The Trolls Among Us - The New York Times Magazine

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CityAsylum
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bheid
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01 Aug 2008, 1:39 pm

a good article, except it makes all trolls out to be traumatised child molested people, or people who are generally hateful. that's just not true. I call that the "Hitler was a demon, not a man" syndrome, because a normal person couldn't possibly be cruel for the lulz. that attitude is incredibly naive.



nirrti_rachelle
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01 Aug 2008, 1:59 pm

bheid wrote:
a good article, except it makes all trolls out to be traumatised child molested people, or people who are generally hateful. that's just not true. I call that the "Hitler was a demon, not a man" syndrome, because a normal person couldn't possibly be cruel for the lulz. that attitude is incredibly naive.


I don't think people are ready to aknowlege how cruel ordinary people can be. It's just too scary to think your neighbor you say Hi to or the lady down the street can just as easily inflict pain on you if given the chance.

This is why people focus so much on Hitler's role in the Holocaust but don't realize that he couldn't have succeeded without the participation of ordinary citizens who hated Jews just as much.


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01 Aug 2008, 3:33 pm

strange how the word 'sociopath' was never mentioned in that article. glares out at you really.



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01 Aug 2008, 4:17 pm

The trolls are inevitable. Nature doesn't make anything exactly the same way every time. Experiments are needed to see what works as the world changes over time. And, as Alfred said in "The Dark Knight", some men just like to watch the world burn. Some people will tear down what someone else builds simply because they can. The trolls and hackers would explode with exhilaration if they caused the destruction of the world wide web and the internet.

As a result of their activities there is group seeking to build a new web from scratch. The new web would have limits and safeguards built in to prevent hackers and trolls from having such a free hand for terrorizing other users. There is no way to make it hacker-proof without losing too much usefulness to be worthwhile, but this was also predictable. What one person builds and another tears down, will be rebuilt stronger by allowing for defense against the destructive attack. Too many defenses, and no one can get in. If one person can enter, another can figure out how. And on and on the competition goes...

They should be stopped at every opportunity. The tools to do that will make the web more robust and more useful. More will take their place. More tools will be made to stop them. Evolution at the highest social level. Barf.

I do not admire them. I do not condone their acts. I think they are despicable. But building the internet and web in such a careless manner, then placing so much crucial and life-defining information on it was far worse than anything they did. Governments and corporations around the world have pretty much ripped everyone open and whispered "don't harm the entrails", then complained when someone did. Trolls and hackers are to blame for their own actions, no argument there. Who is to blame for enabling them so effectively?


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01 Aug 2008, 4:19 pm

I haven't read the article yet, but I joined another forum yesterday just to gain some perspective and I've noticed a couple of things:
1. My personality really brings out the worst in some people, and
2. There is an incredible amount of hostility on the web. I mentioned this to my boss and she said yeah, her husband won't even blog anymore.


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01 Aug 2008, 4:20 pm

MysteryFan3 wrote:
The trolls and hackers would explode with exhilaration if they caused the destruction of the world wide web and the internet.

Then what would they do? :?


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01 Aug 2008, 4:36 pm

MrMark wrote:
MysteryFan3 wrote:
The trolls and hackers would explode with exhilaration if they caused the destruction of the world wide web and the internet.

Then what would they do? :?


Whisper to them selves "Behold I am destroyer of worlds" and then weep as the gravity of what they have done finally became clear. Mainly because they would then have no excuse not to get a real job.



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01 Aug 2008, 4:57 pm

MrMark wrote:
MysteryFan3 wrote:
The trolls and hackers would explode with exhilaration if they caused the destruction of the world wide web and the internet.

Then what would they do? :?


Look for something else to tear down while the web was being rebuilt. Maybe the phone system or satellite communications. Then they'd go after the new web.


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MrMark
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01 Aug 2008, 4:57 pm

Postperson wrote:
strange how the word 'sociopath' was never mentioned in that article. glares out at you really.

Well, I've read the article now. I'm tending to think that sociopathy is probably another spectrum disorder. Like they said, “I’d say empathy is probably a factor.”


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01 Aug 2008, 6:10 pm

mm there's things in common between autism and socipathy but ugh, the 'things' of autism are errors of 'blankness' for which one generally is able to feel remorse. it works differently in sociopathy!



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01 Aug 2008, 6:29 pm

nirrti_rachelle wrote:
I don't think people are ready to aknowlege how cruel ordinary people can be. It's just too scary to think your neighbor you say Hi to or the lady down the street can just as easily inflict pain on you if given the chance.

Sad to say, I think you hit the nail on the head. Ordinary people are about as cruel as they can be, even as they wrap themselves in the flag, or preach about virtue as they spout passages from the bible. :x

All I have to do is look around my office. There are way too many 'ordinary' people, fairly popping with piety, just waiting to inflict pain on anyone who is considered weak or different. For them it is nothing more than cheap entertainment with a little self-affirmation as the icing on the cake. :eew:

Trolls are at about the same level - trivial people without conscience.



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01 Aug 2008, 6:50 pm

Postperson wrote:
mm there's things in common between autism and socipathy but ugh, the 'things' of autism are errors of 'blankness' for which one generally is able to feel remorse. it works differently in sociopathy!

I was thinking more in terms of a chemical imbalance. Some have little empathy, some have a lot. I'm not convinced that lack of empathy is necessarily an autistic trait, only that some NT doctors think it is.


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01 Aug 2008, 10:39 pm

bheid wrote:
a good article, except it makes all trolls out to be traumatised child molested people


No it doesn't, it just says one troll was molested as a child. That's like when people said that an article about me "made all autistic people out to be low-functioning". Citing one instance doesn't make "all" such people out to be anything. (And I don't view myself as 'low-functioning', it's just a label and stereotype I tend to attract.)

However, I do think that what they describe is very, very rooted in normal behavior. I also think it's hateful -- hate is very rooted in normal behavior too after all. There's no contradiction, in my eyes, between showing someone as hateful and showing them as normal. And the article said many times they were normal in other aspects.


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02 Aug 2008, 2:29 am

Trolls search for reactions and are generally normal people. Those who go so far as to create grief for the family of a dead person are above the level of a troll and more on the level of 'sociopath' considering how anti-social this behavior is. Cowards? Yes, I think so. Most of these people wouldn't ever openly do anything harmful to anybody else, but give them anonymity and one's Id gets a lot of free reign.



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02 Aug 2008, 1:18 pm

I remember early on in internet history(1992), when I was at a 12 step meeting. Some one said they went to telnet chat rooms and exhibited the worst kind of trolling behaviour. When I asked him why, he looked at me with a straight face and said 'ah. . those people aren't REAL'.
When I told him I was definately real and on the telnet chat he had the grace to look thunderstruck. . .but as he was showing off in front of his wife and another couple that were there visiting, he just turned his back on me and kept talking to them.

so - I learned long ago that trolls could dismiss what they do as some sort of video game and somehow it was all our faults if we took it 'wrong'.

Merle


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