I have learned a great deal about trolls and negative comments in the past few days, more so than I would have cared to admittedly but it really did shine a light on things for me. I have some friends who have been trolled, some viciously in fact, and I always put that down to their controversial postings or the fact that they are more popular than my site in particular and that is why they got the hate, so that people could somehow try to piggyback off what they were doing.
Je Suis Ahmed
I’ll be completely honest and say that if there is something trending and I have a piece on it, I will certainly share my stuff to gain a little bit of traction, only where relevant of course, I have always considered that to be good business sense. Mexico wins an award for tourism and I repost a piece of content as to why I love the country, makes perfect sense. We have to however, be able to understand the integrity of someone and when they are just being honest, like I did recently following the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices, following a cartoon which they posted which was seen by some as attack, or a mocking of Islam.
As the hate-filled comments started to pour in, I had simply expressed my sadness at what had happened, I began to obsess slightly over who these people were and what they were looking to gain. I quickly realized that all of these people had in common was that they were angry, not particularly at me, or Charlie Hebdo, perhaps not even at religion, just angry people with nothing to do but hate.
I have a friend who had something similar happen to her after these attacks and I must say that her’s were far more vicious than mine, nonetheless it was another insight into the trolling culture.
I am not entirely sure what can be done about this troll situation and I have even been told that there are some troll farms which have been set up, that apparently have people working for them who will use comments to try and drive some kind of agenda, and that is something which we should all be concerned about.
Personally I have thick skin and have no problem per se with the trolling that came in, I am however very concerned for the future of social media and the future in particular of politics if we allow these trolls to start up conversations with a point to prove moving forward or indeed to try and shape the conversation as they see fit, that is certainly dangerous territory and the results could be catastrophic.
Have you guys had any experience with this awful trolling? What do you think we can do to prevent countries and businesses using trolls to change the landscape? As always, let me know in the comments.