Monday, July 16, 2007

Stop Looking in Caves and Under Bridges, Trolls Are Everywhere

In my last post there were a few people who commented on the story about the mother and toddler who were thrown off an airplane. The original article is here and Grandma Bettyanne provided a link to the article's comments here.

If you glance at the story's comments you will notice that many people applauded the flight attendant's actions. For example:
If this person sues it will be in federal court. She and her lawyer should pray that I do not sit upon the jury. Bratty kids should be quiet but, as is obvious here, the parents are the ones responsible for their continued unacceptable behavior.
But one particular comment, noted by Anonymous, really stands out for its idiocy:
God Bless this flight attendant. This mother sickens me. Take the child away from her before more damage is done. And put the the little brat on Ritalin. It is SO CLEAR that he has a behavior problem and guess who is to blame. This pathetic excuse for a mother. GOD BLESS AIRLINE ATTENDANTS. AND GOD BLESS GEORGE W. BUSH.
Now, as you may know, I am a very skeptical person, and I have a hunch that this is not even a real comment.

Let me introduce you to the idea of trolling.

A troll is a person who gets their kicks from scouring the internet for controversial topics, and then posting outlandish things in order to cause a stir. Often these people post a view that they heartily disagree with, but by arguing the point in a pig-headed, outrageous and ignorant manner, they are able to do more damage to the position than good. For more information on trolling, read Wiki here.

I have a suspicion that the above comment was written by a troll.

You might think that my suspicious assumption is unfounded. Perhaps you believe that everyone on the Internet is honest when they present a point of view, and for the most part I want to believe this too, but, when viewing comments or other information on the internet something should be kept in mind.

People have been using various traditional media to spread disinformation for a long time.

Read here about
Black Propaganda.

It seems that the idea of misrepresenting the source of information is a classic strategy used by governments or other organizations when trying to manipulate a group of people. The internet is only the most recent avenue used to influence public opinion, and this time anyone and everyone can participate.

Now, I must admit that my stomach begins to sickly, churn when I think of George W. Bush, but I find it hard to believe that anyone would post such an idiotic comment. I would bet that the person who posted this feels the exact opposite of what they wrote. When confronted with so many of the other heart-felt, moderately stupid, negative comments toward the mother, they probably decided take the point-of-view to an extreme plus throw in a little stab at Bush.

I certainly don't know this for sure, and there are very likely many people who wouldn't hesitate from writing something as absurd as this, with full belief that they are right, but trolling is real so we shouldn't take every comment at face value.

By-the-way, I know someone who likes to do this, and that is proof enough to me that this is a factual activity for some people's amusement.
If you are reading this now, my trolling friend, make sure you don't leave any of those troll comments here!!!

No comments: