What to Do When You’re Trolled
Everyone who posts anywhere on social media has been trashed or thrashed by a troll. You know who I mean — people who make hurtful, nasty, rude, hurtful comments.
Recently, I came across an entire multi-person trolling session over — get ready — a spoon. Seriously. A spoon offended some people so much, they climbed on the high-horse of superiority and attacked the poster, anyone who disagreed with them, and each other. It was an all-out competition of trolls trying to one-up each other.
All over a spoon. Isn’t it sad that these people don’t have a life? 😉
Don’t we have the “right” to freely express our opinion?
In many countries, free speech is an embedded right. Generally, people can give their opinions pretty openly as long as they don’t incite violence or lawbreaking or engage in proscribed “hate speech.” This right is often called upon to justify angry, nasty, meaningless, hurtful commentary.
In a study of trolling, author Tom Culsas writes, “With the rise of social media, the distinction between what one would say and do in private and in public has become more porous.” — Don’t Feed the Trolls, Social Media and the Limits of Free Speech
Do you believe that anyone who trolls you on social media would say to your face what they write in the comment/response section? Probably not.
“Many social media platforms through their design — the publicness of communication, the possibility to share, like, and comment on earlier statements, the imposed brevity of such statements — facilitate processes of group formation through bullying and exclusion more easily than they facilitate conversation that brings insight into the content of what is being discussed.” — Violence and Trolling on Social Media, MEDIAMATTERS, Edited by Sara Polak and Daniel Trottier History, Affect, and Effects of Online Vitriol
Note the word, “bullying.”
Isn’t that what trolls do? Aren’t they the same as the kids in elementary and high school who bolstered their fragile egos by badgering, demeaning, and tormenting others? Sure…