I wanted to take one more day to explore what’s been on my mind for the last few MisfitWisdom blog posts. Namely social media and hatred. Today’s subject matter is about “trolls.”
Now I personally thought a “troll” was some sort of forest creature, considering the first time I ever heard of a troll was in grade school long before the Internet was ever invented by Al Gore. In fact, the word troll “evokes the trolls of Scandinavian folklore and children’s tales, where they are at times beings bent on mischief and wickedness.” (Wikipedia)
Not having the Internet around in 1610, when the first trolls appeared, it was very hard for most trolls to spread hate and discontent. Unless of course they ran around tacking notes on trees and stuff.
Besides, most Scandinavians simply ignored those trolls because, as we all know, most trolls are very short, so when they tacked hate and discontent stuff on trees the notices were not tall enough for your average tall Scandinavian to read.
Fast forward to the Internet and trolls have found a new home.
Now if you think I’m making this stuff up, well, um, at least the tacking tree stuff, here’s the definition of “troll” from the “Wikipedia” site:
In Internet slang, a troll (//, //) is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a forum, chat room, or blog), either accidentally or with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
This sense of the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, but have been used more widely. Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment. For example, mass media has used troll to describe “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.”
So basically the goal of a troll is to, as I stated earlier, to cause hate and discontent. At which point they then sit back and observe just how much hate and discontent they have caused. Trolls also fall into the category of “assholes,” but there is no known record of any assholes, other than trolls, roaming Scandinavia back in 1610. Unless they had their heads stuck up their butts so far no one recognized them.
So how does one deal with a troll. Other than step on them. After all, most of them, as I said, are short.
Well, according to troll experts, the best way to deal with a troll is to simply ignore them. I know its hard. Sometimes smoke comes bellowing out of your ears and your eyes water and you just wanna smack the livin’ bejesus out of them, but that only encourages them even more to incite hate and discontent. Which is what trolls live for. As most trolls do not have lives.
If you attempt to take on a troll with facts and logic, it does not work. They either ignore what you cite by not responding and simply disappear into their troll holes, or they come back at you with all sorts of foul language and hate messages. So responding to them does not work.
You have to understand the small tiny itsy bitty mind of a troll.
According to Tom Postmes, a professor of social and organisational psychology at the universities of Exeter, England and Groningen, The Netherlands, who has studied online behavior for 20 years, “Trolls aspire to violence, the level of trouble they can cause in an environment. They want it to kick off. They want to promote antipathetic emotions of disgust and outrage, which morbidly gives them a sense of pleasure.”
Which I assume means that most trolls do not have sex lives otherwise they would get their pleasure from sex, (masturbation) rather than evoking disgust and outrage on the Internet. That and the possibly that trolls hate each other because they are in constant competition to out troll one another. Hence the lack of troll families one could find in a neighborhood. Or at your local bingo hall.
Furthermore and forsooth, Susan Herring and her colleagues wrote in, “Searching For Safety Online: Managing ‘Trolling’ in a Feminist Forum,” points out that the difficulty inherent in monitoring trolling and maintaining freedom of speech in online communities, harassment often arises in spaces known for their freedom, lack of censure, and experimental nature.”
It is up to websites to troll in on trolls with a big net. For instance, I’ve cited “Sodahead” as a haven for super trolls. “Twitter” and some news sites also have a overabundance of trolls. But….some of these sites have finally figured out how to neuter trolls by requiring trolls, or anyone posting for that matter, to register their names and e-mail addresses when they post. Which is the equivalent of spraying a can of “RAID” on them.
Do not attempt to use a can of insect repellant such as “RAID” on your computer terminal as this will not work.
So you basically have a few options when it comes to dealing with trolls. Ignore them. NEVER respond to them on social media sites. OR…..as I like to do on occasion, find a really good troll comment that is so vile and idiotic and post it into my blog just to have a good laugh.
Finally, my deepest apologies to trolls who live in the Scandinavian forest who are not bad trolls but fairy tale trolls who just want to live their lives in the forest just trolling along, living in trees and are happy and content working for the “Keebler Cookie Company.”
Or are those elves?
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