Motion: THB that all internet users should have their IP addresses displayed publicly to discourage/prevent trolling and abuse on the internet
Role: Chair (opp.)
Date: Nov 20th, 2014
In Defense of Trolling
Trolling is a modern phenomenon which is usually condemned. Trolling is seen as an evil of the Internet Age that we
were spared in the past. Why? Let’s think for a second about what kind of commentators moderators let through and how ”trolls” differ from them. I can discern 4 different types of easy passes that people get all the time.
1) Moralists fare well on commenting sites. Those who clamour for justice, condemn criminal behaviour or criticise corrupt behaviour get always heard. Do we really benefit from their opinions? No, we don’t, as we have our knowledge of what is right and what is wrong that does not need shoring up. Also, we have our justice systems in place that should take care of morals through the verdicts that come out. If judges don’t know what they’re doing, why should the layman know? Has (s)he read more jurisprudence?
2) Lax commentators get heard. They usually write one or two lines without proper grammar or punctuation. They may swear or be generally unkind. Do we benefit from their opinions? I doubt we do. Thankfully they are brief in speech.
3) Whiners and complainers are listened to. Anyone who tell about their own anguish, bad luck and misery get a free pass. They ”cannot” be bad people. (They may have caused their own grief.) Do we benefit from their opinions? Their misery often does not translate into anything anyone else could find useful or desirable.
4) Agreers. Finally, ultimately, the last group that gets heard and affirmed a lot is those who agree with the tenor of the story in question: an article, essay, science digest, editorial or something else, such as a press release or a communique. Do we benefit from these Yes (Wo)men’s opinion? No, because we have already heard the nuclear message from the original author of the story proper.
Moderators take a tolerant to harsh stand on most other kind of feedback on their online output. The label ”troll” is easily and lightly applied to any other kind of feedback than that above and previously mentioned. Something suggests to me here that there is a need to look in the mirror.
The real reason why moderators, on behalf of original authors, take such a hostile stand on free-thinkers on the Internet is that they want the journalists’ cadre to be that force in the world that is creative, opinionated, funny, silly, analysing, thought-provocative, and summarising. Readers need to be their audience, herd and pasture; otherwise, the tables turn upside down, and those journos lose their position of being the Fourth Estate in capital initials.
Accordingly, those who are being called trolls are simply often merely people who think outside of the box, in their (wo)man-caves, free from restraints. The working definition of a troll is actually the working definition of a ”radical”: someone who wants to change the prevailing (thought) structures. This is seen as disturbing, subversive, pathological and unhealthy. Most often there is no collusion or outsourcing: any one troll is acting on his or her own, without money or assistance from other quarters.
In my estimate, trolls notoriously true to form and their name are those who
a) rejoice over someone’s death
b) reveal sensitive data about other people’s private lives
c) rouse people they know or don’t know to suicide.
They deal in sex & death, and they are a far cry from your average garden-variety middle-of-the-road atheist dissident who scribbles something down the internet. Dissidents dish out facts, whereas trolls spew out obscenities, bias, hatred against peoples and individuals and love of chaos. Thinkers are orderly, while trolls are truly unruly.
Puheen kesto: 5 min 50 sek
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