Trolls are also distinguished from their predecessors by seeming not to recognise any limits. Ridicule is an anti-social force: it tends to make people clam up and stop talking. So there is a point at which, if conversation and community are to continue, the joke has to stop, and the victim be let in on the laughter. Trolls, though, form a community precisely around the extension of their transgressive sadism beyond the limits of their offline personas. That the community consists almost entirely of people with no identifying characteristics – ‘anons’ – is part of the point. It is as if the laughter of the individual troll were secondary; the primary goal is to sustain the pleasure of the anonymous collective.
Under the smooth guidance of state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, the case’s investigating officer Hilton Botha delivered what seemed to be a damning case against Pistorius in the morning session. But when defence advocate Barry Roux began his cross-examination of Hilton, it took very little time for things to fall apart. As a criminal lawyer pointed out to the Daily Maverick, “the skills of the prosecutor mean nothing if the IO [investigating officer] caves in the stand.” After a full grilling from Roux, the police work on the case was made to look sloppy and careless. – Rebecca Davis at Daily MaverickBACK TO TOP