AP

Conviction for anonymous Twitter troll

For the first time a Twitter user who was posting anonymously has been convicted in Belgium.  The conviction is seen as an important signal in the fight against hate messages posted online.

The man stood accused of systematically attacking a woman on Twitter, the micro-messaging service on social media.  The conviction is one example listed in the annual report of Unia, the equal opportunities centre. Unia's Els Keytsman says that the spotlight is being directed onto more and more hate messages online, but securing a conviction is not always easy.

Prosecutors investigated the identity of an anonymous internet troll and secured a conviction last April - a first for Belgium.  Unia provided support for the victim in court.  The troll, once identified and convicted, was sentenced to a 48 hour work punishment. Els Keytsman: "The mask was torn away.  Just because you attack somebody anonymously doesn't mean you will not have your day in court."