Trolls on the Internet worse than ants in the bathroom

The Internet can be fun. Favorite aspects include instant directions to strange streets we’ve never heard of, quick background checks on future neighbors or dates, and checking – in a millisecond – if someone like Ann B. Davis is dead or alive.

Internet troll/Ryn Gargulinski

Internet troll/Ryn Gargulinski

I am also quite fond of many comments – and the commenters. You are a cool slate of readers who add interesting tidbits and points of view.

We may not always agree, but we have fun disagreeing – opening each other’s minds and sharing our thought processes. For that, I thank you.

But alas, just like anything that starts out beautiful – from spacious skies to amber waves of grain – some folks will see fit to try and wreck it.

Enter the trolls.

Online trolls are one of the detrimental side effects of the Internet, much like SPAM, computer viruses or pop-up ads.

Not much is known about the living conditions or appearance of these strange creatures, although theories say the trolls live in dank holes, or at least unfinished basements, have beady little eyes and most likely sit around in soiled underwear.

The anonymity of the Internet makes a prime stomping ground for trolls, as they can hide behind their user names and icons.

Rather than adding insightful, delightful or even relevant comments to a post, trolls are bent on wasting everyone’s time with rants, raves or otherwise wholly inappropriate material.

They also come in several types:

The Einsteins: These trolls know everything about everything and will rip articles and other comments apart because, of course, everything in the article or comment is wrong.

Now, there is a difference between pointing out errors or inconsistencies, which is often appreciated, and ripping apart information because they don’t like the source or don’t like the facts or know oh so much more about the topic at hand.

Based on the wealth and breadth of their knowledge, we are unsure why they are wasting all their intelligence trolling the Internet when they should really be out nabbing a Nobel Prize.

The umbrella haters: These trolls visit plenty of different sites with the same goal: to spew their hatred of just about anything.

After all, “Hate is no fun unless you share it.”

They are non-discerning with their hostility and will open their large and angry umbrella of hate to encompass anything that falls in its shadow.

The targeted haters: Unlike the umbrella haters, the targeted haters pick specific targets on which to spew their hate.

The targets can be anything from cats to clowns, homosexuals to women with red hair and glasses. Some of these folks may even set up Google search alerts with keywords of their targets so they can find anything and everything that is written about the topic so they may attack with their venom-filled shots.

The provokers: These trolls lie awake at night thinking of ways to provoke arguments with the writers, the readers and even fellow trolls. They mock, degrade, belittle and hurl insults that have nothing to do with the topic – or reality. Their goal in life is to bait others into arguments, a fine waste of everybody’s time.

The incoherent ranters: Living up to their names, these trolls often leave long, disgruntled-sounding comments full of typos, misspellings and lengthy ramblings about something or other. There is, however, a huge problem with their posts: no one really knows what the heck they are talking about.

The racism seekers: Ahhh, this group is definitely a favorite, if just for their creativity alone. They will comb through an article and any comments, probably five or six hundred times, to find evidence of someone’s racism or bias. It just has to be there, no?

One of the best examples of racism seekers of late was in response to a white sports writer’s column about how he was glad Tiger Woods was finally out of the limelight. The writer said he was sick of hearing about Tiger’s private life, the public apology and the whole sordid story surrounding the once-lofty golf star.

What did the racism seekers have to say? Why, the writer is racist, of course, and that’s the real reason he didn’t like Tiger Woods. He was racist and jealous and probably a white supremacist, but of course. Now how did the rest of us miss that?

Although I got rid of ants in my bathroom sink by pouring bleach down the drain, the trolls are a bit more difficult to eliminate. Some are as tenacious in their trolling as they are about finding racism, hatred and errors where none exist.

But the Internet does provide a handy bleach alternative: delete, delete, delete.

[tnipoll]
wb-logolil
What do you think?

Why do you think trolls get their jollies wasting everyone’s time?

What do you imagine these trolls look like?

What’s some of the worst examples of trolling you’ve seen?

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About Rynski

Writer, artist, performer who specializes in the weird, wacky and sometimes creepy. Learn more at ryngargulinski.com.
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24 Responses to Trolls on the Internet worse than ants in the bathroom

  1. koreyk says:

    Rule # 1:  Do not feed the trolls.
    Rule # 2:  Do not feed the trolls.
    Rule # 3:  Do not feed the trolls.

    • Rynski says:

      ha! AWESOME advice, koreyk.
      hope this article does not unwittingly serve as a morsel. also wish i would have thought of your rules when i was drawing the cartoon.
       

  2. azmouse says:

    In my experience the screeming ‘racism’ is so common. If you prefer red carnations over pink ones, somehow, some people will turn that into a politically incorrect statement that has racist undertones.

    • Rynski says:

      sounds like you DEF have them down to a t, azmouse.
      amazing, is it not?
      it is wholly annoying trying to write in such a climate – really puts a damper on creativity when you fear every other word or phrase may somehow be misconstrued. sigh.
      i think i like the fake green carnations – like the ones for st. patty’s day – the best.

      • azmouse says:

        I think it gets used so much because they lack skills to make their point any other way.
        Nobody wants to be labeled a racist, even by a stranger.

      • Rynski says:

        that’s a good theory – it IS quite easy and non-thinking to fall back on that attack.
        besides, what fun would it be to actually THINK or create intelligent arguments when it takes much less energy to ramble or spew.

  3. radmax says:

    Hahahah-Hi Rynski! What great points on the intellectual dynamos who would prefer in their dank hovels and point out your obviously(to them) incorrect point of view or sources, rather than write their own damn blogs. Sheesh!
    It’s one thing to have a differing point of view, quite another to point the fickle finger of hate at you for writing something that provokes thought. It is as if they condemn you to death for thinking diametrically to themselves.
    Most of these pond scum it seems would be the first to scream first amendment rights….only for themselves of course…
    I watched a flick with radmiss last eve, about an anti capital punishment activist who staged his friends suicidal death so he would be sentenced to death and executed…all to prove their point. ?
    Extremism in the name of fanaticism is not only hateful, it’s downright dangerous sometimes.
    You keep writin’ ’em Rynski; Az, koreyk, Farley and I got your back. 😉
     

    • radmax says:

      ‘to sit’ in their hovels…at least I guess they are sitting. Maybe they are hanging from the rafters like a bat? 🙂

    • Rynski says:

      hahah! hey radmax,
      thanks for input – love it. my favorite line is “fickle finger of hate” – are you sure you’re not a poet?
      extremism can be creepy – and dangerous, i’ll agree with that one. what a deep movie you watched! if you’re ever looking for a flick that’s a bit easier on the mind, try deadgirl perhaps. don’t have to think at all – hahah.
      only thing i would point out is your use of the word ‘hovel.’ hovels to me can be cozy and keen, not nec. a dank dark hole. oh! but i do love the image of trolls hanging upside down from the rafters like bats. hahahah.
       

    • azmouse says:

      We got your back, baby!!

      They mess with Ryn then they deal with the wrath of azmouse and my harsh words….I’ll call them meanies! Hah, that’ll learn em.

  4. andrew says:

    Yeserree, It’s a doggie-dog world out there and these trolls think they are the pre-Madonnas of the blogs, It’s killer bee killed. “overheat city” itc

  5. fraser007 says:

    This is getting close to home!!!!! Guess according to the article there are no normal people posting!! LOL

    • Rynski says:

      hahhhah! nah, fraser007, there’s plenty of fine folks with fine comments – i think it’s just a case of the negative ones being louder, more obnoxious and standing out more –
      kind of like how i look at my new largely green lawn and only see the brown spots….

  6. amber says:

    if someone wants to spew their hate and anger, theres really nothing to do but ignore them. or you could do what my husband loves to do and bate them until they lose their minds, i like this option 🙂

    • Rynski says:

      hi amber,
      yes, ignoring them is prob. best – funny i just wrote a dog training article and that’s the same way to teach puppies to stop problematic biting – hahhahahah.
      your husband’s solution is good, too – please send him this way for some baiting of trolls when any resurface – hahahhahahha.

  7. Andrew says:

    I think there’s a real problem with people recognizing the people who really do know the facts and state what’s wrong and people who say they know the facts and state what’s wrong.

    It doesn’t take a genius to know more than any particular article writer about any particular subject, and it sucks to be called a troll when others are just feeding ignorance with additional ignorance.

    At the core people need to stop dismissing statements simply because of how they ‘feel’ about the statement. If someone is right, they’re right.

    • Rynski says:

      hiya andrew –
      i agree – some folks out there are full of knowledge – but others are full of, well….
      the ones that DO know the facts can and do often add wonderful comments, insight, and info to back up what they are saying – those are most welcome.
      i would not label someone a troll simply because they know more about a particular subject or disagree with an article – i enjoy add’l info and points of view.
      i do NOT enjoy angry rants and/or attacks, however. even if someone is very knowledgeable in a particular subject, their comments could be dismissed because of the way they present it – perhaps more like an assault than a discussion.
      also agree with your last note – feelings sometimes DO get in the way of facts, don’t they? hahah. thanks for input!
       
       
       

  8. Xanadrew says:

    Before the internet was all the rage and people read newspaper and magazine articles instead, ‘comments’ were letters people wrote them in reaction to it. These basically come from the same sort of cross-section of people that comment on blogs and what not, racial hypersensitivists and all. They weren’t considered trolls, just people that disagree. The angry masses. Some ignorant, some not.
    Nobody feels good being contradicted, and the vast majority of people out there (article writers and commentators alike) don’t listen when they’re told that they’re wrong, weather they’re right or not. Consequentially,  “DON’T FEED THE TROLLS” ends up meaning “IGNORE THOSE WHO DISAGREE” a lot of the time, and what you get is people that write ignorant articles and a bunch of overly gushy comments, because they “delete, delete, delete!” the ones that don’t say “You’re so right, and those haters are just trolling. How could anyone disagree with this?” It makes them feel better to have an article they wrote get tons of comments affirming their beliefs rather than get ones that have their beliefs tested, leaving them feeling not as smart as they felt when they wrote the article.
    Unfortunately this is one of the same tactics Fox News uses to try and convince people that the whole country is Republican. “How could anyone not disagree?”
    You can say “Based on the wealth and breadth of their knowledge, we are unsure why they are wasting all their intelligence trolling the Internet when they should really be out nabbing a Nobel Prize” but the people writing these articles aren’t out there ‘nabbing a Nobel Prize’ either. The fact that one person wrote the article and another person commented on it does not by itself lend more credibility to the original author. It’s just as easy for anyone to make a blog post as it is to comment on one.
    That’s not to say that people don’t comment with ignorant of just plain hateful statements at all, but they tend to come out in the wash in the end. Nobody reads the comment that says “IT’S THE JEWS FAULT!” and all of a sudden thinks “OMG YOU’RE RIGHT IT IS!”

    • Rynski says:

      very insightful stuff, xanandrew, thanks!
      you bring up some good and interesting points.
      based on my past jobs with several different newspapers, i’d say letters to the editors are filled with trolls, too – but the big difference is the troll letters do not get published.
      letters to the editors are often heavily screened  – whereas it’s easier for some comments to slip through. also, many publications ask for a name, address, phone of letter’s author – sometimes even call to verify such info – whereas internet comments are anonymous.
      personally, i do not delete comments simply because commenters do not share my point of view – but i will delete those that spew anger, hatred, engage in personal or other attacks or otherwise violate guidelines.
      the nobel prize winners to which i was referring are those repeat offender trolls that show up on a variety of blogs and sites who just so happen to know more about every single subject that happens to get written – def. a difference from those who actually are knowledgeable and share that knowledge, rather than visit blogs simply to rip any and all info to shreds.
      thanks again for input – and chuckle at the end –
       
       

  9. Alibarri says:

    The two absolute worst trolls I ever saw were a guy on Singlesnet.com and a guy currently terrorizing the Rants & Raves board on Philadelphia Craigslist. The irony of the first one was that he was not a paying member; he wasn’t even looking for dates. (I don’t know who the hell would date this loser.) He claimed he was on there only for the forums. He was really there to abuse people. He was wearing a disguise in his photo, a huge Afro wig (he was white), shades and a Hawaiian shirt. He would viciously attack women. (He called me a fat, bloated, ugly old hag. Interestingly, he was the same age as me.) Many complained to the site. He finally got kicked off after calling a woman a c***.
    Then there’s this complete maniac (or possible a few) on Craigslist. He is known as “Slappy the Jew Hater.” He posts the most vile, assanine anti-Semitic garbage you have ever seen. He has been doing this every day for over six months. (He also posts racist stuff, but he seems to prefer going after the Jews.) Astonishingly, others figured out his true identity. He was stupid enough to e-mail someone from his personal address, calling them a dirty Jew and saying he’d like to put bullets through the heads of all of hi family members! The person who received this threatening e-mail posted it, along with the troll’s e-mail address. Now, everyone knows who the guy is, what he looks like, where he lives, where he works. People actually reported him to his company. (He also made remarks about blowing up synagogues, by the way.) But this guy will not stop! I have never seen anyone so relentless and reckless in my life. I am convinced he is a total narcissist. You gotta see it to believe it!
     

  10. Douglas says:

    It’s great to read all this useful information on dog training.
    I have a question however. How do you train an older dog?

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