Cases of trolling have become so extreme that there needs to be a ‘social media police force’ if victims of online abuse ever hope to see action taken.
That is the view of Lee McAteer, co-founder of £4.1m-turnover business Invasion Camp Group, who grew all his brands through social media but has received nasty messages – including on Christmas Day.
“It would be phenomenal to be able to report to an actual person who could say ‘this is right’, or ‘this is wrong’,” he told BusinessCloud. “All of a sudden it becomes a deterrent to young people [thinking of trolling someone].”
The businessman, who was named ‘Britain’s Best Boss’ by the Daily Mirror, suggested that a social media task force could handle reports of online abuse and trolling in a way that neither the police nor social media platforms have the capacity to provide.
McAteer was speaking to BusinessCloud after appearing as part of a panel for its latest event, ‘Social Media: Friend or Foe?’, where he shared his ongoing battles with online trolls.
‘Without social media we wouldn’t have a brand at all – we started with no money but saw the writing on the wall. So many other companies were still old school & using posters and we saw the business opportunity to be cost effective,’ says @MrLeeMcAteer #bcsocialmedia pic.twitter.com/ZkZfMqDnVQ
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“It’s obvious that the police aren’t going to do anything about it,” he claimed. “I know first-hand that even though they know there’s a case, they haven’t got the resources to look into it.
“[The police] are saying that every fourth word coming out of people’s mouths is ‘Facebook’, or ‘Twitter’!”
McAteer has a background in law, which informs his insight.
“The police don’t understand [trolling], but then a lot of legal professionals don’t understand it,” he explained.
“I remember when I was doing my training contract. I said that there was a need for social media departments… I was laughed at.
“I think it’s fair to say: who’s laughing now?”