Hey everyone, lets talk about trolls.
An internet troll is a person who assumes a fake opinion, or even a fake identity, simply to make you react. He may argue points that he know is bullshit, yet pretend to be honest simply of the pleasure of pissing you off.
Such trolls may sometimes derail discussions, making these discussions far less interesting than they otherwise would be. Some of them may even hurt people’s feelings, and shit like that.
You have all heard this before, and it is certainly true. You may also have heard that trolls are a huge problem. That part is rarely true, however. In many cases, paranoid false accusations of trollhood does far more damage than the trolls themselves.
When is it that you think of someone as a troll? Whether you say it outright or not?
This varies from person to person, of course. But chances are good that you are tempted to see people as trolls whenever they disagree with you, whenever they use arguments that doesn’t suit you, or whenever they have backgrounds and lived experiences that doesn’t fit what you are used to.
When you have an opinion or belief, you are inclined to see this opinion or belief as being THE TRUTH. Yet, people will contradict you? Surely they actually agree with you, but pretend to believe otherwise simply to spite you! People who deny your truths are raining on your parade – surely they must be trolls! Even more so if they think differently than you do.
Furthermore, you know what life is like. You know this, because you live your own life and have heard about lives of others. When a life is different from what you are used to, it looks as if your preconceptions are really prejudices rather than wisdom. And we can’t have that, can we? Surely those who are different from you are trolls, too.
With “you”, I mean each person in the world. Whether they actually read this post or not.
On the whole, seeing people as trolls do far more damage that actual trolls does. Best option is usually to listen to people and take for granted that what they say may indeed be honest. It may be wise to have some reservations that people might be trolls, but be very careful with using such reservations to dismiss people.