What is it about the internet that brings out the worst in people? I'm not talking about the people who post pictures of their pets or food, I'm talking about that evil under the bridge dwelling cretin who creeps around the internet creeping the rest of us out.
No doubt you've done the unthinkable, gone ahead and read the comments on a certain article or commented innocently on a thread and without warning, and evidently without any realization that the internet is indeed also "real" life, there it is, that ugly, nasty, vicious, wart-covered, slimy turd of a troll.
You seldom see the actual real human trolls these days online. The newest fad among these freakish beings is the anonymous post and fake profile. So while they want to be horrible while in their online persona, they want to hide it so in "real" life people won't think badly of them. Seriously, that is so messed up.
At first most of us activists heeded the "don't feed the trolls" adage. The thought being if you engaged, then the troll would gain strength. Better to starve the little desperate buggers and they would go away.
We were so naïve.
The reality is, when you ignore some trolls, for example I have one I call Twatness, they simply can't help themselves. I had this person blocked for months and she still felt the need to make a stupid post and use my name. Well, unlike cowards who hide behind fake or blocked profiles, I went right there and confronted this person. I mean seriously, what did she think was going to happen? And then of course she was "outraged" that I would confront her. Whatever, just keep amusing yourself by photo-shopping images of me and making fake profiles. I'm sure your parents are very proud.
Then there are those who fancy themselves so witty and clever they gave themselves a cute name and hide behind fake profiles and anonymous posts. One of these self-styled internet badasses decided he was going to "call me out". Yes, his words, and indeed he did, call me out. He called me "big". I was like, "I'm sorry, do you mean big, as in, larger than life?" Then it hit me, I had to laugh, oh, you're trying to insult me! But I could see how hard he really was trying. And he obviously has some mommy issues. Speaking of, I'm sure his mother would be so proud of her 30-something son calling a woman of 50 "fat" and then running around town claiming some kind of victory. Seriously dude, that's asinine.
But at least he had the balls to use his real name. The lowest form of the trolls are the fake profiles and the ones who are using anonymous poll options to bully and belittle anyone they don't like, don't agree with, or who has the misfortune of being their target that particular day.
And these aren't just a little unkind or slightly snarky. These are full out nasty, very personal and hurtful comments. Maligning everything from people's marriages to wishing that someone would get cancer. It is vile.
Don't get me wrong, I'm no pusher of the politically correct. I enjoy some dark humor and even a dank meme or two, but don't bring up people's children, wish them dead or make jokes about someone who tried to commit suicide being a failure even at that.
These comments and the stupid photo-shopped images don't reflect on me, they reflect on you, troll poster. It is your character that is being revealed. So you photos-shop my head onto a porn photo hoping for I don't know what, all you did was show yourself to be a low-life common scumbag without any common decency. But that's okay, I know, that's just how you roll. And good for you, obviously your parents are beyond ecstatic at your gross and disgusting aesthetic.
I'm sure the fact that I wrote this blog will bring about yet another round of juvenile memes and photo-shopped images. But with all the good we do on the internet, from fundraising for charities, to helping families in need, sharing information and impacting real and lasting change, if the price we have to pay for that is living with cowardly trolls among us, so be it.
With all the wonders the internet has brought us, the birth of the troll and death of common decency is like the dark side. Sure the costumes are great and the mask hides who you really are, but wow it must be exhausting to haul around all that baggage all day long. And truly, at the end of the day, you're just being a dick for absolutely no reason. That doesn't make you clever. It makes you pathetic.