Beware; the ‘trolls’ are here

I am almost certain that when reading the word ‘troll’ one will immediately jump to the pre conceived image of a gigantic ghastly monster. However, placing all preceding perceptions aside, I’m not talking about your traditional troll that lives under a bridge, I’m talking about something of a far more serious matter.

Internet trolling.

(Image Source: Bearman Cartoons 2012)

This malevolent practice is the anti social act of causing interpersonal conflict and shock-value controversy online, in which Vanessa Thorpe details how the trolls participating in these deeds feel they can express anything and everything as a result of merely hiding under a cloak of anonymity.

This concept in itself progresses into a debate;

  • Where is the benchmark between how open or closed online forums and comments should be?

In my opinion this benchmark has been surpassed, where, as stated by Stafford 2012, this anonymity just allows people to indulge in their worst tendencies, not only towards individuals but entire social groups, resulting in online forums, YouTube channels and blogs becoming bombarded by unnecessary hateful commentary.

Misogyny, being the hatred of women or the general dislike to the gender, has been described by lecturer Tanja Dreher as what has become a hot topic for thinking about the culture of online debate and interaction and what it means for gender issues, as this misogyny in itself has been exacerbated by the anonymous attributes of Internet trolling, enabling online users to comment anonymously on female columnists and bloggers posts and articles regardless of the emotional and psychological impact of the women. However, documentations of this abuse have been recently encouraged in which campaigns such as the #mencallmethings twitter phenomenon have enabled victims of this misogyny to not only voice their concerns but to fight back in an attempt to gain further recognition on the significant issue.

So there it is, in black and white, one’s brief individual stance on the vicious practice of misogyny, which sees an aggressive and abusive manipulation of women online as a result of Internet trolling. So, it only seems natural that I leave you all with just one simple message, Watch out for the trolls.


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