I tweeted about trolls earlier today and received a great response so thought I’d expand the conversation to the blogging community. I’ve been very fortunate to have largely avoided them during my online career but they are a major topic in the U.K. at present due to a number of public figures receiving vile abuse, including death threats. A campaign seems to be growing to halt online anonymous accounts where most of these nasty attacks originate.
What brings a person to go to the extent of creating an anonymous account for the purpose of directing abuse and hatred towards total strangers? Many of them appear to spend much of their day doing so which leads me to question what is going on in their ‘real’ lives? Do they spend most of their day being equally obnoxious to people they know? I doubt that very much which is why they prefer to lurk online, directing their venom at others.
Much of it must boil down to feelings of jealousy. Is your own life that bereft of love and success that you feel the need to direct your inner anger at others? Because that’s what it is. Anger. But more a deep inner anger which they project outwards rather than allow to fester and ferment within. Trolls are angry creatures but primarily angry about their own failings and inadequacies. Hence the need to direct their resentment at others who are making something of their lives.
Trolls are ugly, cowardly creatures. They hide in the shadows because they lack the courage to face their victims. Whenever criminal investigations are conducted and trolls are identified they are invariably found to be rather pathetic, nondescript characters. More to be pitied, than feared. They never fail to disappoint and are rarely the tough, mouthy keyboard warriors they profess to be online.
My limited experiences with them has led me to conclude that the best approach is to ignore them. They crave attention, it is their oxygen. When we react to them they appear to get some perverse kick out of it. It makes their day because, outside of their social media personas, they have very little going for them. I’ve tried to get my head around the mentality of such a person but struggle to see what happens someone to lead them to this abject existence.
Muting and blocking are what I do now. I’ve been attacked on several occasions, usually when I write about political matters or the coronavirus pandemic. I tend to avoid these topics now as it seems to attract them like a bear to honey. In fact, there’s an argument to simply ignore as muting and blocking suggests a reaction on my part. Ignoring reduces them to nothing. They simply don’t exist.
What are your views on trolls?