To give this group some sort of context to those that are unfamiliar, the definition of a Troll needs to be made clear. Sometimes also referred to ‘flamers’, trolls refer to online users who’s main focus is to spread negative claims in order to defame and incite hatred towards a individual, group or organisation. Already a controversial topic of sociology, Its main characteristics are identified by academics as “hostile language, swearing, derogatory names, negative comments, threats, and sexually inappropriate comments” (Lefler 2012 , p.434). We largely agree.
Why and how has it occurred? Trolling has become a phenomenon that has arisen due to the anonymous and instantaneous access to online based organisations, businesses and social media platforms. Unlike hecklers at town meetings or vandalism on abortion clinics, the ability for a single organisation or person to have multiple personas and access to troll from anywhere in the world has rendered all hopes of identifying those responsible near impossible.
But isn’t it just words? Surely no one takes trolls seriously, or give them any time of day, many who like to play down the significance of trolls in our current online discourse. Unfortunately we wish this was the case. The difference between a face to face insult and the online posting of disgusting comments is that , everyone can see. While one can ignore the offense of a direct insult, it is the humiliation that compounds onto the severe effects of trolling. Imagine the whole world, at least your world , that is your friends and family, colleagues and church friends all witnessing a rampage of untrue sexual insults hurled at you. Imagine if one in a hundred of your acquaintances paid it a sliver of credence. Imagine having no idea who that one in a hundred is or even if it is one in a hundred or is it five in a hundred, or is it ten? All this happening at the touch of a finger from anywhere in the world-wide-web connected earth. Thus is the impact
The Video above paints an ugly example of a troll in action. Following the tragic suicide of a teenage girl in the U.S anonmyous comments, photographs and even videos depicting and mockign the deceased are circulated among the school community and sent directly to the parents and siblings of the girl. The legalities of trolling, as similar to other aspects concerning the internet have no caught on . The expert above highlight the impossible nature of trying to hunt down the culprits and even in the rare occasion of it happening, the failings of the law to offer justice.
The Amount of distress is evident and the impact on the victims should be enough to stop these types of abuses from happening. Sadly. It doesn’t . We are indeed In A Troll Troll World