Tuesday, 22nd January 2013
THE VILE BEHAVIOUR OF INTERNET TROLLS – Let me start by opening this article with an insult. There is an old saying; ‘Ignorance is Bliss’, therefore Internet Trolls have to be the most blissful of all internet users and their vile little antics are often misguided, hurtful and in the worse case scenario life threatening.
What’s wrong with what I just said? Is what I just wrote no better than the type of activity that Trolls engage in?
There has been a lot of news recently about the right to insult someone, in fact an article appeared here on Meebal.com over the issue ‘free speech: is it acceptable to insult someone?’
We are all guilty of insulting people from time to time and this generally occurs when we disagree and this often takes on the genre of an insult that is not considered overly offensive, such as calling someone a moron – again an article appeared here only the other day where the author referred to Facebook users and morons – Facebook: Built by Smart People and Used by Morons. It should be carefully noted that the comments, opinions and views are not directed at any one person, but rather the mass of people. It is difficult to take offense to such material as it really comes down to whether you believe the author is talking about you and of course if you feel your Facebook activities are not moronic in nature then the article will have little or no effect on how you feel towards yourself.
I want you to carefully examine the last phrase of what I just wrote; ‘effect on how you feel towards yourself’ because it is this type of behaviour that internet troll engage in – that is they personally attack an individual. Note carefully here, I don’t want you mixing up the distinction of attacking and berating a person.
Let me take this idea and put it into context. Professor Mary Beard gave her synopsis on immigration in the UK during a live televised appearance on the BBC’s Question Time – see Time to Close the UK Borders as the UK Reaches Breaking Point.
In the audience a member of the public, Rachael Bull, disagreed with Professor Beard’s synopsis, saying it was short-sighted and was not in fact anywhere close to the reality of the situation. It was an extremely good debate, on both sides, however not once were any insults exchanged, unless you consider being called short-sighted an insult.
What came after the television programme was however a vile attack, not on Professor Beard’s perceptions but rather her looks, with some internet trolls berating her looks and remarking that she is too ugly to appear on television.
I am an advocate of free speech and the right to freedom of expression however I believe that if you are going to insult someone then, and there is nothing wrong with doing so, then do so on a subject basis, such as; “Prof Beard must be living in la la land and it obviously not in touch with the real world.” Yes that is an insult but it’s also an opinion as to the debate – what it does not do, nor should ever do, is berate the woman for her appearance.
I spend over 14 hours a day trawling through hundreds of website and web pages in order to find something that impassions me to write about and it never ceases to amaze me just how petty and vile some internet users are. They are obviously very shallow people with no real redeeming personal qualities and therefore feel the need to exact their short comings upon other individuals, some of which take the comments to heart with the direst of consequences.
My message to all you vile little trolls out there – come on over to Meebal and direct your vile little messages at me. For starters I know the type of person you are and I fully understand your short-comings and ignorance, so you can say what you like – it’ll be like water off a ducks back.
Remember, if you are going to insult someone, be intelligent about it and don’t lower yourself to the vile behaviour of attacking an individual for their appearance.