Monday, 23 May 2016

On Line Trolls, Learning About Them Little By Little

I was recently enormously wounded by savage comments placed upon my blog post first recording my brother’s death (see Bernard Hendy, A Much Loved Brother – 2nd April 2016). I could suddenly quite understand why the young react so badly to internet abuse. A friend’s husband observed that it was in all probability simply the work of a `Troll' and to forget about it. But at the time I understood little about this particular on line phenomena and it was hard to simply put the incident aside. Wikipedia defines a Social Media Troll as someone who posts inflammatory comments within an on-line community such as a forum or blog with the primary intent of provoking the reader into an emotional response. In recent years the phrase seems to have shifted from its original meaning and has acquired a much more sinister edge. Further reading reveals that the attack upon the tribute to my poor brother was in no way isolated or special. Defacing Facebook or blog memorial pages to the recently deceased is now almost commonplace. Unsurprisingly, some people simply like to persecute others when they are possibly at their most vulnerable. The basic intent is to wound and elicit anger and now I know from experience that these efforts can be remarkably successful. It doesn’t take a brilliant mind to reach the conclusion that the average on line Troll is an on line Bully does it?

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