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The Day Leo Traynor Confronted His Troll 594

Posted by Soulskill
from the your-uppance-will-come dept.
McGruber writes "Dublin-based writer Leo Traynor has written a piece about confronting the troll who drove him off Twitter, hacked his Facebook, and abused and terrified his family. Quoting: 'I blocked the account and reported it as spam. The following week it happened again in an identical manner. A new follower, I followed back, received a string of abusive DMs, blocked and reported for spam. Two or three times a week. Sometimes two or three times a day. An almost daily cycle of blocking and reporting and intense verbal abuse. ... Then one day something happened that truly frightened me. I don't scare easily but this was vile. I received a parcel at my home address. Nothing unusual there – I get lots of post. I ripped it open and there was a Tupperware lunchbox inside full of ashes. There was a note included, saying, "Say hello to your relatives from Auschwitz." I was physically sick. ... In July I was approached by a friend who's basically an IT genius, and he offered some help. He said that he could trace the hackers and trolls for me using perfectly legal technology, which would lead to their IP addresses. I said yes. Then I baited them – I was deliberately more provocative toward them than ever I'd been before.'"
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The Day Leo Traynor Confronted His Troll

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  • Trolling? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by steppedleader (2490064) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:39AM (#41504235)
    Compared to the typical trolling found on the internet, this seems a bit more like harassment or stalking, no?
    • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:54AM (#41504287)

      I'm disappointed that the author didn't press charges. This kid is probably a sociopath. When he stalks and hurts other people in the future the police won't have the evidence they need of past cases. Sociopaths don't learn how to stop hurting people, they just learn not to get caught the next time.

      • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by jamesh (87723) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:13AM (#41504379)

        I'm disappointed that the author didn't press charges. This kid is probably a sociopath. When he stalks and hurts other people in the future the police won't have the evidence they need of past cases. Sociopaths don't learn how to stop hurting people, they just learn not to get caught the next time.

        Or he's a messed up kid who didn't have a clue that his actions were hurting someone.

        If it was me being stalked I'd be demanding that the kid doesn't go near a computer for 6 months (or until he's legally an adult) and that he has a curfew at night so he can't just be off at a mates place doing the same thing. It should give him a chance to catch up on Jewish/German history and have some appreciation for what he's ranting and raving about.

        I think he should be given another chance, but only one. I'm not sure what it's like in the country where Leo Traynor resides but people have gone to jail over here for less.

        • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:54AM (#41504527)

          I agree with the AC. The extent of what the evil little miseryshit did proves it was not just a game to him. I'd wager his show of tears was just that- a show. His brain is miswired. There's a whole section that simply isn't working. Coulseling won't acomplish a damn thing, but he'll be able to make it look like it did.

          Sociopaths are the most manipulative people in the world. It's why the alphas go into politics. They thrive there. They are one of the three types of people in this world that you never EVER trust along with junkies and Party loyalist ideologues.

          • Re:Trolling? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by Fjandr (66656) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:13AM (#41504587) Homepage Journal

            The problem with the idea that the tears were for show was that it was deliberately kept from him that they knew he was the perpetrator. He confessed without being confronted with evidence linking him to it, or even the slightest hint that they suspected he was the perpetrator. At least that's the picture presented by the article.

            • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Insightful)

              by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:49AM (#41504685)

              The problem with the idea that the tears were for show was that it was deliberately kept from him that they knew he was the perpetrator. He confessed without being confronted with evidence linking him to it, or even the slightest hint that they suspected he was the perpetrator. At least that's the picture presented by the article.

              Bullshit. If a cop had you in a room and started talking about the details to a crime you committed and you 'spontaneously' confessed, you can hardly say that you didn't realize you were a suspect. This man who barely knew the kid suddenly visited him and then started showing him the details of his crime. Yet you still think the kid didn't realize that he was a suspect? Come on! The kid confessed because he figured it out and knew that manipulation was required to keep his freedom. That is all. It wasn't remorse. Sociopaths are more manipulative than you can imagine.

              • The author of this story typifies everything that is wrong with today's no-accountability culture.

                He's weak in the exact way that fosters the troll that tortured him. I honestly find myself disgusted with him. I imagine, though she may not admit it, his wife was not thrilled and consciously or subconsciously thinks less of his approach to "defending" the family.

                I don't care if it's a friend's kid or my kid. He needed to fail at manipulating his way out of trouble. He needed to go before the police and the c

            • by Nursie (632944)

              Err no. RTFA again. Trolled Dude talks to the parents and tells them what's going on, then arranges a meeting with Troll Mama, Troll Papa and Troll. After a polite chat he breaks out the file full of stuff and starts going through it.

              THEN Troll boy cries.

              • Uh, no... RTFA again. "A couple of days after that conversation I met my friend, his wife and their son in a quiet and discreet location. The son, The Troll who almost driven me mad, was totally unaware that I'd be joining them." This was a man telling a friend how crazy his life was getting. The kid MAY have been smart enough to catch on, but they did what they could to trap him. A true socio-path might have been just enjoying the results of his work.
                • by Nursie (632944)

                  Keep reading... Junior only starts bawling after a whole list of things are brought out and he realises the game is up.

                  Sociopath or not this kid needs to a full on psych eval, not just 'counselling'

          • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by jamesh (87723) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @05:27AM (#41504801)

            I agree with the AC. The extent of what the evil little miseryshit did proves it was not just a game to him. I'd wager his show of tears was just that- a show. His brain is miswired. There's a whole section that simply isn't working. Coulseling won't acomplish a damn thing, but he'll be able to make it look like it did.

            Sociopaths are the most manipulative people in the world. It's why the alphas go into politics. They thrive there. They are one of the three types of people in this world that you never EVER trust along with junkies and Party loyalist ideologues.

            So what are you suggesting? If he as sociopathic as you suggest, then simply pressing charges won't change anything, so you'd have to lock him up to get him out of harms way. You couldn't lock him up forever of course (what court would do that?), so eventually he'd get out again. And if he wasn't really that messed up when he went in, he would be when he got out.

            And I bet the tears weren't for show. Even if he is a sociopath and didn't care one way or the other how much pain he'd caused, he would still have been truly upset that he got caught.

      • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by TheRaven64 (641858) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:32AM (#41504439) Journal

        Sociopaths don't learn how to stop hurting people, they just learn not to get caught the next time.

        That's not true. A sociopath merely lacks empathy - they may be aware that they are hurting someone, but they don't understand why that's a bad thing. Placed in an incentive system where hurting people is penalised and provides no advantages, they'll do what's best for them and stop.

        • That's not true. A sociopath merely lacks empathy - they may be aware that they are hurting someone, but they don't understand why that's a bad thing. Placed in an incentive system where hurting people is penalised and provides no advantages, they'll do what's best for them and stop.

          Actually, a sociopath [wikipedia.org] is just someone that has no regard for other people whatsoever. This takes many behavioral forms including the example talked about by the OP.

          The kid needs help and I am glad that the situation was resolved the way it was. If the kid had been arrested he may not have gotten the help he needs and gotten far more antisocial. I hope his parents also get some counseling because they are the ones that raised that monster! Obviously they let him spend far too much time on that laptop and not

      • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by unkiereamus (1061340) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @12:38PM (#41506737)

        This kid is probably a sociopath....Sociopaths don't learn how to stop hurting people, they just learn not to get caught the next time.

        Fun fact, per the DSM-IV [behavenet.com] Sociopathy, or actually Antisocial Personality Disorder, as it's now known, can't be diagnosed before age 18.

        What that source material doesn't cite, and what 5 seconds of googlin failed to turn up, and thus would require too much effort for me to cite, is why.

        Put simply, almost all kids profile as sociopaths. Look at the diagnostic criteria, I'm sure you'll see why.

        Now, before anyone jumps up and says "But...but...he's 17, that's close enough to 18, right?", I'll point out that like any developmental milestone, that's just a guideline, there's always some play in development, plus or minus.

        Now, having said that, it's entirely possible that this kid actually is a sociopath, personally it doesn't read like that to me, but I'm willing to be wrong.

        • Fun fact, per the DSM-IV Sociopathy, or actually Antisocial Personality Disorder, as it's now known, can't be diagnosed before age 18.

          Technically correct, because the childhood version has its own separate equivalent, known as Conduct Disorder [behavenet.com], in which the criteria are appropriately tailored for the characteristics of younger individuals. Note that the criteria list for Antisocial Personality Disorder includes an item for past history of Conduct Disorder, too.

    • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bloodhawk (813939) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:19AM (#41504395)
      yep it isn't actually trolling at all. It seems nowadays any bad or obnoxious behaviour gets labeled with troll, I guess this is what happens when people try to use a catchy term without actually understanding what it means.
      • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:48AM (#41504683) Journal
        Hell name a SINGLE Internet word we old greybeards came up with that hasn't been butchered all to hell by folks that don't get it had a specific meaning, just one. Troll, shill, virus, its all lost its original meanings because too many who don't have a clue what they meant use them wrong constantly. That's why I don't even say words like trojan or virus anymore but just tell them "You got a bug" because as far as the public is concerned everything is a virus, and everyone that does something bad on the net is a troll. its just lost its meaning.
        • Re:Trolling? (Score:4, Insightful)

          by 1u3hr (530656) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @08:34AM (#41505491)

          ell name a SINGLE Internet word we old greybeards came up with that hasn't been butchered all to hell by folks that don't get it had a specific meaning

          Well, "net" lingo usually borrows and perverts vocabulary from other realms. "Troll" is a bit of wordplay on the net fishing method and the mythical monster. "Geek" used to be a guy who bit the head of chickens in a circus sideshow. You can't complain too much when the words receive wider usage and change their meanings again.

        • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

          Look at any dictionary. Definitions are listed in the approximate order in which their usage first became known. Each mild variant of meaning came into being in the same way. Technology is no different.

          Words get thrown out there, people use them in various ways, and the meanings change over time. Then people settle on a usage, the "vulgar" definition. Which in itself is an interesting read. The Damascus Latin Bible was "vulgar" for a thousand years.

          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vulgar [merriam-webster.com]

          I try

    • Re:Trolling? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:08AM (#41504577) Journal

      Yes but sadly we see more and more of this, sick little maladjusted fucks that decide for whatever reason YOU are the cause of some problem in their lives or the world would be better off without you and will go VERY stalkerish on you.

      In fact as someone who recently had to deal with something not as sick, but creepy and weird where some asshole was hacking into a nice former customer of mine. this guy is soooo fucking bland I can't imagine how he could do anything but bore someone to death but this little prick would take over his computer and wipe his files, trash the OS, even pop up a box calling him filthy names. I have to thank the slashdot community for when i put up a list of what i had done trying to stop this guy with no luck you guys pointed out things I had not thought to check and thanks to you I was able to stop him, so thanks guys.

      But what we old greybeards think of when we think of the word troll and what we are seeing now? Two totally different things. Hell I had one last year that followed me around the net for a solid year, making piles of accounts everywhere I went. For what purpose? just so he could post a response to everything I said with the sentence "Die you fat fucker DIE!". That's it, just that sentence over and over and over, across dozens of websites. While it never phased me, when you think about how much work he had to do, searching the web for every place he could possibly find where I was, spending a good 15 minutes or more making fake accounts...just for that sentence.

      We are seeing more and more sick puppies out there, personally i think its just what happens when one of Gabe's fuckwads [penny-arcade.com] loses touch with anything other than the little bubble they create for themselves on the web. I'm sure if a shrink got a hold of this nutbag he would believe that he was actually the moral one here, that Traynor had somehow "insulted" him, dared to enter the space HE owned, or some other bullshit that to HIM would be perfectly rational, just as the cockbag that trashed a couple of years worth of data on a nice bland nobody's PC probably felt it was somehow "justified". Which just goes to show how truly warped and twisted those without a firm grasp of reality can get when they live in cyberspace.

    • by jcr (53032)

      Yeah, trolling is something very different from what went on here. Trolling means posting inflammatory messages just to elicit a reaction.

      -jcr

    • That's basically what this guy was, a bully. He was picking out someone he deemed weaker, he looked for a trigger that he could push to make his victim cower in fear and he went for it. That's the same shit that has been going down schoolyards for ages now.

      The only reason this gets some attention is that it can happen to someone of voting age.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:40AM (#41504239) Journal

    So, do we actually believe that a college-age man is sufficiently motivated to troll the same person, including offline, for weeks on end; but so obtuse that he doesn't realize such trolling's effects, or did TFA's author just get played by a sociopathic little fucker's crocodile tears?

    I'm voting for #2, personally. Wholly anonymous mob pile-ons can easily enough sweep up ethically-unimpressive-but-basically-standard-issue people; and some damaged-but-mostly-harmless types actually seem willing to spend their time dumping copypasta on entire forums; but solitary, prolonged, systematic trolling of one target chosen for no reason? Kid is bad seed.

    • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:56AM (#41504293)
      I tend to agree with that... how I read it is he was crying because he got caught, not because he realized his stalking was a bad idea. If he had kept it to online nonsense, you could write it off as a bored moron who needs a swift kick in the ass, but when he started the whole mailing of packages thing, well, now the fucker needs locked up, or at the very least institutionalized until they can figure out what the flying fuck is wrong with his brain.

      I'm ambivalent to the whole Internet Fuckwad Syndrome, because it's nothing to get pissed about... but when it moves outside to the real world, well, that is when it needs to be prosecuted harshly. This isn't a Troll... this is a psychopath. It's like the word 'hacker'... non-techies have co-opted a word and changed its meaning. (Unlike 'cyberbullying'... which is a term coined by technophobes about trolling...) ...that's for another thread, though...
      • by immaterial (1520413) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:10AM (#41504367)

        ...well, now the fucker needs locked up, or at the very least institutionalized until they can figure out what the flying fuck is wrong with his brain.

        Prison is going to do what for his mental health exactly? Then note that Leo Traynor's condition for not going to the police was that the parents put the kid in therapy.

        • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:32AM (#41504641)
          It is assuming he is mentally ill. He could just be a fucking cocksucker who needs to be placed out of society before he kills someone. I am not qualified to know if he's in need of help or cornholed by a huge black guy named Thunderdick. But something needs to be done, or we'll all be reading about this asshat's killing spree with our Post Toasties.
      • I tend to agree with that... how I read it is he was crying because he got caught, not because he realized his stalking was a bad idea.

        See also the radio troll Alan Jones in Australia - very upset this weekend because he was caught the second time he said he publicly addressed a group of people with a comment about the Australian Leader's recently deceased father dying of shame. Stirring up a race riot a couple of years back and getting away with it probably made him think he could get away with anything.

    • by chrismcb (983081) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:50AM (#41504691) Homepage

      So, do we actually believe that a college-age man is sufficiently motivated to troll the same person, including offline, for weeks on end; but so obtuse that he doesn't realize such trolling's effects,

      Yes

  • by Kindgott (165758) <soulwound@NOSPAM.godisdead.com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:41AM (#41504245) Journal
    I bet they used a GUI interface using Visual Basic!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:22AM (#41504409)

      I bet they used a GUI interface using Visual Basic!

      No! Everyone knows when you trace an IP it does a 3D mapping google fly over with a little dot following a line from each location and then zooms in close to the final location showing a live video feed! I watch movies I know how computers work!

  • Keywords (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:47AM (#41504259)

    Keywords in the original text:
    "basically an IT genius,"
    "hacked my facebook account"
    "trace the hackers and trolls for me using perfectly legal technology, which would lead to their IP addresses."
    "the abuse had emanated from three separate IP addresses in different corners of Ireland."
    "The third location was a friend's house."

    so, you can know the house location of each poster on twitter ? - troll-

    • Re:Keywords (Score:5, Informative)

      by wordsnyc (956034) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:06AM (#41504351) Homepage

      There are a lot of people arguing that this whole story is a fable; the IT guy the author presents to defend his account is a feckless bullshitter. Basically it's a case of two guys who don't know that they don't know the technical difficulties in what they claim to have done. The whole thing is embarrassing and annoying.

      • It's a nice moralistic story but it doesn't pass the smell test

      • Re:fable (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TaoPhoenix (980487) <TaoPhoenix@yahoo.com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:33AM (#41504445) Journal

        "There are a lot of people arguing that this whole story is a fable; the IT guy the author presents to defend his account is a feckless bullshitter. Basically it's a case of two guys who don't know that they don't know the technical difficulties in what they claim to have done. The whole thing is embarrassing and annoying."

        Are we getting ... wait for it ... trolled? (Can I start a meme? Rick-Trolled?)

        What's really out of whack is the sequence of events. So the cops can't find this guy, they're wringing their hands in helplessness. Along comes "An IT Genius" that traces the house by IP ... and the cops couldn't call any of their guys on the entire force to do that? However if the kid torrented a Song they would have found him pronto.

      • by Kohath (38547) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:58AM (#41504541)

        Post a link for a guy to click on. He clicks on it. It goes to a page you publish on your server. You look in the server logs. You know his IP address. Then you can find his city and possibly his neighborhood from that. And you know his ISP.

        After that it can become more difficult. But it's hardly impossible. If a friend at the guy's ISP will do you a favor (the troll in the story is local), or if you can simply guess the right answer and check it, it's easy again. If you can read someone's cookies with a cross-site scripting vulnerability or trick them into installing malware, it's not going to be too hard to find them.

        • by jimicus (737525)

          You don't need to go that far.

          It was pretty obvious the stalker was known to his victim. If he sent an email from home, the IP address of their router would be in the headers.

          If there was an accurate entry in a geo IP database, that gives you the town.

          Now, if you don't live anywhere near that town but you have a friend who does - sounds like a hell of a coincidence.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      I can imagine that some wifi hotspot IPs can be found in public, and it's also not completely impossible that his friend had a static IP which he knew. Facebook passwords can be broken like any other (although I won't call that a hack, but this guy is not an "IT genius"). How they got the IP is a better question, but one method would be to set up his acount to automatically send him the login logs (not sure about Facebook but it can be done in Google+ which he said he used in the baiting), pick a weak passw

  • Puhleese (Score:5, Funny)

    by kiriath (2670145) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:51AM (#41504275)

    Sounds like a lifetime movie to me.

  • by ameoba (173803) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:55AM (#41504289)

    At what point would a sane person just call the cops?

    • by Truekaiser (724672) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:02AM (#41504323)

      Before or after he found him?
      A sane person would of given the cops the information and let this be a legal issue. I would of done the same. Basically this kid crossed the line from harmless internet troll, to potential killer when he moved the trolling to the real world. that has consequences and it they ruin his life well it's his fault.

      • Re:At what point... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:15AM (#41504391)

        would of --> would have

        please

      • Before or after he found him? A sane person would of given the cops the information and let this be a legal issue. I would of done the same. Basically this kid crossed the line from harmless internet troll, to potential killer when he moved the trolling to the real world. that has consequences and it they ruin his life well it's his fault.

        But, like many other knee-jerk reactions to headlines, you failed to read the article to find that the kid was a family friend's kid and that throwing him in the slammer would be the worst thing for a sociopath. So you're saying you'd lock up your friend's kid rather than confront the family and deal with the issue with empathy and regard for the well being of others? Nice sociopathic behavior on your part, btw. The kid needs help, not punishment! He's 17! Still a minor in most developed countries' legal sy

    • Re:At what point... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:05AM (#41504341)

      He did. And they were not helpful.

      I was petrified.
      They had my address.
      I reported it to the authorities and hoped for the best.
      Two days later I opened my front door and there was a bunch of dead flowers with my wife's old Twitter username on it. Then that night I recieved a DM. 'You'll get home some day & ur b**ches throat will be cut & ur son will be gone.'
      I got on to the authorities again but, polite and sympathetic as they were, there didn't seem much that could be done.

      Sort of surprising because I'm fairly certain the language of that threat rises to a criminal level with the threat of bodily harm and kidnapping, especially given that the person making the threat knows the address of the person they are threatening.

      • Sort of surprising because I'm fairly certain the language of that threat rises to a criminal level with the threat of bodily harm and kidnapping, especially given that the person making the threat knows the address of the person they are threatening.

        Not at all. Firstly, this all happened in the UK, so unless you live there you have no idea how their legal system deals with cases like this. I know that in the U.S. it is dealt with differently state-by-state as there are different laws in different states dealing with cases like this but, one thing holds fairly true throughout. Unless they actually do something, threats mean nothing and the police file your complaint until something happens. Once something happens those threats get used as evidence, but

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Kohath (38547)

      Paragraph 13 of the original story. It's a good read.

      The cops can't protect anyone. They just show up after you're dead and string up crime scene tape. In the UK you're not allowed to protect yourself either -- it undermines government authority.

      • Re:At what point... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 30, 2012 @04:19AM (#41504599)

        ... In the UK you're not allowed to protect yourself either -- it undermines government authority.

        While in essence what you say is true, in practice, you'll find that not all the police, judiciary and juries are 'on side' with that particular message.

        Another thing, whilst I'm at it, the UK has three separate legal systems, one covering England/Wales, one covering Scotland, and lastly Northern Ireland. There may be UK wide laws, which are usually 'rubber stamped' by the Scottish and NI legal systems, but the implementation and interpretation of said laws depends on which legal jurisdiction of the UK you're in.

        Having been told by a Chief Constable in Scotland that in the event of anyone breaking into my house, so long as it's within my property, I have the right to defend myself and my family, and if I fear for their or my life, then extreme actions are permissible, then I'd think it's safe to say that I do have a right to protect myself, the issue lies with how much force I use to do so and in what circumstances.

        I've no idea what the legal position is in England/Wales, but having lived there for 15 years and having on at least one occasion been caught on 'surveillance' cameras 'defending myself' against a couple of muggers (one ran, I left the other U/S on the ground) and despite the incident being on camera/tape, and despite my good self being a somewhat easy individual to spot in a crowd the police never did anything about it.

        So, yes, we have a bunch of control freaks in power who'd love to regiment every microsecond of our lives (irrespective of what political party they're pretending to be this month), yes, we're not allowed to own guns the same way you Americans are, yes, these restrictions haven't done a damn thing to stop the increase in 'gun crime' in the UK (Fact: gun crime is on the rise, and it is now easier to get large calibre handguns on the 'black market' since the UK government banned the ownership of the things), but, please, please don't get hung up on the fact that we do not own firearms somehow equates to we're without the means of defending ourselves, and, despite the best efforts of the State and despite the picture the media paints, we are allowed to do so.
        The laws are still policed and implemented by the more than occasional human being, a lot of incidents never get to the legal system in the first instance as the Police/CPS/Procurator Fiscals take one look at the evidence and won't present it, of those which do go, you only hear about the 'being prosecuted for self defence' cases that papers with a political agenda like the 'Daily Mail' want you to hear about, you'll never read about the people who are admonished/found 'not guilty' (unless it suits the paper 'politically').

        • by Arker (91948)

          While in essence what you say is true, in practice, you'll find that not all the police, judiciary and juries are 'on side' with that particular message.

          Naturally. And here the mirror is true, while in essence our legal system still recognises a right to self defense, not all police, judiciary, or juries are on side with that either. It's a daily battle to try to preserve it.

          Another thing, whilst I'm at it, the UK has three separate legal systems, one covering England/Wales, one covering Scotland, and last

  • by calzones (890942) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @02:59AM (#41504301)

    Oddly heartwarming ending. It's awesome when people can take the high road and restrain themselves from lashing back at abusers, who do this stuff out of boredom, insecurity, and immaturity (or sometimes mental instability issues, alas). But recognizing that people do stupid regrettable crap, and that maybe their lives need not be ruined over it, and that maybe some good might come out of something bad... that's great strength and maturity. Kudos.

  • ...being basically! As if a real I.T. genius would ever use basic!
  • by Kohath (38547) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:02AM (#41504317)

    This is why content delivery systems need to be licensed by governments. This wouldn't have happened if Twitter were prohibited because it's unlicensed.

    It's a safety issue. Just like the license you need before you can drive your own car. Just like the license you need to be a barber. Or the permit that those kids should have gotten before the cops shut down their lemonade stand [forbes.com]. Or the license that that guy in North Carolina needs to publish dietary advice on his blog [nytimes.com]. Or the law license that Elizabeth Warren doesn't need because she's one of the special people [volokh.com].

    Leo Traynor should be ashamed for having an unlicensed conversation with his Troll. Is he a certified criminal counselor? He should have gotten the authorities involved, because they should always be involved. In everything.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      He should have gotten the authorities involved, because they should always be involved. In everything.

      Precisely. Sadly, some people are perfectly willing to trade away safety for this 'freedom' nonsense. I honestly wish it was possible to have a TSA agent constantly breathing down everyone's necks; if that happened, we'd be perfectly safe from all the evil trolls, rapists, and terrorists! Oh, and copyright infringers (the most dangerous criminals of them all).

      Safety first.

    • Can't tell if you're a parody or serious

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:04AM (#41504329)

    "I was deliberately more provocative toward them than ever I'd been before."

    This sentence makes me think that, however vile the "troll" could have turned out to be, this wasn't an entirely black-versus-white situation. I suspect this guy was being a jerk back at anyone who was a jerk to him, and it escalated further than he thought it would.

    • "I was deliberately more provocative toward them than ever I'd been before."

      This sentence makes me think that, however vile the "troll" could have turned out to be, this wasn't an entirely black-versus-white situation. I suspect this guy was being a jerk back at anyone who was a jerk to him, and it escalated further than he thought it would.

      Have you ever had a troll come after you? It all starts off as harmless verbal sparring and ALWAYS escalates. Trolls are like dogs with frisbees and just won't let go, especially when they are minors with no responsibilities, plenty of time on their hands and sociopathic tendencies. What you learn is to cut them off, like Leo tried to do, but some don't go away. Try having your own discussion board some time and be required to deal with trolls. I think your perspective on being a jerk would change dramatica

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare@NoSpaM.gmail.com> on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:06AM (#41504349) Homepage Journal

    This is stalking

    Its like calling arson vandalism

    Identify the nature of the transgression correctly

  • by Gordo_1 (256312) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:08AM (#41504361)

    A kid basically ruined the guy's life, essentially just for lulz -- or for lack of anything constructive to do with his time. Fortunately, the kid did not understand how traceable IP addresses are and he was caught and confronted. Most interesting part of it was that the kid really didn't seem to truly comprehend what devastation he was causing to another human being, because he did it all remotely from the safety of his computer.

    Reality is that this is just an extreme example of what goes on daily on semi-anonymous message boards (like this one). If we all had to show our faces, I'm sure we'd be a little more civil toward one another. Personally, I don't think I run a very high risk of ending up in the situation that this guy was in, since I value my online anonymity too much. I realize that for many, the temptation to spread their personal misery is just too great, and so they troll, which is really just a cry for attention -- something they probably didn't get enough of growing up.

    Anyway, enough pontificating. Queue the trolls...

  • by xor.pt (882444) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @03:43AM (#41504483)

    The author is just too naive, or cowardly to deliver his friend's son with legal action.
    In the end the author tries to spin this little story as a 'I'm the bigger man' tale instead.
    The author is at this point just enabling him, like his parents.
    This is a 17 year old who's in college. He's a danger to himself and others, and any additional damage caused by him will also be in the author's head.
    What did he learn from this? Cry when you get caugh, and your actions have no consequences.

  • by Chrontius (654879) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @05:00AM (#41504723)
    Happened to me in high school.

    I blocked at least a dozen AIM accounts a night for weeks (maybe months); I can be fortunate there was no "twitter" then, nor this "book of faces", and that smartphones were this exciting new thing Handspring was just introducing to the market that nobody could afford.

    Then I got two unsolicited copies of the TSR novel "Death of the Dragon" in the mail - this may have been an error by a small book distributor I did business with, so I can't be sure -- but "Dragon" was part of the IM name I used at the time, and I could never be sure. I still have both copies, and I haven't read either. I don't actually think I even touched either after I put them on the bookshelf those years ago.

    Then the fella proved himself grossly incompetent, and threatened to beat me to death. In a public library, where I "was", he was "behind" me. I was sitting at a desk, at home, with a baseball bat within arms' reach. I mocked him for the rest of the night, and then it ended. He failed. Epically. His confrontation... wasn't.

    But I'm not in high school any more. I spent the next couple years reading books like "Shooting To Live" [specops.pl] and "Kill or Get Killed" [resist.com]. I took years of aikido, tae kwon do, and studied a few forms of swordplay for a few more years. I carry a gun, and enough ammo to get through the statistically average civilian-defense gunfight, and then a little more. Sometimes, more than one. I'm seriously considering building some ghetto-but-effective body armor. (Steel rifle plates went out of style because they're heavy and unconcealable, but they offer an awful lot of protection). I don't carry a gun because I expect to get in a fight; I carry because I don't expect to get in a fight. If I expected one, I'd simply send a SWAT team in my stead, and sip Starbucks in the mobile command center. (No police department takes documentable, documented conspiracy to commit murder lightly in this age of lawsuits!) I don't sit with my back to the door at restaurants any more, I know what phrases like "condition yellow" mean, and I look for the bulge of a poorly-concealed weapon now when someone walks into the gas station while I'm fueling up.

    Fortunately, for the most part, I don't mind living like this. In practice, 98% of the time, it just means I can make unplanned trips to the gun range without going home for weapons. And - unlike most liberals - I know a secret: The shooting sports are fun. I hesitate to say it, but it's a blast to put 20 shots into a single hole not any bigger than a nickel; mastery for its own sake is one of the most rewarding things. [ted.com]

    But somewhere, deep down, I know and cannot forget: I found this thing I enjoy because someone threatened to kill me in a public place, in front of witnesses, and get away with it. And other geeks may not get through it as well as I did. I may enjoy the trappings, but I wouldn't want to put anyone through the scary parts on the way to where I am today.

    Let us not mistake this for an isolated incident; it is not. Let us not mistake it for something new; it is not. Let us not allow this to happen again; it should not.
  • by Qbertino (265505) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @06:01AM (#41504923)

    The article is most likely a fake.
    Tracking someones home simply by having an IP adress with no help from the ISP and various legal procedures? Yeah, sure.
    *Not* going to the police over physical world death-threats? Yeah, sure.

    I bet money that this is a fabricated news story by a loony pseudo journalist. Or that Leo Traynor simply doesn't exist. There are accounts on the interweb that indicate this.

  • by Tastecicles (1153671) on Sunday September 30, 2012 @07:11AM (#41505155)

    Leo Traynor is a fiction. Apparently he has lived in no less than seventeen countries over the past eight years, including some of the most politically unstable regions on the planet; more that he has managed to stay still long enough to gain a DPhil in international politics (no school anywhere has any record of him), that he has worked for all three main parties in the UK as a press liaison officer (yet no mention of him in the Press, ever). That he has worked for both parties in the US as a Press liaison officer (ditto). His story is so full of holes you could drain chips with it.

    Leo Traynor, you are a bullshitter.

A sheet of paper is an ink-lined plane. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

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