Are Trolls Desensitizing Us?

Since we’ve moved onto the virtual universe, people have started cloaking themselves in anonymity in the same way tailgating lunatics do on the freeway.

A new culture has emerged: the troll and his (or her) troll bait. He (or she) aims to whup folks into a fury by purposefully posting heinous, aggravating opinions.

And there’s some amount of internet coolness to be gained by recognizing said trolls and not feeding them.

But here’s the thing: there really are people who express the heinous opinions that trolls keyboard out from within the safe confines of their mother’s basements, and how do we respond to them without looking like a bunch of dolts that are falling into a trap?

Ultimately, whenever someone expresses a truly obnoxious opinion, we drop it before anyone accuses us of being the idiot falling for the trap.

So they’re left unchallenged. Is this inching our discourse into the realm of lunacy?


3 thoughts on “Are Trolls Desensitizing Us?

  1. “Is this inching our discourse into the realm of lunacy?”

    Trolls will drive us to lunacy only if we give them the power to.

    I see trolls the same way I see fire: Deprive the fire of oxygen — refuse to “feed the trolls” — and eventually it’ll burn itself out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good thought, and I generally agree.

      My only fear is allowing too many heinous arguments into the marketplace of ideas to go unquestioned–because sometimes it’s difficult to tell when people are serious.

      But maybe ignoring genuinely heinous arguments works too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point.

        Your post gives me a lot to think about.

        The way I currently see arguments online is:

        The truly heinous arguments — the words of trolls — will, like fast food left outside too long, decay into nothingness, while the genuine arguments — the words of people who genuinely have something to say and who listen with an open mind — will, like wine, improve with time.


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