YEP Says, February 13: Twitter’s duty to help identify ‘cancer’ trolls

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...and a city’s respect for war heroes

WHAT DOES it say about today’s society when the authorities appear unable to take affirmative action against those sick people who use Twitter to post vile and insensitive abuse?

The latest victim is Leeds mother Sophie Hoult, who set up a Twitter account to chart the progress of her cancer-stricken son Riley as he undergoes lifesaving chemotherapy treatment.

She had hoped that his fight for life would raise wider awareness about the neuroblastoma which has afflicted the 23-month-old.

While many of the messages were uplifting, and represented the best of humanity, the account had to be closed down because a tiny minority sent callous tweets which were symptomatic of the very worst of society.

It is unclear whether any criminal law has been broken, which serves to underline how difficult it is under current legislation to combat the distress caused by a moronic minority who think, to quote them, that ‘cancer is funny because people die’.

But this should not stop organisations like Twitter and Facebook co-operating more fully with the police.

At the moment, details are only disclosed if a threat to life is posed – parameters which need reviewing in light of the distress caused to Sophie Hoult.

A city’s respect for war heroes

THE fact that YEP readers helped the Royal British Legion’s annual poppy appeal raise a record £3m locally is testament to the city’s enduring respect for the Armed Forces.

Yet, while 2014 was a poignant year because of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, commemorative events marking these landmarks in history played a vital role in raising awareness about the sacrifices made by past generations. This momentum must be maintained.

As time catches up with Second World War survivors, there is a moral duty to treat these heroes with the dignity that they deserve.