Trolldom

Ok, this will be a very short post….. more of a series of personal thoughts about web trolls….

This is the definition of an online troll from the Urban Dictionary (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll):

“One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument”

A few years ago, when I started joining forums and websites, being a troll wasn’t so common as it is nowadays and usually online posters who liked to stir the pot or to resort to name calling just for the fun of it were likely to be banned or to be punished by admins and mods.

Nowadays, the phenomenon is quite ‘tolerated’ and very often you put them on ignore and you don’t see their posts and everything is solved. Well, it would be more correct to say it is NOT solved, it is just ignored. And that’s something I don’t understand. If I am being the target of a troll, I can put the user ‘on ignore mode” but that won’t be of any use to other members given that likely the troll will attack someone else later on. And in our politically correct modern society, even to ban a troll becomes a state matter sometimes, as the fact of banning someone online would be of harm to anyone or it is likely to be interpreted as discriminating….

I might appear very old-fashioned in saying this but lack of respect doesn’t seem very politically correct either.

To resort to name-calling in order to cause maximum disruption in somebody else’s online discussion is the same as starting a pub brawl because two guys were arguing near the bar and you start to punch strangers just for the sake of it, far from the original discussion… Would that be tolerated? I don’t know if the fact of being so nice to the Internet community pays off either. As far as I know, people should understand when they commit a mistake (given that we can’t punch them in the face through a screen… not yet, at least 😛 ) or that acting like a jerk is going to have some bad consequences for you too.

Instead, we see very often people insulting Twitter or Facebook users without any real consequences for them (again, they can be blocked but they don’t have their account deleted though, which would be what they deserve), so what’s the message they receive? None, in my opinion. They will behave like that again at the first chance.

To be honest, I have to say that there is no way to avoid a fight with an online troll because you just find yourself in that situation and you have to deal with that, regardless of any opinion you have about it.

Well, I guess the word itself was used to define such a web troublemaker because there wouldn’t be any way to avoid a fight even if you found a real life troll walking on your path… You’re doomed to have a fight, whether you like it or not. Well, unless you have Gandalf on your side, but that’s another matter…and another story 😉

Merlin

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