25-year-old Australian Zane Alchin was arrested after sending over 55 messages on Facebook harassing and threatening several women with rape and abuse.
It all started with a woman’s Tinder bio being posted on an anti-feminist Facebook page, the bio had music lyrics that made her look to be pretty damn thirsty so the online trolls had a field day with it.
Alchin was one of these many trolls, but he took it up a notch after the woman’s friends showed up on the thread to defend her. Alchin went pretty much insane. He made several comments talking about how women are just sex objects, promoting abuse and rape.
After one of the women Alchin was harassing said that she was sending screenshots of the thread to the police he said “What law am I breaking? I’m not the one out of the fucking kitchen.”
Turns out that Alchin was in violation of section 474.17 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code Act and could see up to three years of prison time for it.
At first Alchin plead not guilty, but it didn’t take long for that to turn around. He has since plead guilty and now awaits for his sentencing. Depending on his sentence, this case will change how people (in Australia at least) will behave online. Anonymous freedom of speech is no doubt important, but threatening abuse and rape goes well beyond your everyday troll. We will have to wait and see what the judge decides is the appropriate response to this kind of case.