Why do we focus so much on Trolls?

No, I mean it. Why?

There are so many times where we take the absolute worst minority of a group and label them to be the group Entire. I'm not just talking about Politically. We do it with fandoms all the time. We gamers must always be represented by the angry minority that the news wants to zero in on. Like with the Ooblets developer and the threats he received. I think they are horrible, but they are no more or less disturbing than the death threats AOC gets on the regular.

No, I take that back. What Ooblets received are less disturbing because political murders are happening all the time. Death threats should be the tone that sounds when you turn on Xbox Live, because that's pretty much what immature people who say things to get a rise out of you will do.

But I'm not going to look at CM156 (sorry, you're the only one I remember saying that you're Conservative and that you've voted for and will Vote for Trump again... and even that's fuzzy in my head) and believe he's capable of making threats to AOC. I definitely never called anyone the N-word or the K-word in my life, and I don't tell people to kill themselves if I disagree with them. You've all seen what I do when I disagree with people. I stay polite and end the conversation.

Regardless, with seemingly unflinching regularity, everyone finds the worse representation of a group and we have to believe that's how everyone truly deep down. Even though we know we're apart of groups and we're not where near the crazies who also call themselves members of our group.

Why? Why do we give Trolls so much attention and ignore the good or simply regular members of the group? George P. Bush, the Grandson of the first President Bush, came out and in no uncertain terms blasted White Nationalism and said that it was a real and present threat. the Developers of a video game called Darq rejected an Epic Game Store exclusivity deal and the gamers came out in droves to support him. So much so that he can afford to make new extra levels after feedback.

This is what most groups are there aren't about hate. Either we're doing little to nothing, or we're coming through for people that need our help. But we're always summed up by our lunatic fringe elements.

We're thinking, rational people. Why do we keep doing this when we KNOW we have those lunatics in our own groups, but we know we're not like them?

Homestuck was very popular.

People suck. Talk with persons, not people, because people will always disappoint you.

Ignoring a troll will just make them work harder. Talking / getting up a troll just makes them work harder. They will do everything in their power to make you react. You NOT reacting drives them more, becuase now they have won. Because NOT reacting is actually reacting. And the narrative is only driven by the troll.

Lastly, how often/ fast have you realised that you're interacting with a troll. Sure, there are some quite clearly stating it from the outset. Some are far more clever than anyone is giving them credit from. Also Mitch McConnell is a troll. He sat on his hands and 'lalala' so those Libtards couldn't win. Ultimate trolling. So is Trump. They're on top of the world right now.

I see that Macron decided to trolled Trump this weekend. I don't like him but I say good on him. I dare say the only way to interact appropriately with Trump is act like him

In politics it's the sneaky half truth version of straw manning. You deliberately only focus on the trolls because its easier to look smart and have the moral high ground vs the stupid extreme mouthbreathers than people with nuanced and thought out opinions.

Because we all have an inherent sense of justice, decency and fairness, and trolls violate that. Our outraged sense of justice is a strong impulse.
The media signal boosting trollish instances are simply following the human interest and what gets more responses.

Because trolls have gone beyond being annoying idiots who are a bit of a pain, to virulent abusive shitlords who think nothing of spewing horrifically abusive harassment, in part because most of the rest of the community and far too many social media platforms are unwilling to reign them in until (and sometimes not even then) it draws negative media attention.

Also, because there are people making money off of whipping people into a frenzy of hatred and pointing them at people.

Moreover the loudest voices in the room are the ones that get heard the most. And when those voices are SCREAMING ABUSE AND HARASSMENT AT THE TOP OF THEIR LUNGS and the rest of the room is doing nothing to stop them, their going to be heard more than everyone else and seen as representing them, even if their outnumbered by the ones who aren't.

Look, yes, the ooblets dev f***ed up with his initial announcement. It was tone deaf, and riled up a lot of people for good reason. That said, he and his wife did not deserve anywhere near what they got in abuse. It was vile, excessive, uncalled for, and it absolutely cost those who had every right to be upset the moral high ground.

They make it dangerous to cross bridges, and it's not safe to go over fords without a proper offroad vehicle.

* * *

I would strongly suggest trolls are very unhappy people. Seriously, what sort of person spends their day trying to piss people off for amusement? How fucked up are they? What vast well of misery and lack of self-esteem do they have in their lives that the only way they have to feel better is to unload their malfunctions on others? How many of them have tragically lost so much ability to connect with others that this is their only way of doing it?

Perhaps we should just send them messages of sympathy. It's probably more what they need in their lives.

Well, mainly because trolls are the loudest, but you also make one mistake. You don't really say what you mean by troll. Because we like to lump groups in as trolls, but by definition a troll is someone who doesn't believe what they are saying and the probably don't but at using it to just shit on other people, you forget about the people that do honestly believe in really shitty things.

Agema:

Seriously, what sort of person spends their day trying to piss people off for amusement?

Jeremy Beadle?

Baffle2:

Agema:

Seriously, what sort of person spends their day trying to piss people off for amusement?

Jeremy Beadle?

lol.

He was more a prankster though - and the targets would always be invited in on the joke before it went too far. There was something quite annoying about him, his mannerisms or whatever, although IIRC, he was reputed to be an extremely kindly person, full of compassion for others.

Agema:

He was more a prankster though - and the targets would always be invited in on the joke before it went too far. There was something quite annoying about him, his mannerisms or whatever, although IIRC, he was reputed to be an extremely kindly person, full of compassion for others.

Yes, I understand he was actually very nice once he stopped pretending to repossess your car (no really, he supposedly was).

Trolls who are simply trying to get a rise I can ignore. Trolls who are spreading genuinely dangerous misinformation I feel need some opposition if only to stop other people coming along and believing them

Because they are very loud and difficult to ignore at times. Frustratingly, this is a mentality I have fought and railed against my entire adult life, and it's more prevalent now than ever before and wormed itself into many more walks of life than gaming (although one could argue it's been in politics for longer than video games existed).

One of my favorite Extra Credits videos was the one on toxic behavior, actually managing to make me feel just a bit of sympathy for these people... but not that much.

ObsidianJones:

Why do we focus so much on Trolls?

Death threats should be the tone that sounds when you turn on Xbox Live, because that's pretty much what immature people who say things to get a rise out of you will do.

Re-read that and ask yourself the question: why do you focus on the death threats when talking about Xbox Live?

Regardless, with seemingly unflinching regularity, everyone finds the worse representation of a group and we have to believe that's how everyone truly deep down.

Citation needed. I'm serious. Why are you accusing everyone of believing that when it may be just a few misfits?

Why? Why do we give Trolls so much attention and ignore the good or simply regular members of the group? George P. Bush, the Grandson of the first President Bush, came out and in no uncertain terms blasted White Nationalism and said that it was a real and present threat. the Developers of a video game called Darq rejected an Epic Game Store exclusivity deal and the gamers came out in droves to support him. So much so that he can afford to make new extra levels after feedback.

Equating White Nationalist supporters to trolls (let alone to devs with Epic Game Store exclusivity deals) is messed up, man!

EDIT: I'm not putting the first two replies as an irony or hypocrisy gotcha. I genuinely want to know where are you coming from, and what answers you get once you ask the same question to yourself when you do the same.

CaitSeith:
Re-read that and ask yourself the question: why do you focus on the death threats when talking about Xbox Live?

Because I got death threats as well. For beating people in Halo 3. And in Rainbow Six. Over a game. Over playing the way it's supposed to be played.

I'm not the only one. While Death Threats aren't my most favorite part of the internet (and xbox live), I realized it was a small portion of the actual gaming experience and I shrugged it off as background noise.

Citation needed. I'm serious. Why are you accusing everyone of believing that when it may be just a few misfits?

Yup. I used the word 'everyone'. I should have said most people. Apologies.

Equating White Nationalist supporters to trolls (let alone to devs with Epic Game Store exclusivity deals) is messed up, man!

EDIT: I'm not putting the first two replies as an irony or hypocrisy gotcha. I genuinely want to know where are you coming from, and what answers you get once you ask the same question to yourself when you do the same.

...

I'm saying not all Republicans are ready to ignore White Nationalists in tune of Trump's rhetoric. Some are ready to stand up and say without any ambiguity that White Nationalists are a threat to the American way. That was the point. Likewise, I'm pointing out an instance when a group of gamers took it upon themselves to support a developer even when they had no reason to do so. A vast many of them bought the game with no interest in it because they understood the risk the developer made, yet chose to do right by his audience by honoring his promises.

I'm showing good and decent actions done by members of often unfairly maligned groups who are characterized by their most vocal and toxic minorities.

Like, I would love to believe this is where you're coming from. And I'm holding open the door in case that's true.

But yeah, this feels like a gotcha. And yeah, it's starting this conversation off on a wrong foot. I've said "We" a lot. I AM including myself in this. The Title is "Why do we focus so much on Trolls?". My last Sentence was this.

Why do we keep doing this when we KNOW we have those lunatics in our own groups, but we know we're not like them?

This is calling for everyone, and once again, including me, to reflect on our actions and judgments. I'm not going to be foolish enough to have a thread "Why do you all focus so much on Trolls" when I understand I'm as weak and as human as everyone else. To understand, one must not only call out the problems in the world, but admit it in themselves as well. I'm doing that. All throughout this post.

... So, I answered you. I'm asking because I see it in myself, and I see others doing the same as well. Yet I'm going to save my question because it feels like I just want to blast back at you, and this was actually a thread with the attempt of mutual understanding. And doing that will not serve that purpose.

Online or in meatspace: we pay attention t ok the loud and obnoxious (see Carlos Mencia) and as they say the squeeky wheel gets the oil

I honestly think we do it because its easy. Empathy, understanding, respect and mutual regard - all of that is hard, and its finite. You can run out of energy/will to empathize with a person and we all just have real life and real humans to deal with day to day that consume a lot of what there is to give. When I encounter a jackass I could do the right thing and try to understand why they're angry or talk to them, or I could tell them to fuck off, file them and everyone who agreed with them even peripherally as pricks and neatly strike off a whole swath of people as those I don't have to deal with.

Thats why I don't understand how a person can seriously believe being an aggressive douche for this or that cause helps you at all. Full honesty I'm glad when I can safely de-list a group from my energy pool because between work and family there's only so much left to dole out. Being angry at a troll takes zero effort or investment, so given the first chance I and many others are happy to say "oh you're all douche bags - get fucked douche bags". Worrying about grans hip is taking a lot of my empathy and the fewer groups I have to stretch the remainder over the better.

I'm sure many people are less fundamentally aware of it, but everybody does it. The further you are from family the easier it is, and things like devs, fans, political groups and so on who don't even exist in meatspace for many of us are the furthest thing from an empathy priority.

ObsidianJones:

CaitSeith:

Regardless, with seemingly unflinching regularity, everyone finds the worse representation of a group and we have to believe that's how everyone truly deep down.

Citation needed. I'm serious. Why are you accusing everyone of believing that when it may be just a few misfits?

Yup. I used the word 'everyone'. I should have said most people. Apologies.

OK. Let's say for sake of argument that I agree with your premise about everyone/most of us identifying whole groups by their worst members. I'd then say it depends on how vocal they are and how much leniency the rest of the group gives them; different groups have different standards for their worst members. Even the term Troll in this topic kinda downplays the consequences of the fringe's actions, and it groups together highly malicious members with pranky troublemakers. So, here is a question: if we are willing to ignore the Trolls' noise (the usual recommendation for dealing with Trolls), why not to ignore the unfair grouping noise too? What's the difference? Both are just noise.

ObsidianJones:

CaitSeith:
Re-read that and ask yourself the question: why do you focus on the death threats when talking about Xbox Live?

Because I got death threats as well. For beating people in Halo 3. And in Rainbow Six. Over a game. Over playing the way it's supposed to be played.

I'm not the only one. While Death Threats aren't my most favorite part of the internet (and xbox live), I realized it was a small portion of the actual gaming experience and I shrugged it off as background noise.

I don't think its necessarily comparable to a 13 year old saying they would kill you on xbox live. Trolls run the ages all the way up to seniors. There are adults who will send death threats, and I think its a little different when there are several thousand of them and they find out where you live and like to go. People get calls on their personal phones and death threat messages containing their adresses. And I think its totally different for us normal people who have the fact we are just another of the millions of normal people compared to those internet personas with tons of people watching them.

It's only a minority but a minority on the internet can still mean thousands of people. Wouldn't it disturb you and make you paranoid to know that thousands of people want to find you, have the means through doxxing and might want to seriously kill/harm you? Not really comparable to a handful of shitheads on xbox live.

Remember when a fan who was 'oh so In love' with Meg Turney came to her house and went to kill her boyfriend Gavin he brought a gun, they managed to hide from him and call the cops and the dude killed himself in the driveway. Don't you think stuff like that makes them worry every time they get another hundred death threats? You're right that most aren't serious but how do we know?

Not sure why we should be treating them differently to bullies in the meatspace really, just cos they're utilising an even more cowardly avenue to avoid repercussions.

We focus on trolls because they hide under bridges and try to eat anyone who crosses them.

...what? You mean those aren't the trolls you're talking about?

If a group being labelled is one an individual doesn't associate with, align with or doesn't care to know more intimately, they're going to see the anomalies within it as the potential of the remaining whole, and why dive deeper for anything less than an intellectual pursuit? No, that group has a disease, so I'm gonna stay over here and tell my group to give that group a wide berth. When I moved to Texas 9 years ago, I didn't notice the literal tens of thousands of perfectly fine drivers; what I did notice was the handful of drivers (and I use that term loosely) who cut me off, crossed three lanes of traffic to make a right turn 200 feet ahead, drove 10 mph under the speed limit, etc.; I noticed enough of them to report back home to my Ohio folks that "Texans can't drive." And 9 years later, as that "handful" has itself grown to "literal tens of thousands," I stand by that statement; Texans can NOT drive; these bastards should have stayed on horseback because cars are not their thing; they just can't do it. I mean, come the fuck ON; the same left lane has been shut down for construction for a week and a half; how is it half of these assholes don't notice the huge, blinking, bright orange, right-pointing "lane closed" arrow visible from a half mile away until they're sitting in front of it at a dead stop with their blinker on waiting for traffic to stop and let them back into the flow?!?!.... What was the topic again?

Fieldy409:
I don't think its necessarily comparable to a 13 year old saying they would kill you on xbox live. Trolls run the ages all the way up to seniors. There are adults who will send death threats, and I think its a little different when there are several thousand of them and they find out where you live and like to go. People get calls on their personal phones and death threat messages containing their adresses. And I think its totally different for us normal people who have the fact we are just another of the millions of normal people compared to those internet personas with tons of people watching them.

It's only a minority but a minority on the internet can still mean thousands of people. Wouldn't it disturb you and make you paranoid to know that thousands of people want to find you, have the means through doxxing and might want to seriously kill/harm you? Not really comparable to a handful of shitheads on xbox live.

Remember when a fan who was 'oh so In love' with Meg Turney came to her house and went to kill her boyfriend Gavin he brought a gun, they managed to hide from him and call the cops and the dude killed himself in the driveway. Don't you think stuff like that makes them worry every time they get another hundred death threats? You're right that most aren't serious but how do we know?

Why not? We have the term Swatting because of how many people use any means necessary to harm or mess with gamers who are beating them in a certain game. We, sadly, have situations of people finding players after a game and choking them. There are videos of fights that happen in video game cafes. "Grown men" send texts to eleven year olds threatening to shoot up their schools. Overwatch is Over Watch.

And we can easily get into streamers. Like the streamer who was dropped from her sponsors after tweeting men are trash over a tasteless picture. She got stupid threats over it. Summit1G was so unnerved that he didn't leave his house for a few days. Amouranth considers it normal to receive such attention, which is unfortunate. Dr. Disrespect was shot at, Twice.

Let me be clear. This isn't to forgive or explain away this behavior. It's not even to excuse it because it's common place. The purpose of this thread is that I feel we erroneously attribute the behavior of the deplorables to the group they identify with, and I think that is a disservice. The death threats I received weren't due because those people were gamers. It would be wrong and strictly false of me to label gamers as the problem. It's due to those people being wrong in the head. If we were playing tennis, they would probably do the same. If this was chess, they would rage. Driving, you name it.

Because, yes, it does happen. A Gambler threatening Athletes (Bonus Racism Find!). Soccer players being killed because of one goal. FootBall Hooliganism. High School Basketball (little racism in that one as well). Singing while Kneeling and merely talking to Jay-z and Beyonce receives death threats in this darkest timeline.

It's not because these people are fans of Beyonce, Soccer, or ignoring the very police brutality that still threatens the players' lives that they spewed vile things. It's because they are vile people. The Beyhive (I feel dirty typing that out) shouldn't be labeled for the actions of a fraction. Nor should Soccer (Football) fans be likened to Hooliganism, or Gamblers as potentially violent and racist sore losers. These people's disgusting actions should be their own cross. If you willingly go to a subset of a group in strict efforts to cause damage and mayhem, then fine, that subset should be known for violence. But not the group that they originally spawned from.

Because this is the important bit... That group has no organization, no charter, and no control over what a group of people decide to do on their own. We always should go after the perpretator of a crime, not anyone who has a tenuous link but has never had anything to do with the actual crime. That's what despots do.

CaitSeith:
OK. Let's say for sake of argument that I agree with your premise about everyone/most of us identifying whole groups by their worst members. I'd then say it depends on how vocal they are and how much leniency the rest of the group gives them; different groups have different standards for their worst members. Even the term Troll in this topic kinda downplays the consequences of the fringe's actions, and it groups together highly malicious members with pranky troublemakers. So, here is a question: if we are willing to ignore the Trolls' noise (the usual recommendation for dealing with Trolls), why not to ignore the unfair grouping noise too? What's the difference? Both are just noise.

Because of reputation. You deal with the offender, not the offender's grouping if they didn't actively take place in the crime.

If a man beats up another man due to their beef, you don't look at the group of people he plays Basketball pick-up games on the weekend and wonder if they had a hand in the crime or are as capable of the same amount of violence. It would be illegal to do so.

It's because Defamation is such an important part of our daily lives that in the American legal system, Defamation is covered in two distinct ways so there is no wiggle room. Libel and Slander. Reputation is key to almost all aspects of life. It's not what you know, it's who you know. Or more to the point, what people know about you.

There's a reason why if I'm pulled over by the police, they check my background. If I'm free and clear, they assume they have no reason to worry about me and give me my ticket to send me on my way. But if my background comes through that I have known gang affiliations, they know to give me a closer one over. It does not become 'just noise' if it can be used to justifiably scrutinize you even though you've done nothing wrong.

Sidebar. Do not ignore Trolls who threaten your life or hurl racial epithets. Report them. Not only to dissuade such tactics, but for your own personal safety.

Trolls who say you suck? Not worth your time.

Because they're an easily digestible form of content that engages our anger centers as much as our comedy centers.

EvilRoy:
I honestly think we do it because its easy. Empathy, understanding, respect and mutual regard - all of that is hard, and its finite. You can run out of energy/will to empathize with a person and we all just have real life and real humans to deal with day to day that consume a lot of what there is to give. When I encounter a jackass I could do the right thing and try to understand why they're angry or talk to them, or I could tell them to fuck off, file them and everyone who agreed with them even peripherally as pricks and neatly strike off a whole swath of people as those I don't have to deal with.

Thats why I don't understand how a person can seriously believe being an aggressive douche for this or that cause helps you at all. Full honesty I'm glad when I can safely de-list a group from my energy pool because between work and family there's only so much left to dole out. Being angry at a troll takes zero effort or investment, so given the first chance I and many others are happy to say "oh you're all douche bags - get fucked douche bags". Worrying about grans hip is taking a lot of my empathy and the fewer groups I have to stretch the remainder over the better.

I'm sure many people are less fundamentally aware of it, but everybody does it. The further you are from family the easier it is, and things like devs, fans, political groups and so on who don't even exist in meatspace for many of us are the furthest thing from an empathy priority.

Been away from my computer for a bit, otherwise I'd have responded earlier, but there's truth in this. Now, that's not to say that there aren't some people you can't just instantly label as terrible and be correct about. But there's plenty of people you can instantly label as terrible and be only probably or possibly correct about, and it's often too much effort to not just lump them in with the others.

 

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