91 Notes about Internet Trolls


- Internet same dynamics of a school & trolling is really that playground spite in various escalating forms. On FB & twitter just block & otherwise DNFTT is the rule.
Patricia SPITE is the word for that "low level pecking",
And it's particularly a schoolyard thing
.. and maybe a particularly Anglo cultural thing
.. Once you grow up out of the schoolyard you could go the rest of your realworld life without anyone being spiteful to you, ie someone saying something which is deliberately vindictive, malicious and calculated to inflict hurt. Presumabley cos
1. It makes them look like an idiot.
2. It brings negatives for them like you won't do business with them and might just punch them in the face.
- But the growth of the online world provides a setting similar to the schoolyard. People can be spiteful cos it's safe and easy :
1. They can be anonymous.
2. Even if not, you can't reach thru the internet and punch them.
3. Their online reputation doesn't impact their real life much.

- There seem to be 2 instances when people use it online.
1. To deliberately spoil a discussion from the beginning ., like kind of twisted sense of humour I think.
2. When they get frustrated with a opinion and rather than do the hard work onf reasoning they reach for the easy emotional punch of a personal attack.

- I'm glad you made the distinction in what we call it. The word trolling was misused by the media, Sending a threat of violence is "threatening violence" and is a serious criminal offence.
- trolling = maliously trying to drive a discussion off topic
and "low level pecking", racism, harassment are all different things.
- However now I think about I see how the illegal violence threat levels grow out of that irritating but not illegal"low level pecking"

- Internet free speech law seems to be aligned to USA free speech law.
- Hurting peoples feelings is not a criminal offence nor should it be. The point is if it was you can close down any discussion by pulling out your "I am offended card". So in free speech there has to be a legal right to offend. However that doesn't preclude people regarding such "nasty posters" as impolite and not wanting to interact with them.
And in a moderated forum it's appropriate to delete/ban all spite/spiters
- Normally DNFTT (Do not feed the troll) is the best policy. If they answer your logic with "you are an idiot with no education", there is no point in defending yourself cos then you are rewarding the troll by going off-topic, which is what they want.
- Most people would recognise the trolls tactic as the fallacy of Ad-hominem (attacking a person, not the argument) and discount their argument.

- Now places like Facebook or Twitter are unmoderated, but "Low level pecking" should not be a problem, cos you can simply block the offender. In 2013 when people complained of such harassment it turned out that instead of blocking them the offended were jumping onto the net every 5 minutes and reading the offensive comments.
- In other forums you just have to grow a skin and realise that the offender is really showing the world what a bully he/she is.
- "Everyone should think before they tweet." I am not sure about that, it the nature of the medium to be quick. Rather instead people should develop a culture, of checking their facts, not using offensive language or name-calling except in satire.
- "it wounds a few along the way" well, It shouldn't do "sticks and stones" etc. However as Claudia Hammond said in her podcast, whilst adults don't care when a troll says something bad, when they brainscan teenagers their brain areas really light up showing they do really care.
I can see that DWELLING could be a problem ie thinking all night about what a troll says. but that is giving into the bully. What you have to do is learn to contextualise and put it in perspective. When a troll insults you have to feel sorry for their lack of education or mental ability, they probably have a tough life. Life is too short waste time rewarding them with an answer them back.

- there is difference between
1. making honest truthful sceptical comments, which people may not like
2. making comments, which are intended to hurt
and are malicious and untruthful
- The 2nd one is trolling intended to poison the debate, rather than add to it.
I pity trolls

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a Stew Green opinion
Out of the box thinking
- from someone who was never in the box in the first place

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