Wow, I really haven't posted for a while. Which is fine. I've got other things going on. Truth is, I actually don't have much to say tonight - but I've had a thought rolling around in my head for a few days (actually longer, but really thinking it over for a few) and I thought I'd work it here. You know, type out loud - stream of consciousness style. I've been looking for an adequate definition of 'internet troll' for a few minutes, but I think I'm just going to go ahead and use the Wikipedia version, and then add on a little at the end. Have a quick look - it will be important to what follows:
In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: "That was an excellent troll you posted."
Alright, it's a good starting point. The only thing I might add, and I think it's actually implied in the above definition is that the person must not believe in what they're saying. To clarify, if a person truly believes in the statement they are making it actually disqualifies them from being a true troll. Should said statement, in the eyes and heart of the person making it be believed as true - it actually invalidates them from being a troll. Perhaps I should take a step back for a second, for reasons of explaining the reason for this post.
I'm pretty active in my local community (London, Ontario). I'm pretty active on twitter. I don't consider myself especially influential in either, but as the Community Producer and co-host of #LdnOnt - well, I read a LOT of tweets - all about local issues and events. On short? I see a lot of stuff going on. (Worth noting: the two main complaints revolve around trains blocking traffic and public transportation - which in my opinion means we're doing alright.) What does trouble me somewhat is the use of the word ' troll' and what I would suggest is its increasing misuse.
The word has come to define someone who holds different beliefs. Which, well - I actually somewhat understand. When someone holds things (read: ideas and/or beliefs) that are so completely different from my own, which I believe to be correct, well - it is only natural to think the person is misguided/kidding/stupid/trolling. It is in our nature to think the things we believe and true and right and what the HELL are they thinking?!!! This makes sense. The fallacy here is of course they are thinking the same thing. In the end, there truly is no right and wrong - only opinions and it is up to the individual to decide. Wait - this may not be true of subjects such as math and science and stuff - although opinion appears to be sneaking into these as well I suspect.
Let's wrap this up. The people generally being accused of being trolls are actually not. (Although a few who are not being accused actually are - you know who you are.) So please, stop it. Nothing is being accomplished with this and in fact hearing opinions that differ from your own is in fact benefitting you. Yes, it's maddening and infuriating at times - yet, well ... beneficial.
In closing, let's just agree that Nickelback (sp?) is the greatest band of all time and move on.