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Trolls: the internet is full of anonymous cowards hiding behind keyboards

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Cases of online abuse include high-profile incidents of 'Twitter trolling', where users are bombarded with threats and abuse

Cases of online abuse include high-profile incidents of 'Twitter trolling', where users are bombarded with threats and abuse

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Richard Madeley told Twitter trolls prosecution awaits" for making rape threats against his daughter

Richard Madeley told Twitter trolls prosecution awaits" for making rape threats against his daughter

Kate and Gerry McCann have suffered abuse from internet trolls over the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine

Kate and Gerry McCann have suffered abuse from internet trolls over the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine

Internet trolls have targeted actress Emma Watson hours after she made a speech to the United Nations

Internet trolls have targeted actress Emma Watson hours after she made a speech to the United Nations

Selena Gomez has challenged an online troll who made a comment about cancer

Selena Gomez has challenged an online troll who made a comment about cancer

Stan Collymore received death threats on Twitter

Stan Collymore received death threats on Twitter

Former footballer Stan Collymore has accused Twitter of "not doing enough" to combat abusive tweets on the social networking site after he was targeted by internet trolls.

Former footballer Stan Collymore has accused Twitter of "not doing enough" to combat abusive tweets on the social networking site after he was targeted by internet trolls.

PA

Denise Fergus was targeted by a Twitter troll over the murder of her son James Bulger

Denise Fergus was targeted by a Twitter troll over the murder of her son James Bulger

PA

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Cases of online abuse include high-profile incidents of 'Twitter trolling', where users are bombarded with threats and abuse

The internet brings out the ugly side of human behaviour.

Why else would it seem to some that to threaten a person with rape, order them to die or harass them with obscene and menacing messages is acceptable?

Lurking behind their computer screens, these cowardly internet trolls probably wouldn't say boo to the target of their venom if they met them on the street.

But give them a Twitter account and they'll call Rory McIlroy a "Brit w*****" and tell him to "f*** off".

Trolling is a trend that has been replicated the world over against high-profile figures.

Richard Madeley's daughter Chloe was this week threatened with rape by trolls and X Factor contestant Stephanie Nala was told to "die".

Gerry and Kate McCann, who are still struggling to come to terms with the disappearance of their daughter Madeleine, have been subjected to online threats of violence and kidnapping.

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Zelda Williams, the daughter of the tragic US actor Robin Williams, recently quit Twitter after internet trolls posted fake photographs claiming to be her dead father.

There are some astute online bullies who take measures to hide their identities. But the majority of these trolls are complete idiots.

As soon as someone Googles their name, their unpleasant, nasty and even sinister comments are there for the whole world to read.

It's not very good for job prospects if an employer decides to carry out a quick background check online.

For Rory McIlroy, it won't be the last time trolls target him.

But as the second richest Irish sports star – with an estimated fortune of £28m, according to the Sunday Times Rich List – enjoying the golden days of his career, the golf ace will always have the last laugh.


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