I know why a blogger blogs, so I wonder why does a troll troll?
Is a troll a person who goes online with nothing but trolling in mind? Or are they people who get sucked in when they read other troll comments? For them is it just a smart comment competition, one trying to be more ridiculous than the other?
I have read some troll comments which so incensed other readers that they engage in a full blown heated argument online, often straying far from the topic. Is this what the troll set out to do? Is this what a troll would consider “a result”?
It made me wonder at the internet experience in general. It would appear that many forget normal acceptable behaviour when they are engaging online. Surely these trolls are not like this in everyday life?
When we engage online the comments we make are instant and often prompt immediate reaction. Tone and humour is sometimes misinterpreted and can lead to unintentional misunderstandings. However that is not the type of comment I am referring to. I am speaking of the cruel and often vicious comments posted by trolls.
I have been reading certain online publications in recent weeks and on many occasions I have noticed the comments getting out of hand. I have read heartfelt pieces which were written by brave individuals, and the trolls have struck. I have read well researched and thought out pieces and the trolls have barely read past the title. Occasionally the in house journalists pitch in and try to moderate, but generally it would seem that anyone can say anything. It would appear the same is true in all areas of internet interaction.
Yes we are all entitled to our opinion, but people don’t speak like that to each other in real life, so why do we tolerate it online? I would very much advocate free speech for all, but is this really what we are talking about when we speak of free speech? Is it not important to entertain both sides of an argument not dismiss or ridicule those you disagree with? Is this type of “free speech” not silencing the many who are put off writing online for fear of trolls? Is it perhaps time that these publications did a better job moderating, and afford some protection to their contributors?
I don’t have the answers but as someone who enjoys reading, writing and commenting online I wonder what the future holds. I can only hope that somewhere in the future we figure out a way to kick trolls off the internet and back into fairy tales where they belong?