The Troll

by Hannah Klomp

Citizen’s have become more and more involved within the world wide web, and as I have previously blogged, citizen’s have become ‘prosumers’ and a part of a participatory culture where they are able to have a strong voice within the public sphere. This ability to broadcast any message over a multiple platforms has not only had positive effects, but also has caused the concept of ‘trolling’ where creators are being abused because of the information and views that they were ‘encouraged’ to voice.

Trolling becomes apparent when ‘humour’ and jokes go that little too far, and social network has made this phenomenon of trolling much easier to access. Over time, this discrimination has not aimed at any particular group, but instead, the ‘trolling’ has plagued the internet in a multiple of areas which has been extremely detrimental to internet users, causing negativity to be lurking around every corner.

In this week’s BCM112 lecture, the internet based trolling named as ‘misogyny’ being the harassment and abuse of females over the internet, was discussed. This type of trolling often was directed at those who, for some reason, did not ‘fit in’ with the ideas surrounding being ‘sexually attractive.’ Trolls, relating to misogyny aimed to pick on women, trying to create an emotional response to occur, which then fuel the trolls to retaliate even further.

Although trolling has occurred because of the freedom which has risen within the internet, I do not think it is the blame for its occurrence, but rather it is the user who has the power to stop the occurrence of trolling. The user is the ultimate gatekeeper of trolling and I think that more people should be aware of the ways which trolling is able to be stopped.

Rather than a user retaliating against this trolling behaviour, users need to be aware of the other ways to handle it such as a delete of a certain comment or even using the ‘well known’ report button.

Overall, everyone has their rights within social media platforms and it is critical that the ‘prosumers’ now are aware of these right as well as ways in which they can maintain them.