Monday, February 6, 2012

Nasty Internet Trolls

I travel far and wide on the internet, and I have to say that one thing that disturbs me considerably is the vicious, hostile and vulgar comments people leave on media sites, blogs, Facebook pages and wherever else they feel like stopping by and depositing some of their bigotry and contemptibility.

Why can’t people state an opinion, which is their right to do, in a courteous and respectful manner, without the nasty mudslinging? Why do some individuals deem it necessary to insult, degrade, curse or verbally abuse others? And who are these teeth gnashers that lurk around the comment sections of various blogs and websites, turning even the most innocuous articles into hate fests, and deriving pleasure from tearing down other people?

Surprisingly enough, there is an actual definition for them. I don’t know how I’ve missed it considering how much traveling I do around the World Wide Web, but apparently, these seedy parasites are called internet trolls.

Here is a definition:

“In internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into a desired emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

And here is an image of an internet troll:

Click to enlarge. Photo source.
I’ll never understand what motivates people to behave this way. Is it because they can hide behind their computers, safe in their anonymity? Is their self esteem so low that unleashing a callous alter ego (in an anonymous setting) is a way for them to elevate themselves? Are their lives so sad, lonely and meaningless that tearing down other people helps them feel better about their own meagerness? Or are they simply insensitive oafs that truly enjoy behaving this way?

Would these people ever have the nerve to dish out the same cruel, bigoted and vulgar opinions in real time at the same level that they do online? Probably not. Internet trolls are bullies, no different than the ones you encounter in real life. And like all bullies, deep down they are cowards at heart. Their greatest fear is being discovered for who and what they are, and so they stomp on others to elevate themselves, and feed their deflated egos. On the internet they have the added advantage of hiding behind their computers. I don’t think these people would behave like trolls online if they had to reveal their true identity. They wouldn’t have the same level of courage that anonymity grants them.

Sad little people...

Have any of you ever received nasty emails from internet trolls, or had to deal with them on your blogs?

14 comments:

  1. I've had the occasional "mass troll" emails but they are easily deleted.

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  2. from time to time those sorts of comments appear, I just hit delete forever, it's not worth worrying over them, or giving them attention as that is what they want.

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    1. That's it. Just ignore them and they'll go elsewhere to try and get the attention they crave.

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  3. That's a great illustration, lol!! I love that his belly is full of cheerios and that he's dropping crumbs on Mom's carpet, hahaha! I've gotten a few spammy comments, but they actually went to my spam folder, so no, thankfully. I really enjoy reading the comments sections everywhere I go on the net and I know what you are saying - there seem to be a lot of people out there with no real 'opinion' - they just get off on getting other people riled up! The thing is that people are silly enough to take the bait. Have you been visited by trolls?

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    1. I know, don't you just love it!!? I was in hysterics when I ran across this image. I have received spam that ends up in the spam folder, but I haven't gotten messages from bona fide trolls yet. But then I'd be really surprised if I did. What will they argue or comment on here to get their fix? The trivia, the jokes, the music... I'm just not interesting enough for trolls...LOL...

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    2. Oh they'd find something...! Your cheerfulness would have to be squashed!

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    3. You're right! There musn't be any happy people in the world. Trolls will make sure of that!

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  4. For a lot of people, this is their idea of fun. I play a couple "social" games on the internet and they will occasional pop in and start spewing all sorts of hate just to get a reaction out of people. Most gamers have seen it so much its like whatever and move on. The less attention you give them quicker they leave, because that is all they are looking for.

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    1. The best thing to do is ignore them completely and eventually they slither away. I'm curious to know who these people are in 'real time'. I wonder who they are, what they look like, how old they are, what they're like in person, etc.

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  5. I've had a couple of comments here and there but I mostly just laugh and carry one.

    The news sites are the worst places for that nonsense.

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    1. Yes, the news sites are horrible. And so are the grief sites. You'd be surprised by the horrible things people post on a grieving family's article. Can you sink any lower?

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  6. Oh yeah... I have received a couple of visits from these little buggers. Especially from some "fanatic" forums that love to blast Greek people. Is there a bug spray for these little rodents? If yes, mail me some, I need it.

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    1. I would imagine you would! The 'logic' spray usually does them in. The delete button works well, too. But the block feature is the best :)

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