Film Critic Hulk: Don’t feed the trolls, and other hideous lies
Film Critic Hulk über den nicht vorhandenen Unterschied zwischen „Trolling“ aka Viraleffekte einkalkulierender Missbrauch aka die Vorläuferform von Stochastic Terrorism. Hervorhebungen von mir. Ich kenne ein paar Menschen, die sollten diesen Text sehr genau lesen und nur ein paar davon gelten öffentlich als Trolle.
The truth is that all trolling, whether we admit it or not, has a meaning and a target. You are inherently saying, “This subject is worthy of mockery,” which is exactly why John Oliver’s specific brand of trolling stunts have such laser-targeted focus. He takes on bureaucratic institutions, high-powered tyrants, homophobia, and social issues in an approach that embodies the very definition of “punch up” in comedy. It also reveals the core problem of trolling that so much of the online world wants to ignore. It is inherently an act of satire, something that comes with real targets and real responsibility. But the core intent of trolling is the opposite: it’s not just to provoke, but to run away from the responsibility of the joke itself.
A Twitter follower reminded me of a line in the famous parable from Bion of Borysthenes: “Boys throw stones at frogs in fun, but the frogs do not die in fun, but in earnest.” Defenders of trolling insist it’s all just a joke, but if trolling is inherently designed to get a rise out of someone, then that’s what it really is. In many cases, it is designed to look and feel indistinguishable from a genuine attack. Whether you believe what you are saying or not is often immaterial because the impact is the same — and you are responsible for it, regardless of how funny you think it is. It is a lesson kids learn time and time again on the playground, and yet, it is ridiculously difficult for people to accept the same basic notion in online culture, no matter their age. Why is that so? Because those are the social norms that develop when you create a culture where everything is supposed to be a joke.
It’s no accident that the corners of the internet that subscribe most deeply to this idea are also the most openly miserable. While some clearly use “joking” as a justification for abuse or even violent threats, there’s little larger comprehension or interest among huge swathes of internet culture about how satire, irony, or intent actually function, much less in the distinction between what they consider “trolling” and actual abuse.