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Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:36 PM

Privilege makes them do it what a study of Internet trolls reveals

The British government just put up a website with advice on how to fight back against Internet trolls. Popular Science magazine decided "trolls and spambots" were shouting down scientific debate; Christianity Today also ended online comments on its news and features, and the news service Reuters pulled the plug on its comment page for news stories. Humans have said and written nasty things about each other ever since there were humans; has the Internet changed anything? Whitney Phillips is a lecturer in communications at Humboldt State University and a media studies scholar. Her troll research, in a new book, "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things," asks the same thing. Her conclusion? "N2M" not too much.

You contend that trolls don't break new ground.

The assumption is that trolling is this aberrant thing; that trolls are sociopaths. But what makes them important culturally is not the ways in which they're aberrant but the points of overlap between trolling and behaviors in day-to-day life. Trolls are criticized for this antagonistic rhetorical style that's present in politics, in academia, in other spheres of culture, but trolling behaviors are the ones condemned as aberrant.

Trolls' strategies for getting attention are similar to the strategies employed by sensationalist media outlets that can include blogs, Buzzfeed, the Daily Mail the Daily Troll, as it's referred to that deliberately try to get people to click on stories: knee-jerk, sensationalist, exploitative coverage of often tragic stories.

Trolls aren't inventing anything. Every single trope they engage with exists in real life offline; [they are] just picking up cultural detritus and weaponizing stuff that's already on the ground.


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Reply Privilege makes them do it what a study of Internet trolls reveals (Original post)
ismnotwasm Jul 2015 OP
Romeo.lima333 Jul 2015 #1
ismnotwasm Jul 2015 #2

Response to ismnotwasm (Original post)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:50 PM

1. all comment sections should be shut down


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Response to Romeo.lima333 (Reply #1)

Wed Jul 1, 2015, 12:53 PM

2. Or consistently moderated

The problem being so many of them are a free-for-all. If a newspaper or social media established guidelines and then monitored for violations, it might help a bit I think.

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