It has destroyed lives, been held responsible for putting women off politics, fuelling racism and flooding trusted media streams with fake news. With a recent poll from Amnesty International revealing that 64% of the women surveyed believe ‘online abuse or harassment of women is common nowadays’, it’s clear that trolling is here to stay.

Yet with only one in five cases of cyber bullying being reported, what can digital platforms do to fight against ‘toxic’ exchanges online? Do efforts to control it risk undermining the internet as a place of free speech? And fundamentally, should we be able to say what we want online?


boy shouting into microphone
Image by Jason Rosewell

On Friday 11 May, The Alan Turing Institute and the British Library will hold a Data Debate to discuss trolling: the practice of online harassment and the posting of inflammatory content on the internet.

Join the debate with our panel of experts as we discuss trolling and the effect it is having in our data-driven lives.

What: Data Debate: Freedom to troll?

When: Friday 11 May 2018 from 18.00 – 20.00. Enjoy food and drink purchased from the Knowledge Centre Bar from 18.00 and after the event until the bar closes at 22.00

Where: Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB

Price:   Full Price: £6.00
Member: £6.00
Senior 60+: £5.00
Student: £4.00
Registered Unemployed: £4.00
Under 18: £4.00
Friend of the British Library: £6.00

Panellists include: Nimco Ali, a Somali feminist, social activist and co-founder and director of Daughters of Eve. Brittany Kelley, Teaching Fellow in Digital Cultures at King’s College London. Azmina Dhrodia, Amnesty International Researcher on Technology and Human Rights. Rob Procter, Professor of Social Informatics at Warwick University and Turing Fellow leading research on social media governance, including fake news and trolling. Roisin Wood, CEO of the Kick it Out campaign, working throughout the football, educational and community sectors to challenge discrimination, encourage inclusive practices and campaign for positive change.

Chairing the debate is writer and broadcaster Timandra Harkness, presenter of BBC Radio 4 series FutureProofing, and the documentaries Data, Data Everywhere; Personality Politics; and The Singularity. Data Debates is a collaboration between The Alan Turing Institute and the British Library and aims to stimulate discussion on issues surrounding big data, its potential uses, and its implications for society.

Visit the British Library’s page to register. Join the conversation #TheDataDebates

 Media inquiries:

Beth Wood
Press and Communications Manager
The Alan Turing Institute
[email protected]  0203 862 3390

Event inquiries:

The British Library Box Office
[email protected]  01937 546546