Under The digital Bridge.



Photo Source: http://www.etsy.com/listing/77707001/vintage-troll-doll

These days, trolls are a real problem. The shadowy figures lurking beneath bridges should be the least of your worries though. It seems that when people lose face to face interaction, they lose a sense of responsibility, respect, and seem to have no filters. Hate flows like a river in the form of racist, sexist, and downright offensive remarks. Cyber bullying is on the rise and there seems to be no end in sight. Have the morals of our society been downgraded with this influx of technology? Is the hate we are seeing the same amount as before, just more easily seen? Are people living with split personalities, or is how a person interacts online what really shows there true character? These are difficult questions that are crucial to understanding where our society is headed, and what actions must be taken if a diversion is necessary.

In reference to our society’s morals, I do believe that we have taken a step back in recent years. I’m not going to blame it all on technology, but I must say the internet has played a large part. Here’s a broader look at the morals of today’s society, which doesn’t specifically focus on online interactions. http://agnosticism-atheism.yoexpert.com/ethics-and-morality/do-ethics-matter-a-21st-century-view-on-morality-643.html I believe online actions are at the epicenter of this issue, but are not the only topic that should be discussed. I think most people can admit that the internet has brought about negativity in all of us at times. Some people however, are extremely hateful when given access to this valuable resource. Here’s great advice on how to deal with some of this negativity on a daily basis. http://www.cnn.com/2011/TECH/social.media/06/01/digital.haters.netiquette/index.html Trolls on the other hand are a different issue. I think that these kinds of people are destined to behave like animals, online or not. Some of the actions by trolls described in “Unmasking Reddits Violentacrez the Biggest Troll on the Web” made me sick. Like when asked the creepiest thing he’d done a troll replied “perhaps oral sex with my 19 year old step daughter.” I believe that as a society we must choose to ignore this kind of person because they really aren’t worth acknowledging.

Regardless of the method of communication, people should realize that they are accountable for what they say. Living with a different personality when nobody knows who you are is just ridiculous. The thoughts that flow freely when people are anonymous are just suppressed when contact is face to face. This is done to avoid conflict with ones beliefs, and is a sign of a coward.

Do you believe that trolls and other extreme online haters should be allowed to post anything they want? Where should the line be drawn?

What actions do you think contribute the greatest towards sparking an online twitter war, etc.?


23 thoughts on “Under The digital Bridge.

  1. I don’t think people should be able to post whatever. Clearly, it is an issue especially when it leads to online bullying and hurt people. I’m not sure how Facebook has it set up (since I’ve avoided it) but I think you should be able to remove another person’s mean comment. I know you can block people but sometimes that creates different issues. I wish social media almost had a sensor and would prevent people from saying mean things but people would argue that is taking away freedom of speech. I think online sometimes everyone wants to get the last word in so then these twitter wars happen. It’s sad but again, you can block people.

  2. On the internet, everyone’s comments and posts can’t be single handily monitored every second to see if it offends someone or not, so I think that there is no way to prevent trolls to stop posting harsh and nasty comments. People could just ignore that fact that someone keeps putting trash on their page, but eventually I think it would become an annoyance. I think the actions that contribute to twitter wars or any other agreements online are 1.ignorance and 2. voicing your opinion that someone does not agree with. You could simply post a comment on Youtube, for example, stating you view of the video and someone could reply very negatively. Or someone could post something that has nothing to do with the video that is harassing, racist, or threatening and people can go back and forth for days.

  3. There is not enough censoring on the internet. I don’t think trolls should be allowed to post anything they want. There have been many stories lately in the news about cyberbullying. A lot of cyberbullying stems from these comments that trolls are making. Things that you would never think you would hear out loud are being stated on the internet. The comments are extremely harsh regarding anything form religion and race to gender identity. In several cases, there have been suicides that claim cyberbullying as the reason. Being able to report or block someone is the right step in the way to prevent these troll’s harmful comments.

  4. The internet is a free-for-all. No one can control who posts what online and unfortunately people take advantage of it. People need to be taught how to behave online. It seems without rule and regulations people run amuck and forget everything they learned in school and they also forget their manners. The actions I think that lead to people sparking online blog wars is that they feel invincible behind a computer screen. When they aren’t face-to-face they (people) have a different persona and we see them for what they really are. The line that should be drawn is the same one that should be drawn as if they were in public. People need to respect who they are and the people around them even online.

  5. I dont think that online trolls should be able to post whatever they like, because not only does it reflect on them as a person but it also hurts the person they are commenting towards. Also, if they dont have anything nice to say then why are they wasting their own time commenting on these posts and giving their input..they obviously dont care. The lines should be drawn in the sense that people should be smart enough not to do things like this.

    Also, I think that arguments and disagreements about certain topics and issues contribute the most to online twitter wars. They give people the rush to want to win a war with someone else, publicly.

  6. No, I don’t think that trolls and other extreme online haters should be allowed to post anything they want on the internet. Some of their comments are mean and hurtful, and some people take those comments to heart. It’s in a way just like bullying, I mean if someone was to say these mean things in person we would say that they are a bully. Same thing goes for online, just because we don’t know the physical appearance of the person and we can’t see them doesn’t make it okay for them to say these mean things. I think the line should be drawn when the person’s language starts to get out of hand, nobody wants to read vulgarity.

    When it comes to twitter and online wars I think people kind of add fuel to the fire. For example, if someone said something mean to you rather then ignoring it you would probably reply, and maybe even say something mean back. I’ve witnessed twitter wars between people I know, and although they can be entreating some of the things being said can be very hurting to ones feelings. We have to be careful when it comes to online sites like Twitter because what we say is a direct reflection of who we are.

  7. People should be allowed freedom of speech online but trolls should have the ability to lose this privilege just like a murderer has the ability to lose his/her freedom. People need to come together as one and stand up against it but most people write it off as “trolls will be trolls”. It’s a very strange phenomenon when a person screaming for help gets nothing from those watching at a distance. Bullying is still a problem not just online but in the physical world as well. Until people really make a stand it will continue to happen. There are a few problems I see when it comes to trolling. One, not everyone agrees that trolling is even a problem worth expending time and resources on. Two, some people troll without even intending to do so: they just simply disagree or perhaps that is just their personality. Three, it is very hard to stop someone from expressing their right to freedom of speech in this country. With that being said there should be a line drawn just like how we have laws which draw the line between freedom and jail. If someone loses their life because of a troll then he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. There should be no reason why a person would not be punished for hurting someone so badly with words. Our laws unfortunately say nothing about trolling so they can’t be charged with murder even though they indirectly caused it. The best thing to do against a troll is ignore him. If he doesn’t get the response he wants he will leave and go somewhere else. Trolls have always and will always exist in our society as long as there is power to be won.

    When it comes to Twitter wars nobody wants to be called wrong. I think it has everything to do with a person’s ego. I remember this girl I knew who entered a contest for the W.R.I.F. radio station posted on Facebook that she only lost because she didn’t have any tattoos. She went on to say that she wouldn’t do anything like that to her body just to win a contest. Next thing you know you have 10 people responding to it saying things like “I have tattoos and I’m not trashy”. Then you have people defending her saying she didn’t mean it like that. In a world where that information can be seen by everyone it is important to people that what they say has meaning, relevance, and most of all is praised.

  8. I don’t believe that the internet has made us more or less moral, nor do I think that we as a people have become less moral in recent years. I do think that the general public’s access to questionable content has increased and the ability of trolls to have their voice heard has similarly increased. I don’t think that this is a crisis or so harmful to society that we need to further censor internet content. Alternatively, I think companies should recognize the demand / opportunity to provide filtering services that allow parents and those with sensitive feeling to avoid or disable unwanted content. This is a business opportunity, not a political, religious or philosophical issue.

  9. No I don’t, I believe comments should be reviewed before being published on a site. I understand Facebook comments and twitter cannot be regulated, but for blogs, newspaper articles, YouTube and other places comments are be left, the owner of that site should view comments before letting them be published. Comments can really hurt a person and can cause them to do something to themselves. When people attack others race, religion, education, political views, in a hateful way. Its obvious we all have our own opinions and views, but you can speak your mind in a respectable way.

  10. Freedom of the speech on the internet really is a difficult issue to solve. In theory, everyone should have the right to say anything they want. However, when bullies and trolls begin to harm others, then it obviously is not ok. Bullies need to be taken seriously on any medium they happen to be at and they shouldn’t be able to hurt anyone anywhere. A lot of people have felt, some way or another, how it feels to be picked on, and it absolutely sucks. Being bullied on the internet can lead to some serious problems for the victim and that’s where I think the line should be drawn, when a person is being harassed by someone else.

  11. The use of social media communication for these people (trolls) is like honey for bees, they are attracted to these sites because they can post any comment they want without having the knowledge that bad comments can hurt someone, again this is a form of cyberbullying. Usually those people (trolls) fake their identity. Your blog describes something very important; maybe when those people (trolls) lost their ability for face-to-face interaction, they lost their sense of what was right or wrong, because they don’t see the expressions and reactions of the person that receives their comments. Those people (trolls) should be responsible for the consequences they cause to their victims. It is hard to answer your first question, no, I don’t think those people should be allowed to post comments that can hurt someone. However, it will be very hard for sites to stop those comments since a troll can quickly post a provocative comment and then erase it after only a few minutes; the problem is that the damage may have already been done to the victim.

  12. Hate, bigotry and racism have always existed and in the past, people who carry these hateful sentiments mostly did so behind closed doors or amongst those that have the same attitudes. Once the cyber world opened up people began using it as an instrument to perpetrate their racist and hateful attitudes. Trolls hide behind the cloak of anonymity because, as you state, they lack the courage to confront those whom they direct their hate. I don’t believe the Internet has brought about these types of emotions; rather they’ve always been around, just hidden in the deep recesses of their derelict minds. Unfortunately, the Internet is a place where they can flourish. So I believe that, at the very least, these Trolls should be held accountable for their statements and that the anonymity they hide behind should be removed.

    • i definitely agree that this hatred has always been present, but that it is easier viewed and expressed due to our cyber anonymity. Personally i believe the amoount of hatred is going up just due to its high level of exposure. often times perfectly normal people respond drastically to trolls comments which only worsens the problem!

  13. People should be able to post whatever they want. Once online censorship begins it will be tough to turn back. I think the key is websites taking control and posting guidelines as to what can be on their pages. Websites can also give users a better ability to block harmful comments and users from their pages. i think that is the most important aspect to controlling trolls. There will always be people that say hurtful things in order to cause a reaction.

    People always make statements online that contain strong opinions. These generally are responsible for sparking online wars where people do not know how to debate in a calm matter.

  14. The idea that because you are on the internet you can say whatever you want is just crazy. In no way should you be able to sit behind the screen of your computer and go on some hate filled tirade or belittle someone. Things need to be addressed on the internet and the only way to fix the issue is for hosts and users alike to band together to stop the abuse. The biggest element to flame wars online are internet tough guys. The guys who are just looking for an argument. The sad part is most of these users are too cowardly to even think about starting a confrontation with someone in a face to face interaction. The internet allows them to sit at home and never worry about the repercussions of what they say and whom they say it to. The worst part is these people often destroy legitimate and civil debates that are going on between other parties. A more active moderation system would help a lot to limit the number of trolls on the web. Right now it is just to easy to troll, make a trolls life harder and their numbers will decrease significantly.

  15. I think the line needs to be drawn when people start to emotionally harass or warrant physical abuse/harm/death towards the people online. It doesn’t matter what the article/video/blog/etc…is about; nobody should be telling people to die or to get raped. It’s atrocious.
    You can’t stop all the bad comments. People are going to voice their opinions no matter what, but there is a huge difference in putting “this video is stupid” and “I hope you get burned alive tonight.” Seeing comments like these online seriously makes me wonder why people do it. Just because you don’t agree with whatever is out there doesn’t mean you need to be going around telling people to die.
    You don’t see this kind of stuff happening on the streets everyday when people disagree. People just don’t go tell the other person to go die. However, the anonymity of the internet gives people that false sense of anonymity that they need to go and say things like this. I think it’s absolutely disgusting.

  16. I don’t think there’s any way to limit what people say online, without limiting everyone’s speech. The worst part of freedom of speech is that it allows for idiots to be, well idiots. In the same way that we can’t really limit freedom of speech unless for certain extenuating circumstances in print, we can’t limit it online. In cases of child pornography, abuse, etc I think there’s room for censorship and for going after those people.

    In the case Zeran v. AOL, A man tried suing the service provider AOL for a forum that posted false information about him. A fake advertisement with his name and number selling distasteful Oklahoma City Bombing merchandise was posted, with slogans like “Visit Oklahoma … It’s a BLAST!!!” This poor man was bombarded with thousands of threatening phone calls after this. He contacted AOL, who removed the post, but the person posted again. Even a radio station caught wind of the fake advertisement and made things worse for poor Zeran. He claimed he couldn’t change his number because it was crucial for his home business.

    In the end though, the court ruled that service providers can’t be responsible for regulating all of the information posted on them. I mean, Zeran could’ve sued the person who posted in the forum, but expecting a service provider to regulate all content posted by third parties would be difficult, if not impossible. The court argued that the providers would be more inclined to limit all speech and postings out of fear of being sued. It’s just not a viable option. The courts for the most part have ruled that the internet should remain free, just as it was intended to be.

  17. It’s hard to draw any kind of line really. I mean yes plenty of online content seems to go too far, but if we start limiting what people say, there’s a good chance that that can go too far as well. It seems the internet is the best voice people have sometimes, both good and bad voices at that. Some of it really is a matter of perspective, but it truly is a world open to opinion. It seems to me that the internet holds no prejudice to any particular person, but to everyone in fact.

  18. I think the line should be drawn on anything racist or sexist. However, I’d settle for a line being drawn at threats. When trolls present threats, they are really going too far. However, how do we draw this line? Despite if I think that trolls shouldn’t be allowed to say certain things, I am not sure If anyone could stop it. Even if we ignored all the excuses of freedom of speech and there were no legal issues there, it’d be hard to monitor the vast reach of the trolls.

    What actions do I think contribute the greatest towards sparking an online twitter war? Having an opinion. Trolls are attracted when someone speaks their mind. They will do whatever they can to make you feel your opinion is stupid or worthless, and will start the war just for the “lulz”. These wars start on the will (or whim) of the trolls, but if we want to have our opinion online, we are subject to their whims. The second action that really gets the “war” going is responding to trolls and joining their game. It’s “fire at will” time at that point.

    • Yes, the response to a trolls initial comment is what keeps them going. without this they are lost. completely ignoring a trollish comment is extremely hard, but it is what must be done

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