Okay, I made the mistake this morning of reading an article by a hack that is working for Time Magazine called "How To Starve Internet Trolls" or as it is also known "The Biggest Load of Horse Shit on the Internet". I won't link to the article because I don't want them to get more pageviews of their hackery but suffice to say that they try to make it sound like all trolls are online bullies and pedophiles that revel in personal destruction of others. BULL SHIT with a capital SHIT. Some people who call themselves trolls may be like that, but I would blame it more on individual communities.
I don't 4Chan, I don't Reddit. Those places are, for lack of better words, cesspools of the Internet and I would think less of myself if I were to actively spend time there. If you go to those places, you are in the cesspool no matter what. To troll those places takes a special kind of psycho, especially 4Chan. Anything goes in those places and to get a rise out of people you have to take things to the next level on purpose. That is why so many Reddit and 4Chan trolls resort to blatant racism and pedophilia to get a rise out of people. It's what the community requires. To blame "trolling" for these people's disgusting actions is placing the blame in the wrong place. You blame the community for creating an environment where such actions are not only allowed but rewarded. They focus on a dude named Brutsch who got outed for trolling Reddit with borderline child porn and lost everything as a result, except for the only thing that mattered to him, his ego. He got on fucking CNN for trolling. That's an epic win for him. They talk about how bad trolls are and how we shouldn't feed them and then give "Reddit's biggest troll" a fucking smorgasbord of troll food. It would be like Scott Evans interviewing me in the magazine for trolling the forum, which of course Scott wouldn't do because IT WOULD DRAW ATTENTION TO ME! FUCKING DUH!
The thing I take the most offense to is the fact that they characterize all trolls as the same kind of person as the idiot that they interviewed and say that Internet trolls revel in saying things obnoxious because nobody knows who they are and they wouldn't act the same way in public. Again, bullshit. The only online community that I troll happens to know exactly who I am in real life. I've fully admitted that I "play a character" online but that I am not above acting like an idiot in public as well. But I'm not about personal destruction. I'm not going to follow someone around online and talk about how much of an idiot they are and call them names, that is below me. I'll call their favorite car that they don't own a rustbucket however because attacking ideas is what trolling is all about for me. In a short statement, all bullies are trolls but not all trolls are bullies. Most of us just want to have fun but to try and throw all Internet trolls in with these scumbags is morally wrong.
But hey, they would know all about trolling because the article itself is trolling complete with name-calling, idiotic generalizations and complete logical fails. It's a lame attempt to try and bully trolls into stopping but the truth is that the world at large loves trolling. Why do you think the presidential debates get so much viewership? It's because people love watching the candidates troll each other. It's quite obvious that the author wants someone to blame for the death of Amanda Todd who was stalked by a online predator and people used her case to troll people on the Internet but the truth is that IS the Internet. These communities have been created to allow people to be depraved and get away with it. They are rewarded for their acts of disregard toward other people. It's not anything new, people just have a much larger audience. Reading a story on Gawker about the unmasking of "Reddit's Biggest Troll" tells a much better story that you can tell is written by someone who understands the community and the Internet in general instead of an angry person who just wants to say that trolling is the same as bullying. In fact, trolling can be a good way to counter bullying as the girl who was nominated for Homecoming Court found out.
So you can be mad at trolls but the truth is that the trolls are just as if not more loyal to the community than the people they troll. On MT who are the first people to respond when people come to flame? The trolls. Who are the first ones to post suggestions when people ask for ways to improve the community? The trolls. The truth is, communities need trolls just as much as they need any other type of poster. Sure, they don't need idiots that post nearly naked pictures of teens online but really those parents and teens need to keep better control of their personal images. There are a lot of disgusting people out there and we can't stop them completely but you could at least make it harder for yourself to become a victim.
So anyways, I guess I felt like jumping to the defense of trolling today. I still won't be going on Reddit because I learned something about that community in my research today and that is that Reddit is full of freaks.