A traditional feel-good internet story is of a man who tracks down internet troll who made his life a living hell, gets him to beg for forgiveness. But this one is not your traditional story, and neither does it end well.
The story is about an Ireland-based political consultant and blogger Leo Traynor. His life was made hell by an internet troll who used dummy accounts to bombard him with anti-Semitic threats. The troll eventually managed to get him to close Twitter.
The harassment extended beyond the boundaries of Twitter as the troll chased Traynor around the internet. Traynor’s Facebook account was hacked and his email was flooded with images of corpses and massacre of concentration camps. The troll chase continued for three years until, one day, Traynor received a real-life package from his tormentor. According to Traynor, "I ripped it open and there was a tupperware lunchbox inside full of ashes." "There was a note included 'Say hello to your relatives from Auschwitz.' I was physically sick."
For Traynor this was the limit. With the help of his IT genius friend, Traynor was able to track the location of his troll by using his IP address. It was precisely from here when things took a more interesting turn.
The location traced him to what was the house of a friend, and it was there he found out that the troll was actually his friend’s 17-year-old son.
After speaking with his friend Traynor rejected police involvement and arranged a meeting with the troll and his parents. Even when Traynor asked him the reason for doing all this, his friend’s son didn’t have any answer. But despite all anxiety and panic Traynor went through, he decided to forgive the boy and avoided any police involvement. Back on Twitter, Traynor tweeted that his bad experience should not turn users off.
If you feel put off Twitter by my blog - don't be! Take a look at all the lovely people who've supported me today. People are basically good— Leo Traynor (@LeoTraynor) September 25, 2012
Instead of calling the police and having this young man prosecuted, Traynor made some demands to his parents regarding the counseling of their son so that he never does anything like this again.