“So say goodnight to the bad guy!”

“You need people like me. You need people like me so you can point your fuckin’ fingers and say, ‘That’s the bad guy.’ So… what that make you? Good? You’re not good.” (Scarface)

At least that is what trolls would want you to think, and quoting Scarface is giving them way too much credit. Instead you can read a quote from one of the trolls themselves: “Am I the bad guy? Am I the big horrible person who shattered someone’s life with some information? No! This is life. Welcome to life” (Jason Fortuny quote within The Trolls Among Us). The similarity of the sociopathic nature of both of these quotes is staggering.

This is not Fluffy, but he is indeed a destroyer of worlds (Image from The Trolls Among Us).

So what is it about the Internet that can influence an average person into displaying a lack of empathy and sympathy comparable to a drugged out drug smuggler/dealer? Turns out it is a single word: deindividuation, or otherwise known as the online disinhibition effect. This is when anonymity causes those exercising it to become detached or withdrawn from social norms. So does this mean that the Internet is the cause of such an effect? Not really. I agree with the article The Trolls Among Us in that this effect draws upon “the destructive human urge that many feel but few act upon.” It brings out the closet sociopaths, the social sadists within certain people. Your own virtual doppelganger that you think you do not have to account for.

Silhouette of man using laptop

Another darker you (Image from How the Internet created an age of rage).

But what can be done about this? Well, that has been a tough question to answer that I like to think lies somewhere between two extremes: eliminating anonymity on the Internet entirely, or doing nothing at all. The argument for eliminating anonymity hinges on accountability. A “I bet you would not say that to my face” situation. When everything you say is attached to your name you tend to think harder on what you are going to say. Especially the repercussions to such responses. Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt contains some examples of supporting this solution. However, the opposing argument is summed up well by Jeffrey Wells quote from How the Internet created an age of rage: “Why would you take that one in 100 chance that your mother or a future employer will read what you were thinking late one night a dozen years ago if you didn’t have too?” These are large repercussions to what could be one comment that you might not remember anymore. In fact, there are examples of people losing their jobs and relationships from information leaked by “trolls” in The Trolls Among Us. Although these examples were malicious attempts on unsuspecting people, “trolls” are not exceptions to this rule so to speak e.g. Jason Fortuny now forever paranoid.

https://i2.wp.com/i1052.photobucket.com/albums/s455/callde/Keyboard-warriors-Keyboard.jpg

Nothing but attention hogs (Image from http://www.aspuriandigital.co.uk/guide-dealing-social-media-attacks-business).

This is why I believe the answer lies somewhere in-between. I think something akin to a social filter so to speak can handle this just fine. A simple solution would be a like/dislike system that hides comments above a certain number of dislikes. I am actually surprised Facebook does not have this system currently in place as it already has a like button. Now this does not fix all of the problems, for example those who take “trolling” farther than just offending comments, but I find it to be a nice compromise between sustaining anonymity and filtering comments without the need for a large amount of moderators who constantly need to throw themselves in the line of fire. Plus, not all comments are malicious. However, there definitely needs to be some new, or at least reevaluated, laws against the more extreme cases of “trolling” such as stalking, cyberbullying, and harassment. At that point I think it is safe to say that this is no longer “trolling” and hiding behind that word is just cowardly. The best solution is also seemingly the simplest, but the hardest: “Trolling will stop only when its audience stops taking trolls so seriously” (Jason Fortuny quote within The Trolls Among Us). Attention hogs are good at gathering attention.

Where do you think the solution lies? Do you agree that the problem lies much deeper than the Internet itself rooted within a dark part of the human psyche? How long do you think the Internet will remain a catalyst, or the cause, of this behavior?

Advertisements

27 thoughts on ““So say goodnight to the bad guy!”

  1. Carly Hernandez March 5, 2015 / 3:04 pm

    The solution obviously lies within us or the people that use the internet in a matter that hurts others. No matter how much information we give out to the public about how horrible trolling is and the effects it has on people there will always be those who choose to do it anyways. Becoming anonymous online is only a positive thing for the trolls because they can hide behind their screen without knowing who it actually is. But trolls can also make fake usernames and hide behind those as well. When I was working at Local 4 over the summer, in the promotions department every now and then we would have to scan over the comments section to see if there were any horrible or mean comments so we could delete them. It became such a problem that they had to remove comments on news articles about murder, race and other topics of that nature. I think the best idea would to be removing comments all together so that there is that much less trolling going on. It would be too hard to monitor the amount of harassing, trolling and bullying going on to make a significant difference. Trolls only do what they do to get attention and feel powerful compared to others since they can’t act that way in real life.

    The internet will remain a catalyst of this behavior as long as we have comment sections and continue to give fuel to the trolls. Maybe there could be a system where you have to enter your email, phone number, address and full name in order to make usernames or use a username as anonymous. So only the websites operators know who it is and can report them to someone higher and give them a consequence of their actions. This would also deter the trolls from even commenting in the first place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ajmiros March 6, 2015 / 11:06 am

      Great write up, I really liked how you used the images to convey the content. . You did a great job explaining and summing up the behavior of what it is to ‘troll’. Internet trolls and the act of trolling, unfortunately, is a reflection of our society. It seems that there is always away for the sociopaths and the ignorant to find a way to have the loudest voice.

      The internet plays right into this behavior because there are very little consequences in acting this way. Most ‘trolls’ would ever have the confidence to say much of these things in person. A keyboard allows them to seek attention that most likely crave in their real lives.

      Like

  2. rmpaulk March 5, 2015 / 9:18 pm

    I think the solution would have to lie with there being some kind of change. Either higher repercussions need to be put in place, or the trolls have to be ignored all together. I know that every site has a “report” button to report trolls, but does that button actually work? Is there someone on the other end taking these reports seriously? Is there a file being made? I feel like nothing actually gets done about these inappropriate comments. There needs to be a better system put into place where the comments are being removed and monitored, and then if someone gets too many strikes against them they are removed from the site. The problem with that is that it would require serious man power and there would nothing stopping the person from creating a different anonymous account for the site to do it all again. The only way to stop that is if the site paid to monitor IP addresses and blocked the offenders. The other option is a little better, but not by much. If we all ignored the comments all together then the troll wouldn’t get the satisfaction of offending someone. They get off on people responding back. The problem with that, though, is that the troll doesn’t face any consequences for their actions. It is seriously a tough situation. I think the only way for the internet to not remain a catalyst is for things to somehow change, but how they could change is difficult.

    Like

  3. mvzang March 6, 2015 / 12:43 am

    What’s interesting about these subjects that troll the internet is they feel no remorse when they publish these disgusting comments. In the article “The Trolls Among Us”, Fortuny simply says he’s a normal guy that does insane things on the internet. I understand that anonymity sometimes gives people this power to say whatever they want, but to destroy a child’s memory after they have taken their own lives (Mitchell Henderson) is just awful. I’ve always been a firm believer in that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and in these instances, people give them way too much attention for their comments. Due to the fact these idiots are protected by free speech, maybe just not giving them any attention would make them go away.

    I believe that the internet will always be a good place for people like this to thrive. The philosopher Plato quote sums it up nicely from the article “Where Anonymity Breeds Contempt”, “without accountability for our actions we would all behave unjustly”. In the real world, these guys would probably get beat up after making some of the comments they have, but when they have the internet to hind behind, like your meme said, they become a bunch of keyboard warriors, almost like having beer muscles. I would love to see a way for these guys to be held accountable, but as it stands right now, that task is probably too difficult to complete.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Brandon Coulter March 6, 2015 / 12:09 pm

    While the old saying “don’t feed the trolls” may seem like the most logical way to do away with the internet abuse, it does not solve everything. The offenders posting the simple and ignorant comments can be deterred by ignoring them; however, the troll community is not comprised of only ignorant and idiotic users that are pushed away so easily. A growing number of these trolls are now fighting back harder and harder with comments and posts that cut deeper than anyone could only imagine. Again, ignoring mean comments is not the hardest thing to do. When these trolls begin posting bits of intimate and defaming information on the web as well as harassing and threatening the individual and their family, things begin to get out of complete control. I have argued several times that these forms of hate-speech and harassment are not just hurtful to the psyche of the well being; rather, these comments are terrifying and destructive to every part of the human being harassed. In these cases, ignoring the person doing the harm is not the easiest or even the best thing to do. Action must be taken against these trolls, and the best way to do it is through numbers. Many different movements across the internet have popped up to rally together support against these trolls and to support those afflicted by the writers. While this way of gathering support doesn’t necessarily stop the trolls from posting their destructive comments, it will create a center of support and strength for everyone afflicted while also showing that these individuals are not alone and are not afraid anymore. Online trolling has gotten completely out of hand. Sitting in the back and watching the comments flood in is no longer a useful strategy. A group effort is now a necessary way of collecting support and creating new and effective ways and combating the online trolls.

    Liked by 1 person

    • eakoonter March 8, 2015 / 3:37 pm

      I agree. People need to walk away and “not feed the trolls”. People feed off of others fear, sadness and anger. It’s a worse way of bullying, in my eyes. Cyberbullies should be held accountable for their actions and the best way to do this is for people to report them to the website that they are using, so that their accounts can be removed. We can’t give into these bullies, but we also can’t become bullies in turn.

      Like

  5. seananthony3 March 7, 2015 / 10:15 pm

    On the topic of “dislike” buttons for Facebook, I think that’s a terrible idea. While it can be used to down vote hurtful comments, it can also be used as a form of torment itself. One could post something about how they won an award or entered a new relationship while another person can be quick to dislike it, putting them down silently. It’s a way of saying “I want you to feel my negativity towards you without me telling you why.” And that is a terrible feeling.

    Reddit has the function of like and disliking posts and it makes me feel bad sometimes. Sometimes, I’ll point out something I find wrong, or a joke and the first person to find it doesn’t like it and makes my score 0. Reddit takes this a step further and has the score reflect upon your entire profile so one bad post could bring you down entirely. With this in mind, I think “liking” things, is the best way to make sure the positive content stays positive, even if I do hate seeing blatantly racist comments on pages with a thousand likes for being on a page liked primarily by blatantly racist people.

    Like

    • Ms.McCollum March 8, 2015 / 10:25 pm

      One thing that I think could be a good solution is for bullies to called out for their bad behavior. I’ve thought that this could just turn out to have the same consequences on their confidence. No one likes to be called out and if enough people jump on board it could stop them.

      The dislike button definitely makes a good case on how someone can say, “I want you to feel my negativity towards you without me telling you why.” No one will go to the lengths to comment their dislike because it exposes them too much.

      In regards to calling out a bully I think it should be responses to comments. Saying that what they’ve said is unacceptable. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about the accounts showing the the negative things men say to women, maybe the same should be done for bullies.

      Like

  6. adrianhormsby March 8, 2015 / 12:40 am

    Very good discussion on this issue. I was particularly struck by your statement “The argument for eliminating anonymity hinges on accountability. I bet you would not say that to my face.” The Grad reading this week by Toma et al. gives strong support to your statement. Even though the article was addressing the truth of what people reveal about themselves on Internet dating sites, it is still relevant to the issue of anonymity and cyberbullying. To summarize, even though nearly everyone stretches the truth on their online dating profiles, it appears that the stronger the likelihood of a couple meeting in person, the more likely it is that they will be totally truthful on their profiles. When we meet in person, there is an entire package of information that reveals much about who we really are, particularly non-verbal factors. The way we are dressed and groomed, how we talk and our mannerisms, say volumes about what kind of person we are. These factors are almost entirely hidden on an online dating profile. So if you are going to meet someone in person you can give up any thought of deception, it won’t work. These research results can be applied indirectly to the issue of anonymity on the internet with respect to comment postings. If one has a propensity for criticizing others through an internet posting and they think that no one will know who they are, they are much more likely to post demeaning comments thinking that they can get away with it. So the issue of anonymity is a big one when it comes to cyberbullying. Reality is anonymous cyberbullies are simply a bunch of cowards, who delight in hurting others through demeaning and insensitive comments. Why? I simply don’t know. Rather than foster a meaningful, transparent and uplifting interpersonal relationship with others, they specialize in tearing other people down under the guise of an anonymous cybername. A projection of their own lack of any social IQ. One of the down sides of the internet is this temptation and ability to hide behind a cyberpseudonym and say what you like, including demeaning comments, and get away with it. Many cyberbullies, however, let their guard down or have a perception that they will never be known, but reality is they can be tracked down, sometimes without much effort. If there is anything the Project1 exercise showed earlier in this class, is that there is a lot more information about who you are on the internet than what you may think. The quicker these cyber cowards are exposed, the quicker we will see less of their nasty comments online. Making a public example of anonymous cyberbullies will force them to think carefully about continuing their inappropriate online behavior. They’re just like cockroaches, the minute you expose them to the light they will quickly scurry to their dark underground hovels. Quite a pathetic bunch when you think about it.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. mwiedmeyer March 8, 2015 / 1:42 pm

    I honestly don’t know if there’s a solution. Unfortunately, while an upvote system like they have in place on a website like Reddit is something a lot of people want to see on Facebook, I recently saw a response from Mark Zuckerberg about the possibility of a like-dislike system: “Some people have asked for a dislike button because they want to say, “That thing isn’t good.” And that’s not something that we think is good for the world. So we’re not going to build that.”
    I think he raises a good point. People wouldn’t use a dislike system for innocent reasons. They would dislike good things that happen to people they hate, opinions they disagree with, any number of negative reasons.
    I do think that the internet is just a catalyst for behavior that’s ingrained in the human brain. People with a mean disposition will find a way to be mean no matter what, and giving them anonymity only ups the stakes. People like that are the reason I fear for kids these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. galaradi March 8, 2015 / 3:50 pm

    Trolls have always existed. When has there been a time where people did not hate each other and bullied each other? With the Internet, this only caused these trolls to become more comfortable behind a screen. The fact that they are able to run away from confrontation behind a screen allows them to say more than what they would say to that person’s face.

    Obviously not all humans will get along with each other. It has unfortunately become easier for those trolls to harass, bully, and call names. This is the reality of the Internet today. I think the solution is to ignore those people who are offensive, because they like the attention. Arguing or responding to them will most likely lead to no solution. There will always be people who will be overly critical or not satisfied with anything. Some of us have people like that in our families, or friends. It is a reality of life. Internet or not, there will always be bullies; we just have to accept it and ignore them.

    Like

  9. doniecew March 8, 2015 / 3:54 pm

    I believe that when we involve ourselves online there are many good and bad things about the Internet that is out of our control. I definitely don’t think that it’s one specific solution that will end all trolling, bullying, harrassment, and so on. People are entitled to an opinion, as well as Freedom of Speech. As long as that exists people can say whatever they want online. I’m not agreeing with the thought of trolling, I just find it really hard to try to stop people. It’s all in the idea of how we look at the Internet. Everybody has different uses for the internet.

    Like

  10. jaemillz411 March 8, 2015 / 4:25 pm

    I have no idea what the middle of the two extremes could be, because at the end of the day innocent people are going suffer for a few people’s actions. But doing nothing is not an option because people are getting hurt (experiencing depression and anxiety to committing suicide).

    I have a love/hate thought about the people who surf comments all day to lessen trolling. I like that that they try and change the conversation back to the topic at hand. And can tell people about their trolling habits. But I still do not like the thought of someone policing and taking control.

    I think that people should have enough self-discipline and kindness to not tell that they hate them, to go kill themselves, or make profiles pretending to be their deceased parent. It is despicable and I hope that it is not engrained in us as human beings.

    I hope that deep down we are not mean spirited souls wanting to create havoc. I believe that each of us has a choice to be good or bad and that choice is not heighten by the cloak of an Internet screen. It depends on how we are raised and our own individual relationship with the world and ourselves. The blame cannot be put entirely on the Internet, therefore the solution cannot just be Internet related. It has to go deeper.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. asibo March 8, 2015 / 7:05 pm

    I think it is far too simplistic to say that trolling is either the result of human nature or is caused by the innovation of the internet and online communication. The short answer seems to me that it is the result of both. The internet gives a forum for people to vent their inner psychological discontent, but no more than writing an anonymous letter or carving swears into a bathroom stall. Without any of these vehicles of communication, people would have no avenue to engage in trolling behavior, and these latent impulses would remain dormant. But that does not mean that they are nonexistent. People will always be able to look for avenues to express their boredom, inadequacy, and need for attention in various ways, but this does not necessarily mean that this impulse is necessarily destructive, though it often receives attention when it manifests itself through trolling. Certainly there are a lot of ways that people communicate online, and not all of them are destructive. However, it is the destructive behaviors which receive the most mainstream attention, while the forms which are constructive or morally neutral often are not so easy to identify or thought to be worth identifying.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. bubbastinx March 8, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    I think that trolls are nothing more than the cool kids in high school who teased and bully other students, up until they’re confronted face to face.

    Unfortunately, the internet doesn’t provide that type of environment that lends itself to a false level of security. I think that this false sense of security could work well with attempting to gather information on the Troll, and expose them for who and what they are.

    Most times I’m a pacifist, but their are those rare times that I do believe in the use of good old fashion kinetic force. Those rare times arrive when I see someone picking on another person. It makes my blood boil, and its in most cases is a definite sign of weakness.

    Anyhow, I don’t know if legislation is quite the answer. Since, legislation rarely gets repealed after the new no longer presents itself, and who wants to really foot the bill for all the pork that gets crammed into such a bill?

    Like

  13. spgregor March 8, 2015 / 8:21 pm

    I am not sure we will ever see legislation on trolling; therefore, I think that the solution lies with individual actions. Victims of trolling can handle trolling in a way that can eliminate trolling in small pieces, if we can’t eliminate it all together. If people had the self-control to ignore trolls, then trolls would lose their motivation. They thrive off of reactions and if you don’t react, they wont go looking for any. I also agree that trolling stems from a psychological standpoint. Trolls exhibit sadistic behavior and like to create problems from nothing just for the sake of having a problem; normal behavior does not include these features. I don’t mean that trolls are crazy and mentally ill, but I believe that they have a very different mindset than the average person.

    As to time – the internet will always be a safe haven for trolls as long as there is anonymity. I doubt the internet will ever see a period in which there is no anonymity, and this lasting anonymity will always cause trolling problems. People act differently when talking to people not directly with them, and the internet will always be a place to create problems for such people. The internet is not the cause of the problem, but it will always show the effects.

    Like

  14. sneff16 March 8, 2015 / 9:06 pm

    I agree with the above comment that I am not sure we will ever see legislation on trolling. It could become a slippery slope restricting free speech. People have to ignore trolls just like we ignore the people that post things like “I just won a free laptop-click here.” There will always be really mean people that do and say things just to harm others. I think the best thing is to ignore them unless it becomes extremely personal where pictures and threats become an issue and its obvious that someone the person knows is involved. Internet trolls just say mean things to get a rise out of other commenters. It’s probably not someone they know in real life. Trolls especially target celebrities. Think of the celebrities that read mean tweets about themselves on Jimmy Kimmel. Trolling needs to stop. It hurts others and it serves no purpose. However, I don’t think there is a real solution except to just ignore the trolls.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. kevinpayton1 March 8, 2015 / 9:08 pm

    Accountability. People should be held accountable for their words and actions. After reading the article “The Trolls Among Us”, I was at a lost for words that these people/human beings could find some form of purpose for what they were doing. At the end of the day they are plain and simple cowards. The type of behavior the exhibit is more of a terrorist, using fear and ignorance to terrorize an online community. And like a terrorist, they operate from remote locations, hid from the world, unable to face their enemy. I would even say they are worst than a terrorist, because they have no cause for which they troll for other than their self -enjoyment. The solution lies in the millions of users and moderators of these sites that these trolls hijack to inflict pain, conflict and ruin. W hen people stand as a whole, and voice their disproval of the actions of few, then and only then will their hidden agendas be brought to the light. I agree that this behavior lies well beyond the Internet. It takes a troubled individual to find pleasure and purpose in hurting and embarrassing others for their own pleasure. I do believe that all that happens in the dark shall come to light. With all the bright and amazingly talented individuals that are in the computer world, there is only a matter of time before an anti-trolling program is created and used to halt this foolish behavior. Plus the inventor will make billions selling it to media pages.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. blcarr March 8, 2015 / 10:37 pm

    There is no solution for trolling but I do agree. Sometimes we just need to walk away or change websites and not give the trolling any life. Just like anything in life, we feed off of each other’s pain and anger. It’s the new version of bullying now & days. I wrote about cyber racism and cyber bullies in my research assignment and I was describing how there are now laws for these terms and the people that are doing it somehow get off free of charge. The only thing we can do is report them to the owner of the site, but all the person does is create a new log in name and the bullying continues. So who do I trust? Me! That’s who. Great intro you cock-a-roach lol.

    Like

  17. elrader2015 March 8, 2015 / 10:46 pm

    When it comes to finding where the solution lies in internet anonymity, I agree with you that the answer can be found somewhere in the middle. While I don’t think we should make everything on the web open without any anonymity, there should be lines drawn. For example, if I want to have an anonymous blog that I use to vent and clear my head, that is between myself and my own mind; knowing the identity behind my personal thoughts should be for my knowledge only and many people find solace in talking to others about personal issues anonymously because it’s easier to find judgement free conversation. On the flip side of that coin though, if said blog is being used to bully/troll others or express abusive and harmful opinions, then the identity should be revealed to let justice be served and also to put an end to such harassment. We all know the internet has it’s dark corners that I don’t personally care to explore, but even in such places, there should be boundaries for the protection of others. The identity of bullies and trolls should not be protected in my opinion and I think that unveiling the identity of these people could prevent future bullying/trolling. If the troll doesn’t feel safe attacking others anonymously, maybe that would help solve this issue.

    Like

  18. thegradytrain March 8, 2015 / 10:47 pm

    This statement stuck out to me: “Facebook does not have this system currently in place as it already has a like button.” It stuck out because I am very sure there is a system, although it is not as apparent as the like button. Facebook as a section on every page called: Privacy Shortcuts which allows users to address their own privacy on a high-level as well access their settings quicker. It also has a field for blacklisting users. Adjacent to the shortcuts menu there is a option to “Report a problem” which allows a user to report abusive content or a violation of Facebook’s policy. Now, these options don’t directly stop the user unless they do breach policy in which case I am assuming Facebook has a ban or lockout system. The other issue with the blacklisting is that it just prevents the perpetrator from contacting you directly e.g. posting, conversations, and seeing your posts. It does not prevent them from seeing things you post in groups/networks they are also apart of as well as commenting.

    I honestly believe the best responsible solution to addressing cyberbullying in general is to ignore the perpetrator, notify a moderating party if there is one, and blacklisting/reporting the individual. The important thing is that the underlying issues of the perpetrator (the why) should not be addressed over the internet, that will only succeed in creating more issues.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. mstor763 March 8, 2015 / 10:53 pm

    It seems that most people would agree that the solution is not easily obtainable, if it was, then it would be enacted already. The entire issue with trolls and a cyber-bully is that there’s no laws that can truly pinpoint a troller who takes full advantage of anonymity. As it seems many had discovered in their second assignment there are laws to bring justice for people who are traceable. So when will it be possible for the government to invade on someone’s privacy, trace an IP/MAC address and hold someone accountable for their actions? Personally i feel when that is possible we will see the solution unfolding.

    With that being said, I feel the problem is way beyond the internet, is not only a human psychological thing, (which I like the reference of ” It brings out the closet sociopaths, the social sadists within certain people.”) The reference is pretty spot on in my opinion. People are acting in a fashion they would not in person, why? because they can get away with it which circulates back to my point of whats the repercussion of such acts for someone who can keep their identity concealed.

    I feel with the trend of law making, the issue with internet will be here for decades to come. The law seems to always be being times as it is more of a reactive system instead of proactive.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. hessaj March 8, 2015 / 11:41 pm

    The most common ways to deal with these kinds of people is to report or straight out ignore them. But those solutions alone are only temporary, there are many “trolls” out there. They will eventually go out of their way to be consistent in their malicious behavior. These kinds of people are called sadists.

    Sadly enough, I truly don’t think there is an effective solution to trolling. Simply ignoring them, to me, is the best solution, on the Internet. There are also trolls on online multiplayer video games, these types of trolls ruin the pleasure of playing with others online and turning people off about playing the game. Anywhere where there’s Internet, there’s trolls. It’s all psychological. There may never be an end to sadism, personal vendettas, etc. to stop these trolls, because there isn’t any consequences being anonymous.

    Like

  21. lewenzel93 March 8, 2015 / 11:42 pm

    I really don’t believe the internet, or more specifically, it’s way of allowing so many users to be anonymous is the cause for trolling. I think the internet is more or a tool than anything else, and there will always be people that will use it as a weapon to harm someone else. I think your idea of a social filter is a good one, but to play devil’s advocate, I wanted to point out some flaws. First, the idea creates this sort of popularity contest where certain people can say whatever they want while others are silenced because of who they are. For example, Justin Bieber could watch your YouTube video and say something like “this sucks” and he gets 1000 thumbs ups, whereas if it were anyone else, they might get enough thumbs downs to hide the comment. Second, the internet is all about being an open and free space, but when other people get to choose and give value to your thoughts based on a like/dislike system that may or may not hide said thoughts, I think it goes against what everyone wants it to be. Now, I’m not saying everything on the internet, especially the comments of trolls and cyberbullyers, is worth reading, but I’m a pretty big fan of being able to get my thoughts out there and not worry about being silenced. I really wish I could offer a better solution, but I honestly have no idea what will stop this kind of harassment other than abolishing internet anonymity entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. cseejay March 8, 2015 / 11:55 pm

    I think when addressing trolls and negative comments online, the solution lies in companies ability to respond to complaints and moderators banning certain accounts for negative activity. When it comes to trolls, I think the only way to really deal with this issues is by monitoring your comment section closely. I know when I personally stream on Twitch, I have a friend who’s banning various users at any given moment if things get out of control. I know the Guardian has had recent talks of turning the comment section off on certain topics depending on whether they think it’ll be a problem. Tactics like this do hinder expression, but at the cost of an enjoyable experience on certain website I think more companies should start looking at removing comments all together. I think that’s the solution now, but once we develop a way to make user less anonymous then I think you’ll see the amount of trolls decrease and more constructive comments, because at this point depending on the site anything constructive is washed away by ridiculous memes and pointless comparisons from people who think they’ve solved the universe. I think much of the Internet needs to be policed like reality, and I think individuals are realizing that now that theres issues around bullying and trolls are at an all time high.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. akuelbs March 9, 2015 / 2:21 pm

    The internet gave birth to cyberbullying and trolling and as long as the internet is around, they will always remain. That is the problem we face in society, no matter how hard we try, they will always be there and will always be around. Yes, anonymity is a big enabler when it comes to these issues, but not all cyber bullies and trolls care to remain anonymous. On social media such as Facebook.com peoples identities are mostly now aside from some fake profiles, but the fact is, that doesn’t stop someone from cyberbullying another. The bully hides behind a computer screen because they think well since its on the internet, no one can touch them. In the movie cyberbully, there is a bully in school who just keeps bullying people online to the point where no one wants to go online because they feel like what is the point when they know they are just going to get bullied there. The only real way we can eliminate trolling and cyberbullying is to make people feel more accountable for their actions and to have consequences out there for the bullies. When we can get people to realize everything they do on the internet leaves a footprint and will remain there, people might then start to look a little bit more into what they are doing and possibly decrease the rate of trolling and cyberbullying. “Cyberbullies keep going because they think no one will put a stop to it” is a quote from the movie. it is our job and our duty to start to do something about it and to help people out.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. nebior March 9, 2015 / 3:32 pm

    I feel that the internet is a cause of the trolling problem because it provides people with anonymity. I actually did my Project 2 on the topic of anonymity and trolling. Plato discussed an invisibility ring that would turn even an honest man into a thief. The internet is a troll’s invisibility ring. The internet allows a person to say anything that may come to his or her mind, positive or negative, and their name will not be tied to their post. This anonymity could turn even a nice person in real life into a troll on the internet. Anonymously being able to taunt someone can be very tempting sometimes, especially if you disagree with what someone posted. The internet will be a cause of this behavior as long as it allows users to be anonymous. Allowing people to remain anonymous can allow people to get help with things they would never discuss in real life, but they would on the internet. The negative to that, though, is trolling. I feel that many people would agree that trolling is a necessary evil to maintaining online anonymity. Anonymity is what allowed the internet to become what it is: a place to share ideas freely with no attachment to oneself is one wishes to remain anonymous.

    –Ben Walker

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s