Iain Dale is Leading Britain's Conversation.
6 January 2017, 11:13
Speaking about stalking on his LBC show, Darren Adam recounted his own experience of trolls.
Darren on the impact of stalking and cyber-trolling
As the government doubles jail terms for stalkers, Darren Adam describes the cyber trolling he gets - and how it might affect other people.
Courts in England and Wales will be given the power to send convicted stalkers to prison for up to 10 years, double the current maximum sentence.
Justice Minister Sam Gyimah said the government wants to ensure "these awful crimes can be properly punished".
He added that the government will also aim to "ensure mental health issues associated with these crimes are properly addressed".
Following the news Darren Adam asked why stalking isn't taken seriously enough, and spoke about the serious effects of cyberstalking.
He recounted his own experience of 'trolling' online: "I was thinking a little bit about the very, very, very ,very, tiny extent to which i am in the public eye."
Darren went on: "It is just enough for some people to take more of a weird kind of interest in you that would ever seem reasonable or explicable. I am reminded of a tweet that i saw about four days after Christmas from someone who I have muted on Twitter, a 'troll', I would suggest.
"Someone whose tweets I don't see. But for some reason, i saw this one, four days after Christmas because it had formed part of a conversation as another thread on Twitter.
"I realised that this particular person, at four o'clock on Christmas morning, as I said I didn't see it until four days afterwards because I have got friends, family, a life, loved ones.
"At four o'clock on Christmas morning this person had tweeted directly at me about how outrageous it was that self-professed Atheist would celebrate Christmas.
"He said I was a hypocrite and had the morals of an alley cat. My first thought was genuine pity. I don't mean that facetiously, genuine pity, that somebody on Christmas morning has nothing better to do than tweet at someone they've never met, in such a fashion.
"Then I moved from feeling sorry for this person to just ignoring it once again and kind of forgetting that it ever happened really. That's fine, because just like our previous caller Ian, I am big enough and ugly enough...to let such things wash over me.
"But if you aren't as confident or certain of yourself, then being stalked, being cyber stalked, being tweeted at, being pursued on social media, or indeed in real life, may be scary in a way that I hadn't quite appreciated and maybe you hadn't either."