Sunday, March 25, 2012

Trolling for your soul

" TROLLS are hard to find in the real world, but all too common in the virtual one. “Trolling”—posting wilfully inflammatory, off-topic or simply stupid remarks—plagues blogs and other online forums"

"Trolling is a side-effect of online anonymity," the author of the article opens the second paragraph with, "The problem is that so many people behave like one". The author even quotes Judith Donath, an internet expert at Harvard University, on 'trolling'. She refers to it as a “game about identity deception”.

Yet what is the effects of a 'troll' on the future of American Society? Qhile most 'trolls' 'troll' for humour - whether it's making others laugh or just themselves - trolling can actually say a lot about society. "Naive questions from well-meaning newcomers attract irritable responses. Quiet and reasonable voices get drowned out," The author explains, furthering the point by even claiming, "Trolls may commit the virtual equivalent of a physical assault."

To show how serious Trolls can be, the author mentions a " particularly nasty case in 2006 online bullies e-mailed photographs of a teenager’s corpse, badly mutilated in a car accident, to the grieving family". And the problem with trolls is "Even if a troll is kicked off an online forum, he can often simply sign up again under a different name."

Facebook was praised in the article for being a great anti-troll site. While people can still troll - though they'd have to work hard to do so - People have to put all this information that rids of that online anonymity. People can directly address the troll. While trolling is world wide, what makes trolling so American (in most cases) is how they argue and flaunt about their freedom of speech and right to remain anonymous.

Other sites are now using Facebook as a way of logging in to comment or access things. By making their comments public, it reduces numbers of those who want to troll. "The move also raises fears. Facebook has already accumulated a remarkable amount of data—and not just about its users’ online, but their real-world activities: messages, pictures, calendars, likes and dislikes, even shopping."

While it isn't fair for everyone to lose their anonymity, it could help solve certain issues and cases. "If governments did that, the result would be outrage" however. People would lose their freedom of speech - or anonymous freedom of speech. And lots of people like that they can say things that they couldn't usually, yet we do discover trolls and people who have a very dark sense of humour (and even worse than that, some who aren't even trolling and generally believe what they say). It shows us American's "secret" identities in this way... the side that people don't always wish to be associated with.

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