The father of the teenager who critiqued Tom Daley’s competence at the London Olympics has spoken out following the 17-year-old’s arrest and bailing.
Norman Messer, 58 said his son was not just abusive to Daley, but to others also, “He’s abused everyone on Twitter,” he said, “If you go down his tweets you can see he’s got a problem.”
To date Twitter has adopted the ‘free speech’ position of allowing its users to say what they want, but parents worried about their children’s future with no power to stop them disagree. Mr Messer said his son Reece suffered from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and for his own protection Twitter should have banned him, “There should be some way to close down the accounts of people who are not well, like Reece“, he said “It’s not right that young people should go on there and say things like this.”
Like most young people singled out by the police authorities when big names like Rio Ferdinand go unpunished without any question, Reece had total remorse for the way he made Daley feel. Speaking about this Mr Messer said, “He finds comfort going on Twitter – it gives him a buzz. He’s tried to apologise to Tom, but hasn’t got a reply, which has caused him more anxiety – although I’m not trying to blame Tom at all.”
The situation comes five months after Liam Stacey, a young student, was sentenced for 56-days for posting racist tweets on Twitter. Rio Ferdinand who called footballer Andy Cole “choc ice”, a racist term, has faced no prosecution and has effectively been let off.
Trolling Academy founder Jonathan Bishop, who has devised a framework for dealing with trolling to minimise harm to young people’s future prospects says the singling out of youths is unfair, “Young people have been born into one of the worst times socially and economically,” he said, “It is no wonder teens turn to the Internet for some sort of attention when those around them treat them like they wish they didn’t exist.“Older postNewer post