Saturday, August 27, 2011

Online trolls

I have experienced anonymous online trolls in the past, but nothing like Christie Blatchford. I liked Christies article on the over the top reaction to the death of jack layton. Apparently some did not, and objected in the most vulgar and despicable manner. I usually ignore anonymous posters, their comments would be less vulgar and hateful. Hiding behind the veil seems to empower some to be viscious and rude. This was true of certain bloggers and still is like cc and his caravan of nasties like ck et al. Christie just ignore these pathetic people. When people resort to personal attacks it generally means they have lost the argument.

'Ahhhh," my friend Mary said cheerily early one morning this week around the kitchen table where a bunch of us have coffee before our run, "CancerAids."

I'd been telling the group about the deluge of ghastly email I've been receiving about a recent column, and was in mid-description of same when Mary interrupted.

"CancerAids?" the rest of us chorused.

She explained that in the online world with which she is more intimately familiar than the rest of us (she is the hippest of the group), the term is a shorthand dismissal for a troll, a provocateur who writes simply to annoy others or is so manifestly dopey he's not worth the bother of more time-consuming abuse.


Carolyn D said...

Yes Roy, lately I believed my blog to be a jerk-magnet. Where were all of my nice comments?

I enjoyed reading Christie's article and even emailed her to tell her. It was comforting to read, in a strange way.

What she says is bang on. We need more civil discourse in this country or we will never grow. People don't know how to debate without getting personal and emotional.

The Rat said...

Christie Blatchford and Gerald Caplan both bitching about online anonymity? Yes, hiding behind anonymity allows people to be rude but it also allows people to express unpopular opinions. Blatchford herself complains that Canadian political dialogue is restrained to very narrow areas of acceptable speech. We can't talk about universal medical care, or abortion, or any number of topics. If I cannot post anonymously about what I think I would not post at all because there are too many jerks who would call my employer or harass my family. Just as anonymity allowed American revolutionary thought to evolve it is absolutely necessary to allow Canadian political thought to be expressed. Sure, the C word insults are distressing but that's no reason to kill the most open and most important political tool in Canada today.

Patsplace said...

...and the Rat has spoken the truth of the matter.

Confronting the enemy dressed in Red Serge in a Line of Battle is a tactic that has long been out of fashion.

Dennis K said...

I believe if a person truly believes in their opinion they do not hide behind annominity. My friends and fellow workers all know what I believe in so why do I need to hide behind some moniker. Those that post anonymously do so in order to get the satisfaction of posting hate mail without having to suffer the ramifications of their actions. They are nothing but mindless spiteful cowards. I tend not to acknowledge them because sparing with an idiot lowers oneself to their level.

Anonymous said...

As an occasional anonymous commenter I do appreciate the freedom to do so.
Posting rude comments never advances the dialogue but being free to comment without having to go through an involved process of joining a group or registering allows me to indulge in what I sometimes think is a clever addition to the conversation. I would be less inclined to do so if I feared harassment for it. There is freedom in anonymity.

I Support Lord Black