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When the trolls come out to play on the net


“I hope you drink rat poison and die,” says Prof Steven Knowlton. We are having a conversation about the often negative and often abusive comments below the line of online news stories.

Knowlton, a professor of journalism at Dublin City University, is simply giving me an example of the kind of thing most readers stumble upon on a daily basis. Another day, another dinger for your garden variety internet troll.

Researching health symptoms online is a prescription for anxiety

WORRIED about that lingering headache or that persistent cough? Consulting Dr Google may not always be good for our health and in fact a design flaw in search engines means we usually get the worst-case scenario for our medical symptoms — regardless of how harmless they are — which raises our anxiety levels as a result.

The Hollywood Reporter: Cyber Security Experts Question Whether North Korea Acted Alone in Sony Hack

juan_talloA Steed Symposium panel on cyber security raised questions about other possible players while advising that companies must be prepared for such attacks.

North Korea many not have been the only player involved in the hack on Sony Pictures, a panel of cyber security experts argued on Monday evening.

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New weapon for parents in the war on cyber-bullying

Parents may soon be able to spot whether their child is being bullied on social media sites thanks to a new programme being devised by an Irish cyber expert.

Mary Aiken, a cyber psychologist - who is the inspiration behind 'CSI: Cyber', the latest spin-off of the hugely popular American crime drama franchise - revealed that she is currently working with a tech company in Silicon Valley to write an algorithm aimed at spotting warning words such as "hate".

Huffington Post: Sharenting - You Might Be Putting Your Kids At Risk On Social Media

Sharenting is the new term used to describe parents who post information about their family and kids online. A national poll says more than half of mothers and a third of fathers discuss their child's health and parenting on social media. Basically, online sharing makes parents feel as if they're not alone. However, there is a downside.

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Hardcore sites spur child stress disorder: Kids suffering same PTSD symptoms as combat vets, says expert

EXPOSURE to explicit images of sex, torture and self-harm online is putting children at risk of developing Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) similar to the experience of combat veterans, groundbreaking new research from world-renowned cybercrime expert Professor Mary Aiken has found. Speaking on the publication of her new research on PTSD and virtual reality exposure therapy in civilian and military populations, Ms Aiken, said "legal but age-inappropriate content" is one of the "biggest problems" facing modern society. Now she is calling on the Government and service providers to take "urgent action" to protect young people from harmful content online. "We know that witnessing events that involve people hurting other people can lead to PTSD in children.

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CyberPsychology in Wired this month.

538058Mary Aiken is a cybercrime expert. Having studied online sex offenders, self-harmers and human traffickers, the Irish psychologist heads the CyberPsychology Research Centre at Dublin's Royal College of Surgeons, where scientists study how technology distorts human behaviour. Her work has caught the eye of TV crime franchise CSI -- this year, CSI: Cyber will have Patricia Arquette playing a cyber psychologist heading up an FBI unit based on Aiken's real-life work.

"The same way CSI helped the world to understand forensic crimeCSI: Cyber will do that for cyber-psychology," Aiken says. "Some people still see technology as merely mediating human behaviour, but we're talking about an immersive, disinhibiting environment that has the capacity to fundamentally alter behaviour."

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CSI:Cyber breaks Guinness world record

The pilot for new show CSI:Cyber has broken a Guinness world record when it was aired in 171 countries simultaneously. Mary Aiken is a producer on the show. CSI: Cyber, which premiered last week, stars newly-crowned Oscar-winner Patricia Arquette as Special Agent Avery Ryan, who heads the Cyber Crime Division of the FBI. Based on real-life cyber psychologist Mary Aiken, Agent Ryan is tasked with solving illegal activities that start in the mind, live online and play out in the real world.

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Meet Mary Aiken, the inspiration behind ‘CSI: Cyber’

“Boyhood” star and newly minted Oscar winner Patricia Arquette is about to take on a very different kind of role — as the lead of CBS’ newest procedural. The actress is starring in “CSI: Cyber” (premiering 10 p.m. Wednesday) as special agent Avery Ryan, head of the FBI’s cyber crime division. The latest spinoff of the long-running franchise focuses on the intersection of technology and human behavior, and is inspired by the work of Irish cyberpsychologist Mary Aiken. Read the full New York Post article here.