Previously best known as mythical creatures providing a stringent tax service for the owners of the world’s bridges, the grotesque lumpen beasts are proving surprisingly adept at lurking on the interweb waiting to unleash words like ‘wankspaz’ on the unsuspecting public.
A troll, who identified herself only as ‘Jemima’, explains the renaissance: “It was a fairly standard Friday, we were just hanging around under bridges waiting to tax people, when Gary turns up with this shiny new MacBook he found. At first we were a bit confused as to what it was; I must admit I tried to have sex with it, but then we worked out that it was basically a machine for calling people pricks and after that we never looked back.
“Frankly, the tax business wasn’t working out. We’d actually eat the money we got, lord knows we never spent any of it on clothes or hygiene products. And it turned out we were really good at internet trolling, so much so they named it after us.
“I told Sylvester Stallone I was going to go to his house and shit on his nan, that was my highlight.”
What to do about trolls? There is some truly vile crap out there which can make people’s lives a misery. Take this for example. The law is only just starting to get a grip, but it’s a complete minefield. The big question is where to draw the line. It’s clear that threats, harassment and downright abuse, see link, are matters for the courts.
A good first step would be to acknowledge that internet anonymity is really a myth. The Facebook ruling this week might go some way towards that. Unless you’re extremely dedicated to not being found, the web is the most traceable medium on the planet. Your surfing behaviour is probably being tracked as we speak by a host of different companies, as the video below highlights. It’s a real cracker actually, well worth a watch:
With that in mind, it’s impossible to think we’re anonymous online. Maybe a better understanding of that might prevent folk from coming out with clever, useful lines like ‘lol gonna kill u bitch’ and such.
Not all trolling is bad, by the way. It’s just like any other form of speech, in that it’s a wide spectrum. On occasion a well thought out trolling is a hilarious thing. David Thorne, aka 27b/6 (you can lose entire days reading his stuff) is an absolute master of the online prank, and he’s not alone.
I think potentially the best way to deal with the nasty kind of troll is simply to laugh, or play along, or remember that the person doing it is probably a pimply 16-year old whose prospects of ever getting laid have pretty much been diminishing solidly since birth.
Or, possibly the best response to trolls is to make a video about them.
This is the greatest thing I have ever seen.