A deeper look at Internet Trolls
Trolls. Cyber-bullies. Bashers. Whatever you want to call them, they all do the same thing; they pisses the hell out of you through their opinions. But have you ever wondered why they do what they do? If you’re curious to know, head past the break and we’ll shed some light on these despicable online dwellers.
In a nutshell, the term troll is defined as a person who takes pride and joy on making other members of a forum or site miserable either in a form of words and/or memes. Also, these creatures divert a thread of online conversation by expressing their thoughts about something that’s totally irrelevant from the topic at hand.
Tools of the Trade
Just like any other master of a particular discipline, Trolls too have a handful of tricks up their sleeves that are readily available whenever they feel like being a huge jerk in a site/forum. At the top of my head, these are the things I came up with:
• Freedom of speech – For an imbecile creature, trolls actually know their rights and their most favorite one is the Freedom of Speech. Because we live in a democratic country, by law, trolls are eligible to express their offensive thoughts and walk away unscathed. They’re so drawn to this idea of being able to say/write anything they want that they’ve totally forgotten about the possible consequences of their misdemeanors.
• Anonymity – Besides a functional brain and a good grasp between right and wrong, another thing that trolls lack are BALLS. Why so? Notice how most of the trolls don’t put their real name and/or include a mean to communicated with them (email and/or twitter in our case) whenever they comment? That’s because they don’t have the balls to do so.
• Lack of face-to-face interaction – Trolls may appear like high and mighty in the online world, but I’m willing to bet my ass that they’re not so tough in the real world. That’s because in the web they can be whoever they want as long as they can back it up with their crappy statements. And besides, whoever they’re bashing won’t know it’s them even if they crossed paths in the physical world.
• Asynchronicity (occurring in different times) – Because most online conversations doesn’t happen in real time, these bastards feels more comfortable saying nasty stuff to anyone knowing that they have ample time to get away with it.
• Audience – The bigger the audience the better. For trolls, a site that has a lot of active readers and commenters is a honeypot. They know that if they post something the chances are high that it will get noticed and get some response. Trolls are like morons who shoves everyone until someone shoves back. The next thing you know everyone’s in a dirty mosh pit and the troll is enjoying the show. In other words, if you engage the troll the wrong way you’re actually making it worse.
Reasons behind the horrible act
As the old adage goes, everything happens for a reason. And as lowly as these pain-in-the-necks are, they too have a reason why they like dumping craps on comments board. Here’s some of it:
• Attention – Trolls tend to bully others because they can easily get attention out of it, regardless if they’ll look good because of it or not. In some cases, these trolls have or are suffering from inferiority complex which leads them to being online jerks which in return gives them a false sense of superiority.
• Trolling as a way of outlet – People who are often scolded at home, school or office oftentimes look for an outlet to get even with the imperfect world. Unfortunately, since they cannot get back to their superiors, teachers and/or parents, they bring their anger online and pass it on to an innocent reader.
• Narcissism/Self-righteousness – Whether or not people would agree to them or not, Trolls feel that they know it all and that they can speak in behalf of a group. Well guess what, nobody died and made you king of anything.
• Monetization – Here’s something you don’t hear that often. Some netizens are actually paid by companies to say crap about their competitors. If you’re a regular reader, there’s a big possibility that you’ve already come across some of these sheep lurking in our comments board.
• They’re losers – calling them losers is an understatement. There’s a big chance that a troll is just a lazy dumbass who can’t kick it back in real life. They’re mostly unproductive and spends most of his / her time playing god with the keyboard. Ever wonder where they get the time to post crap?
• They’re just pathetic – Let’s face it, nobody in their right mind would just wake up every day feeling the need to bash somebody in a forum or site. And they take pleasure out of it, if I may add.
As complex as their techniques are, the solution for trolls is rather simple; don’t feed them. Instead of being angry try to understand their nature. Do your best to be the bigger person and not fight fire with fire. Or to be more precise, don’t stoop to their level and deny them the fulfillment that they usually get from getting a violent reaction from you by giving them the cold shoulder.
It’s a well-known fact that one cannot please everybody. Somewhere down the line, somebody’s eventually gonna stand up and criticize your work/opinion. But the thing is, there’s a fine line between constructive and destructive criticism and, depending on which side you choose and how you express it, you can be identified as a troll.
While we don’t typically filter the comments that are coming on our site, do the other readers a favor and keep the conversation as friendly and relevant as possible. Remember, it’s because of these trolls that many governments/sites have resorted to implementing rules that limits the things that we can say on the web, and we don’t want that to happen here, don’t we?
Editor’s Note: Some parts of the article was deliberately written in a troll-ish manner to give more emphasis on the thought. Oh and Louie Diangson also shared his sentiments in this post.