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Facebook troll prosecuted for tastelessness

Networking ban for internet troll

A woman has pleaded guilty to charges of harassment relating to social media website Facebook.

Jessica Cook, a 22-year-old shop assistant in Queensland, Australia, posted hateful comments and inappropriate images on the Facebook tribute page set up to remember murdered woman Justine Jones.

Ms Jones was found murdered last month in a rubbish tip, and Ms Cook proceeded to harass members of the dedication page under a false identity with material described by magistrate Maxine Baldwin as “appalling, incomprehensible and absolutely sickening”.

“A way of venting her frustrations”

The Courier-Mail reports that Ms Cook posted images as a headless corpse on the site, with her lawyer Michael Connolly claiming such actions were a product of her mental illness.

Connolly claimed Ms Cook had suffered a traumatic childhood during which she suffered bullying, depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. He said: “She started trolling to get her point of view across but obviously it got out of control. [It was] a way of venting her frustrations.”

Ms Cook was given a three-month suspended sentence and will have a pay a fine if she re-offends. In addition, she has been banned from using Facebook, MySpace and Twitter.

This story comes after criticism directed at the website regarding its privacy policy. Similar questions were also raised last month when a tribute site emerged dedicated to killer Raoul Moat, with people calling Moat a ‘legend’.

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