Been thinking a lot about online trolls. The point of trolling, when it began, was what trolls used to call “causing emotion.” Essentially, the “joke” was that people got mad at stuff that wasn’t real. Why wasn’t it real? Because it was on the internet.
When someone says something that isn’t true, you weren’t supposed to call them a liar anymore, according to trolls. Sure, they said something that was knowingly false, and for the purpose of making you believe it. But it was a prank, a TROLL. And hahaha, because by believing something that a person told you–you “fell for it.” Yep, you’ve been trolled. Even in the early days of the internets, trolling was just lying and then pretending it was a joke. You know, because advancing the idea that no human should ever trust another is side-splittingly hilarious, or something.
Later, “troll” became a catch-all phrase for assholes who spread assholery online for their own assholish reasons. Women talking about their own rape trauma–troll trots over to a women’s health forum to call other members “sluts and teases.” Gay chatroom for suicidal kids is trolled by trolls that say “Do it, Fag, nobody cares about you anyway!” Hahahaha–TROLLING! Isn’t that funny? *eyeroll* It’s the internet version of a drive-by. No accountability, no real reason for it. Just fuckery for its own sake. Aside from the fact that I don’t see the humor in being shitty to strangers for no reason–I have to wonder about the mental stability of a person who thinks such a thing is clever, chuckleworthy, or even a good use of their time.
Sure, misogyny, racism, sexism, homophobia are already huge issues in society, and would be even without the internet. Duh. But this sort of trolling smacks of nihilism that asserts that communication is useless, ideas are dumb, and all the good the internet can do should be interrupted by useless dickheads so desperate to create a ripple in the virtual water that they hurl not just stones–but intense hatred, vile threats, and general evil intent. But HAHAHA! Because “trolling!”
At one point, it seemed like clever people might take trolling back. There was a movement to troll in ways that were funny, witty, and not meant to terrorize anyone, or encourage any suicides. But alas, it didn’t last.
From where I’m sitting, modern trolls can be translated thusly:
–You care about something, and that is dumb.
–I said something that wasn’t true and you believed me, and that is dumb.
–I don’t agree with you [vulgarities, threats, insanity], and that is dumb.
–People are enjoying something–we’ll see about THAT.
–People are improving a situation–we’ll see about THAT.
–Something terrible has happened, but I don’t care because it wasn’t me.
–Actually witty trolling that isn’t meant to belittle or harm anyone.
Even trolling on behalf of outright anarchy would make more sense to me than trolling with the intent of hurting strangers on purpose. You know, people who basically say, “Hey, I’m a fucking asshole. If people are upset because of a fucking asshole, that’s their problem.” People who think that way should probably just commit themselves to a mental institution and not come out until they’re better. But they won’t, because they’re assholes. Maybe a fun troll would be to SWAT them, except instead of a calling SWAT, call the nice young men in their clean white coats to come and take them Awaaaaaaay (to the funny farm, where life is beautiful all the time).
No, that won’t happen.
But it’s a beautiful dream.