Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Ice challenge vs troll status traps

A few "challenges" and games have been going around Facebook in my circles lately, as tends to happen from time to time, and they're often put forward as non-optional for people you've either deliberately dobbed in or who have fallen into a trap of some kind. I'd like to mention two that came my way to illustrate the differences.

The first was the "ice challenge". The idea (at least in the mutant version that came my way) is to either donate $10 to charity and tip 3 buckets of ice water over your head or to donate $100 and stay warm. I opted to go for the ice, because I thought it would be more fun to participate than to chicken out, with or without charity donations. I posted the video, donated the money and nominated 5 friends, 2 of whom took on the ice and 3 of whom made no response at all. That's their right. This isn't law, but I thought it was a bit of fun, and since there was charity involved, I figured I might as well participate.

The other "challenge" was a plain old trolling trap of a status update. One person posts a worrying status from a pre-written list, then anyone who likes or comments gets stabbed with the same list and a demand that they, too, post one of the worrying statuses without any explanation. I commented just to see what was up, and found out. I declined that particular challenge, because it just felt like pure troll-bait to me. You get your friends worried about you, or at least confused and curious, then when they express their concern, you punish them for it. There didn't seem to be much positive fun in that, and I said so. I'm not going to propagate something like that.

Is there a difference between the two? From some perspectives, no, not really. They're both somewhat involuntary to get into, and they both propagate among friends like a meme. On the other hand, the difference I see is that one is a "gotcha" game of trolling and one is more of a dare where charities benefit. Maybe the difference is subtle. I don't know. I just know that I'm not going to bait my friends and family into expressing some misguided concern, then attack them for it.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - No offense meant to anyone who has played along with the status trolling game.
PPS - If I hadn't had friends opt out of the ice challenge, I might have just played along with trolling, too.

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