Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Trolling

It has a whole new meaning these days. I always thought trolling had something to do with fishing boats and trolls were those cute, yet ugly, little dolls with the hair we spent hours braiding. Not these days.

The new dictionary definition of troll is: "make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them." (GOOGLE Search)

IN an article in Psychology Today by Jennifer Goldbeck (phd) 

"An internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response." (SOURCE)

Yes, they're out there. And I've seen them. I cannot imagine having that much anger or being that desperate for money or appreciating such dark 'humor' as to purposefully try to upset or offend other people. How?
  • they twist words
  • they miss the point (or at least, they pretend to)
  • they cross the line every time and on purpose
  • they use bad language
  • they attack you
  • they play the victim 
  • they are relentless
  • they 'one-up' you no matter what you say

I do enjoy joking around and finding a humorous way to make a point. I have been known to express my opinion about situations/products/events that I find displeasing or pleasing. But to deliberately strike out in the hopes of hurting someone? Nah. That's not cool no matter what your reasoning.

The best piece of advice anyone has ever offered on how to deal with them is:
DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS. I see it all the time. A troll comments and someone responds. And there it is. Trolls feed off the stupidity of others. Yes, I said it. Because it is STUPID to respond to anyone, online or in person, who makes statements that are purposefully hateful or offensive. They have researched and they know your weakness. And they will pounce on it knowing you will not be able to stop yourself from commenting back.

I have friends- online and in the real world- with whom I disagree on religion, politics, education, race relations, etc. But I respect their opinions and they respect mine. We do not have to agree on everything under the sun to be friends. I will remain silent before causing a raucous. Trolls do not. Trolls will do everything they can to insult you personally and they are relentless about it.

Trolls will always criticize but never offer constructive criticism. They are criticizing to cause harm and stir up chaos not to offer helpful suggestions to make anything better. Their criticisms are insulting and personal. And, when you respond, you can sense the excitement in their responses to your response. And the cycle goes on and on and on.

It's sickening, really. But what's worse is when I see people falling into the trap. So, again, DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.



It's this type of internet bullying that makes me worry about the kids I will no longer be teaching at school. When I taught technology I was able to explain all of the internet dangers to every student, 700+ of them, from the ages of 4 to 12. We covered everything from the importance of and how to set good passwords to cyberbullying. I even told them all about people who will try to scam their grandparents. 

Check out this video:


Bottom line: The internet is full of fun and interesting things to do, see, read, and use. But it is also full of hackers, identity thieves, cyberbullies, trolls... You MUST keep up with the bad side so that you can protect yourself and not fall into the traps that are set for you.

OH, and DON'T FEED THE TROLLS.



Have you had an experience with an internet troll?

14 comments:

  1. Yes, sure have....trolls can even be family members (hence why I am not on FB anymore), and I am sure people have thought of me as a troll as well...especially about politics...anyways...we (my son and I) were having a similar discussion the other night about trolls. Shaking my head.

    Have a beautiful day, friend.

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    1. I can't imagine you being categorized as a troll. You have your opinions but you don't strike me as someone who purposefully goes about trying to demean other people. :) You have a lovely day, too! Thanks!

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    2. I think I can relate to that FB problem. I too have family on FB who disagree

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    3. Disagreeing is fine. I don't understand coming to blows over it, though I know it happens. There are family members on both sides of our family who have gone to their graves holding grudges. Sad.

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  2. I once had a blog friend who could be downright nasty. Make hurtful comments and then try to come across as "just trying to help". I saw right through it so I stopped being friends. It wasn't just me she did this to. When I see that...DONE!

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    1. Good for you! The boys (The Wild Feathers) page was recently attacked by a troll. I visited her page and she's like that to everyone. How sad. I would hate to be that mean and hate-filled.

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  3. Good grief. I've seen this kind of behavior but didn't know they were trolls. I've gotten old enough that I don't let anyone or anything steal my joy anymore. Life is too short. We just need to not take the bait. Thanks for the education, Pam!

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    1. I'm the same way. One thing I didn't know about them is that some of them get PAID to spread their hate and they have ruined businesses. Who knew? Not I. But yes, not taking the bait is the key. :)

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    2. wow - I had no idea! Who has time to do something like that? I just can't even imagine!

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    3. Who has the time or that much meanness? I mean, really. It floors me.

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  4. What I know about trolls you could write on the back of a postage stamp

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    1. Teaching technology to 700 elementary students has helped me learn a lot! LOL

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  5. We still have those troll dolls. I used a picture of one on my blog before. Maybe I should do that again.
    I've blocked a number of comments on my blog. That is one thing I like about DISQUS comment system. Most all the time they find the problem comment before me.
    Lately, on FB there has been quite a number of fake user pages. I've been asked 3 or 4 times to become "friends" with Sheryl Crow on FB. I figured it out because I'm cautious. I did learn that celebrities have "verified" page. There's a checkmark in a little blue circle on the REAL pages. If you "hover your mouse" over it - it says verified page. Just this week an adult daughter of ours got a FB message from a friend who she doesn't interact much with. She thought it was odd and a few steps into the messaging the "friend" started to ask for help from her. She reported it to FB. Problem with these attacks is after FB shuts one page down, the hackers just launch another fake one.

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    1. I'm cautious, too. And it stems from my not trusting anyone. And it's a shame, really. Blogger catches the comments too and I appreciate that. You're right, they will just go and set up another page. Our school's PTA had trouble with one and so did Daughter 2's boyfriend's band. Ignoring them is the best thing to do but I've read that these trolls have ruined businesses. I've got to read more on that but I have to wonder if that's how they make money? They're planted by competitors??? Some people are just nasty.

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Welcome, friends! Please spew forth some wisdom for me. I'm quite certain I need it!