Facebook's "real name" policy is in the headlines. The policy limits individuals to one account each and requires that those accounts be held under their "authentic identity." The policy has its advocates and its detractors; their opposing views neatly distil the tension between freedom of expression and privacy that is such a feature of modern life.
Now, every social platform has its own internal universe of slang terms, in-jokes, unreadable acronyms and memes, and the rules of discourse on Twitter are not those of general conversation. This doesn't, however, mean that discussions on social media exist in an online bubble, isolated from the world, and language, at large.
Offended people repeating the very sentences that have offended them will always been intrinsically funny to me. It is a fart in church and I am 12. Frankie Boyle has never made me laugh harder than when his act is regurgitated by an outraged lawyer. I take a great deal of glee in the very specific type of self-unawareness involved...
While the rich and famous debated all that's important for the future of the planet in Davos this week, on UK soil there were some startling reports showing we still have a lot to solve in the present, too. Fifteen years ago, the landmark Macpherson report was set up to look at the Metropolitan Police's investigation into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence back in 1993. To mark the anniversary, a new study was published this week, which showed there have been nearly 100 people killed in race-related attacks in this country since the original report.
You can effectively weed out fake accounts by requiring a minimum member date and number of Tweets and have these moderators evaluated by a member of the team at Twitter in the first instance. After the initial backlog of applications this becomes a system that is easier for Twitter to manage and maintain than one where the company takes all the burden upon itself.
Virtually every woman who publicly contributes to a political debate is subjected to virulent and largely anonymous online invective, or "trolling". But it is far more than simply readers' feedback. Trolling is intended to make women shut up - and to remind them their primary purpose is to be there for male sexual pleasure. Or not to be in public life at all.