Who the hell are Trolls?

CRIME Trolls 100034

Twitter goes toxic…
Facebook fouled up…

What would possess somebody to be a Troll?

You switch on your computer and look forward to spending some valuable or valueless (depending) time on Facebook. It is part of your routine. You want to see how articles you have had published are doing. Maybe some friends have posted some wacky photographs…the wind sets fair…then suddenly your eyes settle on some comments… vile violations of your posts…a Troll has been at work…done a nasty on you…

But why?
They don’t know you
They have nothing much to gain apart from spreading their poison…
Maybe they get a kick from it…
Maybe they have a need to psyche complete strangers out?

Why spread your bile?

What did they do before the internet came to the fore? Did they heckle comedians at comedy clubs? Did they shout abuse over the garden wall at their neighbors or passersby? Did they send poison pen letters to strangers? Were they School bullies?

Anyway these days there is this new breed of Trolls. I had one adding snide comments on my Facebook page. Ok the comments were not too abusive, they were just childish, inane and vaguely annoying…”Who are you, never heard of you”. They seemed from the hand of a child or teenager. I did not rise up to the challenge, I simply deleted the comments…they have not infested my page since…

I had a very surreal conversation via Facebook, with a fellow author. I came across his Twitter page. I wanted to do an interview for him, but was prepared to offer him one in exchange. I should have taken heed looking at his grim dour face on Twitter. The conversation went round and round in circles with him writing in CAPS, repeating his question, despite the fact that I had answered it, several times over…He kept repeating “What do you want?” In whatever manner I answered he would fire the same question, like an inquisitor…Finally he got nasty and accused me of being selfish, despite the fact that I was offering something for him. It was obvious he got some pleasure from being a wind-up, that he enjoyed trying to demoralize somebody…perhaps he felt superior in some way and enjoys enforcing this superiority on other people, be it…a complete stranger.

There is also a sinister disturbing side to this phenomenon. Go on Google and you will find cases of teenagers who have hung themselves, following the onslaughts of “Trolls”. There seems to be cases in which Trolls seem to have taken a delight in pushing their victims over the edge, posting comments such as ‘Can you kill yourself already?’ Maybe a pragmatic adult would choose to ignore or take action like closing down their (Facebook) page, but a susceptible teenager might think otherwise…what a terrible waste of a young life.

Celebrities also get loads of Twitter troll abuse…and it seems to get to them. Apparently Male celebrities are the victims of more Twitter abuse than women, but men are also equally more likely to be behind the abuse. If you are an outspoken person, expect a high-volume of abuse.

Some people use the internet to attack people who have found themselves in the news, for horrific reasons. Take the McCanns, they have had their daughter missing for quite some years now. You would imagine most normal people would support their quest to find the whereabouts of their daughter or to find out the truth, about what happened to her. They also must have a residue  guilt, because when they had left her to have dinner, when she was abducted. Brenda Leyland, 63 chose to troll the McCanns, posting thousands of messages on Twitter attacking the McCanns.

She herself became the victim of online abuse, once a TV channel had exposed her. What on earth was her motivation? Why spend hours in front a computer screen attacking two strangers? Not long after the Leyland story broke, she was found dead in a hotel room…some blaming the TV channel who cornered her outside her house and broadcasted it for all to see.

Really what goes on in the mind of a Troll?

Are they here to stay?

What would they be like to talk to face to face, hidden behind a keyboard, they can do as they wish…

Francis H Powell

Author of Flight of Destiny, 22 short stories available on Amazon



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