The 17-year old boy who mocked the death of diver Tom Daley’s father on Twitter last week has been named as Reece Messer.
Messer, who is part of a family of 11, lives in a bedsit in dire poverty, depending on welfare benefits to survive.
Messer is typical of many Hater trollers; living in a society with high expectations, but where many have more than their fair share of the cake, leading to resentment among the aspirational young people who stand no chance of meeting those aspirations. Such resentment is aggravated by public perception of all benefit claimants being ‘scroungers’ who are in poverty as a result of their own making.
Messer is now bailed to turn up at court at a later date, becoming like many youths in his generation who have criminal records for being a by-product of a failed society where the haves get away with committing offenses and the have-nots become the easy targets for police officials chasing convictions to improve their statistics.
According to Messer it was Daley at fault for taking things too far, and then not accepting his genuine apology, “He could have ended it by saying thanks for the apology,” he said, “He could have said, ‘If you didn’t know about it, you do now’ — then moved on.”
The authorities were criticised in parts of the media for not allowing free speech. Popular radio presenter, Adrian Goldberg, who works for BBC WM was particularly critical, “Is too harsh to have a visit from the coppers just for expressing your opinion online?“, he said, “Shouldn’t we all have our right to free speech?”
The situation occurs as elite footballers like Rio Ferdinand go unprosecuted by police for making racist remarks on Twitter, when youths like Liam Stacey, faced jail terms for the same offence. Trolling expert Jonathan Bishop, who runs the Trolling Academy initiative thinks the young are being singled out because the celebrities lack awareness of how to use social networking to manage ‘flame trolling’. He said, “The best thing celebrities like Tom Daley can do is enjoy the abuse they get”
“The Haters who troll them resent their success, so they should see it as a ringing endorsement for how well they are doing, and their confidence to make a go of things where these trollers lack the confidence or ability to do so.”
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