"Do Not Feed the Trolls" Should Apply I.R.L. Too
Updated: May 28
Online, the word ‘t r o l l’ describes a person that, often anonymously, intentionally seek out an environment that caters to a specific community and, once there, say the most offensive target-specific things possible about said community.
For instance, a t r o l l would enter a feminist forum and say something like this:
“Robert Pattinson should not take back Kristen Stewart. She cheated on him like a dog & will do it again – just watch. He can do much better!" +
Then maybe a t r o l l might double down by entering an LGBT message board to say something like this:
“Ariana Huffington is unattractive, both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man – he made a good decision.” +
Or perhaps a t r o l l will stop by a resource/support site for a racial minority to comment on a post by saying something like this:
“When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." + And maybe, while the t r o l l is there, they stumble across a video of a Muslim family mourning the loss of their son who died fighting for his country, an AMERICAN war hero, like this one and post a comment like this:
"I saw him. He was very emotional and probably looked like a nice guy to me. His wife … if you look at his wife, she was standing there. She had nothing to say. She probably, maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me but a plenty of people have written that. She was extremely quiet, and it looked like she had nothing to say. A lot of people have said that.” +
T r o l l s desire one—or both—of two things: ATTENTION and HURTING OTHERS.
Facts and context be damned, all they want is to hurt others and to be heard doing it.
They are completely one dimensional. That’s probably why we dismiss t r o l l i n g as something that only exists on the internet, something to be expected and, therefore, has to be endured if you're going to use the internet. But NONE of that is true because t r o l l s are NOT the internet.
On the other side of the computer screen is a sentient human being who made a choice: a human being CHOSE to use the internet to select and locate a target, a human being CHOSE to use the internet to send said target hateful ( often explicit ) comments and destructive lies, a human being CHOSE to use the internet to humiliate said target by publishing their hurtful words for the world to see.
A t r o l l is a person who doesn't view their victims as the human beings that they are, who happen to be on the other side of a computer screen, but as one dimensional digital facades who exist ONLY on the internet and that their only function—their entire reason for existing—is to satisfy the t r o l l ‘ s desires: REACT or BREAK.
To a t r o l l, the internet is their digital kingdom and every other user are mere ants for them to crush at their leisure and slaves to serve their every whim. But the reality is that t r o l l s are human beings who exist OUTSIDE of the internet. In fact, one of them is running amok offline down in the United States RIGHT NOW and no one knows what to do about it.
So I propose that we, the online community, start with something very simple: we do not use the t r o l l ‘ s name. Instead we reduce the t r o l l from self-titled ‘deity’ all the way down to an easily forgettable, completely harmless and very boring administrative tool:
a hash tag.
I am proposing that the Official 2016 Republican Presidential Candidate of the United States should be forever known online as...
God bless America, and the World, by not allowing #makedonalddrumpfagain to be elected President of the United States.
Thank you for your time.