I am going to start collecting resources here – articles, case law, any individual stories that could be useful.

Please add anything you think is relevant in the comment section or contact me via Twitter @SVPhillimore.


Articles, blog posts and commentary 

Report from Amnesty

Unsocial media: The real toll of online abuse against women by Azmina Dhrodia

Twitter’s policy against hateful conduct – does not seem to be consistently enforced?

Bar this Troll – Sunday Mirror article February 11th 2018

Online Hate – Words will never harm me, or will they? Blog from Katy Jon Went.

Why good people turn bad online – Gaia Vince 2nd April 2018

How to criticise with kindness: Philosopher Daniel Dennett on the four steps to arguing intelligently

On line harassment and how we just don’t deal with it  – Child Protection Resource. 

Defamation and the Monroe v Hopkins judgment 

Strategies for dealing with on line harassment  Child Protection Resource

Japanese blogger stabbed to death, allegedly by on line harasser with a grudge Laura Hudson 26th June 2018

My sister’s suicide came after years of abuse – it must not be the only escape for victims. The Metro 19th July 2018

The Internet Trolls have won. Sorry, there’s not much you can do.  Brian X Chen 8th August 2018

Mark Randazza is fighting to keep Nazis and Trolls on Twitter in the new speech laws; here’s why.  Joseph Bernstein Buzzed 21st September 2018

I thought the web would stop hate, not spread it Kara Swisher The New York Times 30th October 2018

How to have better on line arguments  Adam Wagner Prospect Magazine 30th January 2019;  assume good faith, listen and be honest.


Case Law and legal guidance

Hayes v Willoughby [2013] UKSC17

Monroe v Hopkins [2017] EWHC 433 (QB)

Hewson v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2018] EWHC 471 (Admin)

CPS Guidance on stalking and harassment May 2018 


Reviews and Reform Proposals

On 6th February 2018 the Government asked the Law Commission to review the law on ‘trolling’.  EDIT as of October 2018 there is no review; it is expected ‘by the end of the year’.

The Law Commission will examine:

  • How the Malicious Communications Act 1988 deals with offensive online communications
  • How the Communications Act 2003 deals with online communications
  • What “grossly offensive” means and whether that poses difficulties in legal certainty
  • Whether the law means you need to prove fault or prove intention to prosecute offensive online communications
  • The need to update definitions in the law which technology has rendered obsolete or confused, such as the meaning of “sender”
  • How other parts of the criminal law overlap with online communications laws


Websites – Timothy Garton Ash explains the thinking behind the project:

“To give a clear structure, we have  organised this debate around ten principles for global free expression. These have been thrashed out in discussions with free speech experts, lawyers, political theorists, theologians, philosophers, activists and journalists from across the world. They have been revised in hours of detailed work with our team of current Oxford graduate students, including native speakers of all the 13 major languages in which the site’s editorial content appears. We have tried very hard to make the principles short, clear and comprehensible in all these languages. These draft principles both complement and qualify each other. They need to be understood as an interlocking set. We cannot emphasise too strongly that this is just a first attempt at drafting some rules-of-thumb for what we should or should not be free to express, and in what manner we may choose express it, in a world where everybody is becoming neighbours with everybody else.”

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