CRUEL internet "trolls" are tormenting the family of missing Madeleine
McCann, it has emerged.
The revelation follows the jailing of a sicko who posted videos and
messages mocking dead girls.
The Sun today urges our readers to combat the menace of trolls.
Our Target A Troll campaign is being launched amid revelations that
grieving families of a host of high-profile crime victims and
celebrities have been plagued by weirdos making "fun" of tragedy.
Those rocked by vile web comments and videos include relatives of
Madeleine McCann, Amy Winehouse, Jade Goody, Sarah Payne and murdered
teenagers Sally Anne Bowman and Jimmy Mizen.
Trolls lurk on net favourites like Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Bebo and
But they can be fought if they are reported to website administrators
or, in extreme cases, to police. The Sun is also calling on internet
service providers to hand over details of trolls to cops. The shocking
list of victims came to light after Tuesday's court case in which
twisted Sean Duffy, 25, was jailed for posting vile "jokes" about a
string of dead girls.
Kate and Gerry McCann, the parents of missing Maddie ? who
vanished in 2007 a few days before her fourth birthday ? have been
persecuted for years.
A hoax Facebook page set up last year was called: "If 2 million people
join this group I will give back Maddie McCann." A web campaign to shut
it down was successful ? but not before it was also trolled by a
Facebook user who wrote: "Who agrees the parents did it?"
The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "There is constant
activity by these ghouls. They have accused Kate and Gerry of child
neglect and worse, and covering up Madeleine's death.
"All the photos of Madeleine they released have been doctored in the
most horrible way. One post tried to orchestrate a campaign where dog
excrement was sent through their letterbox."
Mr Mitchell added: "The trouble is that it is very hard to stop these
people. They hide away behind their computer screens, blogging away."
Tragic singer Amy Winehouse became a focus for trolls after her
death in July.
YouTube sickos posted a video called "Bye Amy love the trolls" in which
they superimposed her face on a toy troll with needles in her hair.
A viciously inaccurate message on website memebase.com read: "Amy
Winehouse, sang about not going to rehab, then OD'd."
Perverted Colm Cross, 36, was given 18 weeks in jail for trolling on
tribute pages for late Big Brother star Jade Goody, a cancer victim.
Cross, of Manchester, boasted of imaginary acts of necrophilia ? a
sexual attraction to corpses. The prosecutor at his trial said: "He
found the comments amusing. He said they gave him no sexual arousal but
he enjoyed the comments made in reaction." Sara Payne, whose
eight-year-old daughter Sarah was murdered by sex beast Roy Whiting in
2000, has been put through untold torment.
She branded trolls "unspeakably depraved and cruel".
And her close friend Shy Keenan, who runs anti-paedophile organisation
Phoenix Chief Advocates with Sara, said: "She has been subjected to the
most vile abuse online.
"When she was recovering from a stroke, they were posting messages
saying she should have been raped and killed like her daughter was. They
also said it was Sarah's fault she was killed because she got in
Ghouls have also hounded Linda Bowman, whose model daughter Sally Anne
was raped and stabbed to death in 2005, just after her 18th birthday.
Linda said: "A troll pasted Sally Anne's photo on the body of a naked
porn picture of a woman and posted it on tribute websites with vile
"Another posted, 'She deserved to die dressed like that and I'd have
given her one'." The mum, of Croydon, South London, added: "I have cried
buckets over what these people have done."
The family of schoolboy Jimmy Mizen ? murdered in Lee, South-East
London, just after his 16th birthday in 2008 ? told how a Twitter group
posted "terrible things" about him.
The lad's elder brother Billy said: "The culprits definitely wanted the
family to see what they were saying. They need to realise their actions
are extremely hurtful."
Dad Robert Mullaney's 15-year-old son Tom hanged himself after a school
argument in Birmingham last year. He told how a picture of the lad with
a noose around his neck appeared online.
A caption with it read: "Hang in there Tom."
Last night Sherry Adhami, of the charity Beatbullying, called for
government action to stop the trolls. She said: "It's time that
preventing bullying at source is placed higher on their agenda."
Idiots are very easy to locate
myView, By DAVE WHITELEGG, Cyber Security Expert
THESE twisted individuals are idiots ? they assume they are anonymous
But their internet service provider can track their IP address and hand
over their details to the cops.
Everyone has an IP address for their internet account which is linked to
their name, address and any other details they gave to set up the
If the police want to track someone posting abusive messages, they
simply speak to the internet service providers who have a record of
everything which is written online.
There are some things you can do to limit the chances of being attacked.
Only be Facebook friends with people you know and trust. Parents can
also make themselves friends with their kids, to monitor anything going
There are no instant answers to eradicating this kind of cyber-bullying,
but if kids get educated about the internet they can avoid it much more
The internet has the very best of life, but also the very worst.
Outsider's pain goes to victims
myView, By PHILLIP HODSON, Psychotherapist
THE internet is the revenge playground of the impotent ? a fantasy world
for deluded, anonymous vandals.
Sean Duffy's actions will have caused maximum offence and great pain.
But we need to know why he did it to get through to him and people like
He probably felt something was missing from his life, that he was an
outsider, that if he died no one would miss him.
That is why he felt hostile towards Natasha's parents. He will have
looked at their pain and decided to deepen it to lessen his own.
Making people scared is also a way of having power. It is also exciting.
We've been told Duffy is autistic. Many autistic people have to be
taught how other people feel.
But this is no excuse for his devastating actions.
When someone says, "This is the truth about your daughter", it is hard
not to let it affect you, even if you know it is not true. For these
parents, the effects are unlimited.