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‘I nearly got my head kicked in’: Troll on being jailed

ONE of the internet's most notorious trolls has spoken out about being jailed over nasty tweets she posted while she was drunk.

British woman Isabella Sorley spent 12 weeks behind bars for a string of tweets she posted in 2014 abusing feminist activist Caroline Criado-Perez.

Her threatening tweets included: "die you worthless piece of crap". Sorley recounted her actions as part of Four Corners' report, Rise of The Trolls, which aired on ABC TV tonight.

"I woke up in the morning, like, obviously worse for wear, realised what I had done," Sorley told Four Corners.

"I was physically sick ... like absolutely vile. What I tweeted was disgusting, so to think that I actually typed that out, I felt disgusted in myself that I'd sent those specific words to another person."

On realising what she had tweeted, Sorely said she "apologised" to her victim.

"It made me feel a little better that, yeah, she's getting all these other rape and death threats ... at least mine is an empty threat and she doesn't have to worry about me following through with what I said," Sorley said.

But Sorely was eventually jailed in what was a highly publicised legal case in the UK.

"It was hard ... 'cause obviously, like, how high-profile it was, I couldn't hide away," Sorley said.

"I had all the prisoners asking why I did it. I had all, like, the prison guards I was getting a lot of abuse from everywhere. I was being made out to be a woman-hater."

"I nearly got my head kicked in because someone had saw what I had tweeted on the news."

Speaking as part of the Four Corners' investigation, Sorely said the ordeal was "20 minutes that's still defining my life".

"It was such a short period of time. I'm always gonna have that stigma attached that I'm that Twitter, the Twitter girl.

"I don't think I would have got prison. I was definitely made an example of because of how high profile it was."

WHAT MOTIVATES INTERNET TROLLS?

A leading psychologist also weighed in as part of the Four Corners' report on what motivates internet users to project hate on the internet.

London-based psychologist Raj Persaud said trolls felt "pleasure at someone else's downfall".

"There are a lot of people on the planet feeling low self-esteem, feeling beaten up by life," Persaud said.

"Maybe watching other people do badly, watching other people suffer, seems to correct your low self-esteem."

An unnamed troll - who spoke on the condition of anonymity - explained hhis hateful online tactics.

"There's a serious darkness in not only us, but I think in everybody online. I think a lot of people just don't tap into the power of anonymity," the troll said.

"When you're anonymous, you're free to do and say a lot of things that you otherwise wouldn't do in real life, you would be powerless to do in real life."

An example, he said, was trolling Facebook tribute pages.

"When somebody dies, and their family puts up a memorial up in their honour, we might set up a separate page or we might just go on that page and create a ruckus," the troll said.

"But the idea is to get as many followers as possible on that page and make it seem as legit as possible so that we can offend as many people as possible when we start posting gore and other kinds of shocking material.

"That's the easiest way for us to create a mass effect.

"It's really effective when you have all these people who are already emotional, drop this bomb on them, you know, with the gore photos, maybe some kind of sexually explicit photos.

"It just ... it sends their emotions into overdrive."

News Corp Australia

Topics:  editors picks jail social media troll


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