Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Can we convince trolls that it's not funny?

How do you change someone's mind that trolling is funny? We all go through this stage, it seems, when we aim to get a rise out of people online (or in person) because we find it funny, because at some time during puberty we turn into gaping a-holes spewing poop at the world - just coating it in our stinking, festering monkey-poop - and lauging at people who get upset that we have covered them in our poop. Then some time later we realise that, when we did that, we were being gaping a-holes who didn't deserve the free room, board and internet we got from our parents and we settle down.

Is there a way we can train kids early on not to be that particular kind of a-hole to each other? Is there something we can say to them to indicate that the descriptor "clever insult" doesn't apply to the phrase "you should shut up and kill yourself"? I hope so. The internet gives our words vast reach and permanence, so when you're an a-hole in person, it can be damaging, but when you're an a-hole online, it can be so devastating that people do kill themselves.

So, pre-pubescent trolls, listen up: when you aim to make someone upset online, I'm going to need you to explain to yourself, first, why it's hilarious. You need to go far deeper than "It just is, because now they're angry, so shut up". You're angry, too. That's most of the reason you're smearing your own feces on the internet.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - If you can explain why it's funny, it still has to be something you'd be happy for your parents to read.
PPS - I'm well aware that this post, on its own, won't change any troll's mind.

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