We Have a Troll Problem

When I was growing up, whenever I heard the word ‘troll,’ it was usually in the context of a fairy story or a song. Perhaps with the chorus, “Fall Dee Roll” or “Fee Fi Fo Fum.” Trolls were mythical, menacing creatures often vital to the hero’s story arc.
image
* Illustration by Jim Madsen

Sure, the colorful haired, jewel bellied toys from the 80’s come to mind too, but that’s a different story!
image

Trolls are a very real menace, and they are no longer mythical. They are lurking behind computer screens just waiting to send a nasty comment, tweet, post, etc. Trolls aren’t green and hairy and living under bridges. They are everyday people. People who think it’s ok to spread any hateful thought that pops into their head.
image
*Photo from PCmag.com

I love social media. I love tweeting and snapping and gramming and vining and periscoping and blogging and pinning and tubing…you get the picture. I love all of it. And I think the Internet is a powerful force for good. I just don’t think everyone uses it that way.

There’s a dark side…and not the fun one. There’s a cold, impersonal side where people attack instead of understand. Where one tweet can cause a maelstrom of hatred. Where people are no longer held accountable for the heinous things that are said.
You don’t have to look another person in the face if you just comment. You don’t have to see the hurt when you write “you should shut your mouth…you deserve to be raped…I hope you die.”

I guess I’m wondering how we stop the trolls? It’s not like we, the villagers, can take up our torches and go troll killing.
When trolls can get a hashtag like #BoycottStarWars trending…i sorta think the trolls are winning. And you know why they are boycotting? Because a black man and a woman are leads in the film. I wonder what century they are living in. I wonder what their mother’s would say. But most of all I wonder where to direct my proverbial torch.
image
*Photo from The Fans Been Hit

I can’t see the face of the person who on Twitter called me a phony and a fake and told me I didn’t deserve to speak.
I can’t see the face of the person on Instagram who wrote “you should be slapped in the face.”

I wish this was a post that had all the answers. I wish I knew what to do when the trolls come out. But I either snap back or cower in fear and I know neither is the correct response.

The best response to trolling goes to Alanah Pearce who did not sit back quietly and allow her abusers to win. She sent the hateful comments they made straight to their mothers. Read the full story HERE.

That may work for abusive teenagers, but how we do stop the grown adults who think this behavior is worse than ok…they think it’s normal. If you think of the answer to these questions let me know.
I prefer my trolls to be large, hairy beasts stuck in the pages of a fairytale or in Harry Potter. But I guess the 21st century had a different plan for us. Villagers, we gotta stick together!

5 thoughts on “We Have a Troll Problem

  1. Ugh…trolls really are a nasty bunch. It’s so easy to be essentially be a hate spewing coward when no one can see who you really are. I, too, much prefer the fairy tale variety or the kind that can be knocked over their head like in Harry Potter. Sad, sad, sad 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderfully written. I wish there was a magic wand to get rid of those trolls. They just seem to be sad little people who need hugs or something. I’ve had run ins with a few and they just infuriate me. But then I realize, they are sad people that really get there kicks from making others upset and I don’t let them win and ignore them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Yes, ignoring then does seem to be the best policy. I find trolls impossible to reason with. Sometimes I get so mad that someone could actually think to do things like that. But I’ve been trying to takr it as a lesson in patience (my lease favorite lesson ever!) 😉

      Like

  3. Ah yes, trolls. I honestly just have a hard time understanding how a person can speak to another person (and a complete stranger!) the way they do. I guess that’s a good thing – that I can’t understand that mindset – but at the same time it’s frustrating because I always try to see other people – online and off – as actual… people lol. But when someone starts spewing ignorance and hate the way some do I have a hard time being able to empathize with them. I’ve run into a few very nasty people in real life too – total strangers who felt it was ok to berate whoever was near them at the time – and can’t understand that either. The difference is though, in real life when you confront them (which I pretty much always do because I hope that it will make them think twice about acting like that again in the future) they tend to back down.

    But online they feel like you can’t do anything, and no one in their real lives will no what they’ve said – which isn’t really true either, like with the article you mentioned. It can get back to your real life pretty easily. When people act like that I wish it would. I’ve actually witnessed a couple incidents in real time as the person was found and the people in their life were made aware of what they were saying… in one incident it actually led to a guy’s expulsion.

    I’m sorry you’ve experienced that. I’ve had similar things happen to me. I think the best thing is to surround yourself with people (even online) that are awesome and positive and not trollish.

    That was a lot longer than I meant it to be lol.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s