The Age of Troll
After the 2008 election of President Obama, I noticed something very off-putting. It seemed every article on Yahoo News with topics ranging from Climate Change to kittens were packed with hateful comments. These comment sections were filled with some of the vilest commentators ever. Almost a decade later I’ve encountered many, mainly Trump supporters, but Warren, Kamala, and a few Sanders supporters can be just as obnoxious. It seems behind a keyboard that the most racist, sexist, homophobic, and highly unsavory commentators infect “the internets” with their venom on every social media and new website.
In my post, American Idiocracy, I talked about “vicious idiots” or more popularly known as “internet trolls.” These are folks who are dumber than a box of rocks but feel the need to insert themselves into every debate and have an opinion (usually very wrong) about everything. Disgraced “adult Justin Biber,” a.k.a Milo Yiannopoulos, “little Ms. Bimbo babble” herself, Tomi Lahren, or Donald “King Troll” Trump comes to mind as real-life manifestations of internet trolls. They lurk everywhere online from the Washington Post.com to Youtube to Facebook, and especially on Twitter.
After my most recent encounter with two bigoted and sexist Trump supporters, it led me to come up with these three simple tactics for dealing with trolls on social media.
Step 1: Don’t bother
You have better things to do with your free time; like, read a book, binge-watch Tiger King on Netflix, walk in the rain, watch paint dry, or try erotic asphyxiation for the first time. Anything is better than wasting your time debating trolls.
Step 2: Troll Back
If you must engage trolls back, then return the favor. Now, many trolls will be too dumb to get things like wit or sarcasm. On Facebook, it’s a bit more challenging to block trolls, but there are ways to do it. I usually say my piece and move on #MicDrop. Twitter is generally much easier. I typically leave a smart ass gif, then block those stupid racist trolls so they can’t respond back. This is the only thing more satisfying than mocking Dallas Cowboys or Chicago Cubs fans.
Step 3: Enlist Back-Up
President Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR) supposedly remarked in 1939, “He may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch” in regards to Nicaragua dictator Anastasio Somoza Garcia. We all have that one friend or relative who’s a complete and total asshole. But we still love them anyway since they’re our own lovable asshole. Enlist these folks to take on trolls. Remember assholes speak the language of assholery.
Bonus: The Comments Section
Whatever you do, stop trying to have a sensible or reasoned debate with a random stranger in the comments sections of any major news site or YouTube. The comments section is where civil discourse goes to die. Do something more productive with your time, like trying a Tae Bo class. Unless you want to lose all hope in humanity.
Now, keep calm, and don’t forget to be awesome!