Aug. 1st, 2008

jackofallgeeks: (Contemplative)
So, apparently the New York Times, of all places, has an
article
up about Trolls. Trolls, as I expect you're all more-or-less
aware, are the beasts that wander the internet making fun of people and
generally being emotionally disruptive. A lot of what they do -- most, I
think -- is really, really, low. The revel in the pain of others, which is
pretty sick.

I skimmed the article and found it to be really frightening. Not because it
talks about trolls harrassing people and making fun of suicide and similar,
but because it's presented in a way that almost makes it seem
understandable. It's comfortable to sit back and look at Trolls as
sub-human creatures with no real social skills and as much sympathetic
charge as Bevis and Butthead; this article tilted that comfortable
assumption. At one point, an apparently famous Troll, Jason somebody, sums
it up in the Theory of the Green Hair. He demonstrates on his interviewer:

"You have green hair," he told me. "Did you know that?"
"No," I said.
"Why not?"
"I look in the mirror. I see my hair is black."
"That's uh, interesting. I guess you understand that you have green hair
about as well as you understand that you're a terrible reporter."
"What do you mean? What did I do?"
"That's a very interesting reaction," Fortuny said. "Why didn't you get so
defensive when I said you had green hair?" If I were certain that I wasn't a
terrible reporter, he explained, I would have laughed the suggestion off
just as easily. The willingness of trolling "victims" to be hurt by words,
he argued, makes them complicit, and trolling will end as soon as we all get
over it.


I can understand that, it makes more than a little bit of sense, and
that kind of scares me.
jackofallgeeks: (Saddened)
For no reason I can find, I just got really sad.
Two and a half hours before I go home.

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John Noble

August 2012

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