Posts Tagged ‘trolling’

The bottom half

Saturday, August 24th, 2013 | Tech, Thoughts

There is a saying, “don’t read the bottom half of the internet”. It refers to the fact that while you might get polite and intelligent content at the top of the page, you’re unlikely to once the comments section opens up.

This is a good lesson for live. People are dicks on the internet.

A lot of people don’t seem to have spent much time on the internet though, and are then surprised by the unfriendly comments that they find. Even Richard Dawkins didn’t know until 2010.

But some people think they are unfairly targeted because of who they are. Some people may be of course, but I think it’s important to remember that regardless of who you are, the background hate of the internet generally runs pretty high. Here are some of the comments I’ve picked off my YouTube channel:

All those chicks have no taste though man. SO FUCK U.

There is nothing ‘cool’ about a camera which does a good job of showcasing that face.

what a tard you are

Ur an Idiot Get urFuckin Fact Straight u White Retard

do ur homework u white piece of shit.

umm you looked kinda like you on drugs but yeah i loved that movie and you did a good job

You’re on the right track, kid, but you need to get your hair washed and trimmed.

im reckoning by your dodgy mullet that this is common in your family?? you wouldnt be out of place deep deep south playing a banjo

Fucking idiot.

xmeltrut  ur fucking a dick ibet zain buksh whould fuck ur ugly face ur video sucks and u look like a girl u dickhead

they did die ur fucking dumb

oi u fuck face they did die

Damn you’re ugly.

You look like Trevor from the Trailer Park Boys….

fuck all athiets i hope you will enjoy getting your maginas ripped off in hell death to the athiests

Lmfao, get a gf. Shag her and get a life

you look like a monkey

this guy in the video is an idiot

Lose the drug culture look and maybe i’ll watch the video next time…….Nobody will take you seriously looking like that.

peado’s say i will touch you and you will be healed

haha killing jews lol kill six million jews and burn there corpses lmao

You’re probably thinking that I’ve picked off the worst, most abusive comments. But I haven’t. In fact, the majority of the comments on my YouTube account have been deleted, because the accounts they were posted from have since been flagged as abusive or threatening. What you see above is actually the nicer disparaging comments that get posted.

The take home message is that everyone gets verbally abused on the internet. It’s sad; I wish it wasn’t the case. But for the moment, it is. And much like an insect bite, if you scratch at it, chances are it will get worse.

Here is an inaccurate meme to help you remember it.


It’s inaccurate because posting abusive messages online is not trolling. It’s just being a dick. But that is a different rant.

From one troll to another

Friday, June 3rd, 2011 | Thoughts

Last week, Emma posted a link on her Facebook stream, linking to a blog post by The Honest Courtesan. While it’s interesting to see Emma’s reading choices ;), the point of the blog post was to rebut a post by someone calling themselves Eve’s Daughter who made a post entitled “A Man is a Rape-Supporter If.”

In this list, Eve’s Daughter sets out a list of things which, if apply to you, make you a rape supporter. However, it’s written in a way in which every adult man falls into the category, making every man alive a rape supporter.

Now, I’ll be honest with you, once or twice in the past I have been known to troll a little. A was particularly pleased with my pre-election night throw away comment “oh no! I’ve lost my polling card, now I can’t vote :(“, as dozens of people rushed to tell me I could still vote 😀 .

So when I read the post by Eve’s Daughter, the first thought that went through my mind wasn’t, “what a load of nonsense this is”, it was simple one word – troll.

Of course, I could be wrong. There are a lot of radical extremist feminists out there and some of them probably do believe this. But here is why I believe it could well be a troll:

1. It’s clearly designed to get people really angry. It makes the bold claim that every man ever is a rape supporter in a bold and uncompromising way, stereotyping an entire gender. And it’s works. Check out The Amazing Atheist going mental on YouTube.

Strip out the WordPress header and insert a logo for The Daily Mail and it suddenly seems a lot more in context. To me, it almost seems like a job application for The Mail Online.

2. It is designed to draw in as many people as possible. Everyone checks boxes on this list so everyone who reads the list can’t help but been drawn in to the debate.

Again, it works really well. Not only are people commenting on the subject matter across the internet, but even I am here blogging about whether it is a troll or not.

3. It’s obviously not true, but is written in a way to make it almost plausible. The author could have just written “all men are rape supporters” and everyone would have ignored it as obviously nonsense. Instead the piece leads you through a series of leading questions to slowly heat your blood, without setting it straight to boil. That way, you don’t switch off straight away, you begin reading and get hooked before the fire is really stoked.

4. The author shows some signs of intelligence and satirical humour. On May 25th of this year, they made a post entitled “Life, the Universe, and Everything”. While this could be a coincidence, it is almost certainly a reference to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, a fantastically clever piece of fiction that people like myself and you, my well educated yet probably bitterly sarcastic audience, enjoy.

Of course, I could be reading far too much into this, but if you accept the premise that the author of this blog is a Douglas Adams fan, and then ask the question “if a Douglas Adams fan published such a piece, is it serious or satirical trolling” the last option is suddenly a very appealing one.

5. There is no author information on the blog. If you were seriously campaigning on these kind of issues, surely you would put your name to it? Meanwhile if you were just doing it to get a rise out of people, you might as well publish anonymously, especially if you were a troll and people knew the real you didn’t actually believe any of this.

There was some mention of death threats somewhere on the blog, which could be a reason to publish anonymously, but I don’t think this is the case because who would actually make them? Surely anyone smart enough to rebut such arguments isn’t the kind of person that makes death threats so who would be so angry about this kind of writing to do that? Not to mention that if you believe in a cause strongly enough, which we’re supposed to believe the author does, that kind of thing won’t stop you.

As I said however, I could well be wrong. One of my points was going to be that it is simply too OTT, that reading the comments showed that this was clearly a comically absurd character created by the author and that clearly it was impossible to create a worldview so shielded from reality that truth was so utterly unable to penetrate. But I’ve been working in atheism for five years now, and from my experience, I know that this just isn’t true.

Still, so many of the techniques used in the article just seem to ring a little bit too true of the tried and tested strategy for a good troll post.