Trolls. 20-30 years ago if you asked someone what a troll was you would probably be described something that looks like this:
Today, a troll is something far more sinister. As defined by Urban Dictionary, Trolls are “An internet troll is a person who uses anonymity to cause frustration, anger, impatience or to generally be disruptive for no seemingly good reason EXCEPT to be that nuisance…General troll behavior:disruptive forum posts; the posts are generally off-topic, or unnecessarily combative. Each contemporary popular website has its own sub-genre of troll”.
The reason why trolls are on my mind is due to an article that I had read recently about such a phenomenon. I have never been bothered by trolls. They simply exist to start arguments and debates and I have never had any problem simply ignoring their presence. This was a different story. Trolling may be all fun and games to the person sending out the hateful messages, but to the person receiving them it could easily building up and force them to feel harassed. It is essentially a form of cyberbullying except these are not your peers. This individual does not know you personally (usually) and they are simply doing this to get a reaction.
Trolling is a problem and unfortunately it stems from out own First Amendment rights. We have a freedom of speech and this means that we are allowed to express our opinion, even if that opinion is simply being used to elicit a reaction. The First Amendment is the reason why the Westboro Baptist Church is allowed to picket funerals of dead soldiers. It is the consequence of allowing the freedom of speech. I am not advocating that we remove our right’s as American citizens but there needs to be a line drawn between what can and cannot be said. If a line was drawn then Jessica Laney, a 16 year old who was harassed and abused until she committed suicide, would still be alive. Trolls are a problem and they need to be dealt with.
Here is an infograph about trolls for your enjoyment: