On Getting Trolled

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Remnants

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On Getting Trolled

Postby Remnants » 08.31.17 11:25am

So... I take it everyone may have been there by now. Every once in a while on the internet you might come across one of those people who will provoke you unrelentingly (at least as long as you respond to them). It's as they say: if you argue with trolls, they win.

Is it just me or is this happening on a much larger scale than before? Everyone is outraged about something these days.

I could go on about how modern politics has gone topsy-turvy and how it has created the perfect environment for trolls to find prey -- especially with the rise of "the easily offended." x_x
But that's just a tangent.

What I'm really getting at is what kind of a person is outright immune to getting trolled? If stories on cyber-bullying is any indication, it can be full psychological torture. What traits must a person develop in order to build immunity to getting trolled? Let's define "immunity" as any defense against letting a person's emotional and psychological well-being from being compromised through provocation. Worst case scenario: the person just cannot seem to stop engaging the troll and the experience of being trolled sticks in a person's thoughts even when not engaged.

Apothem

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Re: On Getting Trolled

Postby Apothem » 08.31.17 1:51pm

I've found the best defense against online trolling is to simply not care about what it is they say or do. I find it much easier to click away or shut the browser down and go do literally anything else than engage some anonymous asshole in a pointless argument. I've had the occasional bit of digital tomfoolery stick in my craw before but never enough to incessantly argue a superfluous point or obsess over it. It lingers a bit as a nuisance then I distract myself with one of a hundred different things and I forget about it and move on with life. Nothing on the internet is so important as to hurt oneself over it. If someone can't shut it down, tune out for a bit, and relax then it says more about them than the troll.
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Zynux

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Re: On Getting Trolled

Postby Zynux » 08.31.17 9:00pm

Is it just me or is this happening on a much larger scale than before? Everyone is outraged about something these days.
This only happened because before "harassment" & "doxing" became the media buzzword "troll" & "death threats" was the go to fearmongering boogieman when the internet was becoming more mainstream. (No) thanks to social media, a ton of newer people came to the internet who weren't around during the Wild West days and were constantly getting easily trolled and feeding them, making them gain relevance and sticking around.
What traits must a person develop in order to build immunity to getting trolled?
Not qualified to go into any deeper psychological analysis but having perspective that online interactions is not remotely equivalent to real life interactions. This line was blurred horribly thanks to social media like Facebook but it's something people need to remember.

There's a difference in my mind between actual cyberbullying (which usually occurs between peers who bully someone both on their online life as well as their offline life, it's usually not a random anonymous stranger), actual criminal activity like stalking and hacking, and trolling. Trolling to me is a boogieman: it's often now applied to people who don't agree with the current consensus (similar to "haters") and often push narratives about it as a justification to censor certain parts of the internet.

Most trolls are of little threat because most websites since the beginning have always given plenty of tools to deal with them, compared to real life. Online interactions are very impersonal: most circumstances you and the troll are generally anonymous, you lack most of communication like voice levels and body language, and you are both engaged generally within the safety of your own environment. At any point of time, you have the opportunity to use the tools the website gave you to block/mute/ignore someone, disengage, and log off completely from the website, internet or computer. Being called an insult or slur online from a random anonymous stranger is no where near the level of someone in real life who called you an insult or slur directly in your face during a heated confrontation: they are apples and oranges, yet for some reason people treat the former the same as the latter. In most circumstances trolls cannot attribute you any physical harm, and psychological harm is minimal compared to real world interactions.

There are obvious exceptions to what I listed above and you could pull out more extreme examples where it leaves the realm of trolling into probable actual cyberbullying, but this is just a general overview. In my view, there is little excuse to fear most trolls. Even worse how some will use the fear of trolls as a convenient scapegoat, especially for those who want to constantly play victim.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

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Remnants

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Re: On Getting Trolled

Postby Remnants » 09.02.17 9:18pm

Trolling to me is a boogieman: it's often now applied to people who don't agree with the current consensus (similar to "haters") and often push narratives about it as a justification to censor certain parts of the internet.
Yes, you see this with ideologues. That is to be expected since for ideologues, all opposing arguments that undermine the ideology must be dealt with. Backing down would be a show of weakness. Not so much so for the unnamed activist but the more famous and prominent the ideologue, the less they can afford to back out of arguments. One might say that's crossing the territory from inflammatory remarks to just having a debate but if one is set out to troll ideologues, it's only obvious that they mix into their antics some poignant counter-arguments that undermine the ideologue's narrative. That is, unless the ideologues weave into their narrative an exploitable clause for dubbing anyone expressing dissenting opinions as "trolls" and subsequently block the person in question.

When you say that out loud, it becomes obvious that ideologues have, by their nature, very low immunity to getting trolled.

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Re: On Getting Trolled

Postby Apothem » 09.02.17 10:53pm

Anyone who takes anything too seriously has a low tolerance for trolling.
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Zynux

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Re: On Getting Trolled

Postby Zynux » 09.03.17 8:53pm

Anyone who takes anything too seriously has a low tolerance for trolling.
Also people who lack the context clues to identify it. People complain how with text it's hard to convey certain meanings, and it's true to an extent. But if you've been on the internet for a long time you start to notice patterns to identify trolling and baiting pretty easily. It seems like a lot of people currently on the internet lack these skills because it's becoming easier to bait people in general since they take everything at face value.
"Cut! There are no second chances for actors that fall to the abyss. Await your second casting in the darkness forever." - The Night of Wallachia

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