been that the people likely to abuse others online also tend to be anonymous. London mayor Sadiq Kahn isn't letting that stop people from getting justice and has decided to pull together a unit within the Metropolitan police to deal with this phenomenon.

The Online Hate Crime Hub is not a permanent part of the force yet but they have started a two-year pilot scheme. This means that they can get the force out there and see what sort of difference the hub can make if there is any at all. If when academically assessed, it doesn't prove to be worthwhile, the unit will be shut down. A lot of people seem to think that this will be the case as they don't think there's really any way to tackle online abuse that the police aren't trying already.

These people point out that a lot of this abuse is done anonymously and this makes them hard to track. People might use anonymous servers like Tor or they might simply not provide any real information on the accounts they attack people with. It's far too easy to do and not simple enough to track. There are ways on certain social media servers that you can find out the I.P address of the person who is abusing you but it's not always easy and then you might not know what to do with it. The only way to ever completely end anonymous abuse is to either not allow users to ever be anonymous or to at least allow the police to put an ID on the otherwise anonymous user's accounts. This isn't likely to happen though so it begs the question; what exactly is this unit going to do?

For now, we can't actually say what's going to happen. That information hasn't been made public and other than what people think, we actually only know a few facts like how much it costs. The unit is being granted a £1.7 million annual budget and has already been given access to £450,000 of that. When some sort of clear plan is in place we'll provide you with more information but at the moment, no one can really say how this is going to work and what will happen.

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