Trolling Effects on Social Media

The anonymous quality of the internet allows for trolling to ruin social media. Trolling hurts social interactions online emotionally and mentally. In my own life I have encountered such behavior in online video gaming. I was playing a competitive game where sixteen other people were split into two teams. We were able to communicate to each other through a microphone. Although everyone had microphones, nearly no one ever used them. When the chance came when people playing the game used them, the conversation was never focused on the game itself.

It was either directed at someone personally, a team, or just everyone playing. They would insult, taunt, ask stupid questions, start talking about something totally off topic, or sometimes just blare music really loud. All of this too made playing the game very irritating and annoying. Some people were offended so much that they would leave in middle of the game. This would in turn make the teams uneven and less enjoyable to the point that everyone would leave the game. It makes you wonder, what is the incentive for this kind of action?

You could come up with a couple of different ideas for that. The individual is doing it to distract the other team and get an upper hand. Maybe to get revenge on a player in a previous game, or just for the twisted tormented enjoyment of it. In the real world, it is seldom to find a person behave in this type of manor. For right now I don’t care why they are doing it, I want to know why we don’t see this kind of behavior more often outside of social media. What flaw in the internet is allowing this to happen? To answer that question you need to look at how the Internet changes the environment.

The Internet can be a place where many things can be accomplished in a different manor. For instance, if you wanted to purchase foot odor spray there are two ways you could get it. You could either go buy it at a store and go through that embarrassing scenario with the cashier. On other hand, you could simply just order online in the comfort of your private home and not have that embarrassing fiasco with the cashier. That’s one quality the internet has, the ability to be anonymous. In the case of trolling, the internet has permitted for the “online dis-inhibition effect”.

This is the moment people aren’t face to face and people lose their inhibitions as well as accountability for what they say. So for a troll on a discussion board that wants to make some racket the only thing stopping him is nothing. In the article “Trolls as the huge nuisance of web age” says that is unknown person in a dimly-lit movie theatre who makes a funny noise out loud. This proves that people like to joke and make fun of things when they are unknown to the public. Although the anonymous quality of the internet seems innocent, it still allows for trolls to hurt social media.

Trolling is hindering the social interactions on the Internet. On different social media’s people are hurt emotionally and mentally. Trolling can have some major negative impacts on people’s feelings. When trolls try to antagonize a person it can be done in hurtful ways. In most cases it is just like bullying and also has similar effects. For example, a troll might try to provoke you by calling you names or making jokes about your post. This type of trolling can get out of hand fast and cause some serious damage. In Mehrotra Article he discusses an incident in Long Island about a teen who commits suicide by hanging herself.

The “trolls” posted pictures of nooses on her online tribute page. Trolls add nothing to a debate; they only lower its quality by taking people’s attention off the topic. They even go as far as to actually participate in the discussion. Instead of nonsense they use illogical reasoning that makes discussion more painful to read. For example, they may say that George bush is idiot and he can’t know how to fix the problem at hand. All that adds to the argument is nothing it just points out that whatever is being debated is wrong because George bush said it.

There was no reasoning behind it at all. Soon everyone gets sucked in by trying to reason with the troll or even agree with him. So far governments have taken notice by installing ‘report abuse’ buttons and appointed moderators to track toxic trolls. In my opinion they have only scratched the surface. The problem is people keep on feeding the trolls. People on the internet do not understand that person that is making the remarks is just trying to get your attention and reel you in. Although trolls preform good cons to get your attention overtime you can start to catch on to it.

People need to be aware of this sort of behavior. Only then will people understand the person isn’t targeting you personally, he is just playing a game, for whatever reason that is. Also, you need to take the unknown out of the equation. Make it so no one can post anonymously. Have everything linked to that person so he can be tracked down and answer for what they have done. On the other hand, this is a big evasion of privacy and totally changes the internet for what it is, so maybe talking small steps better then changing the internet entirely.

I think the biggest cause is the invisible factor when that’s taken out of play social media should be nothing different from regular conversation. People use social media to replace traditional interaction in a more efficient way. There shouldn’t be a new monster lurking around the corner waiting to pounce. Trolling has become a serious social issue that the internet is taking a toll for. We should not supply this creature with the tools to do so but we blindly do. Trolling will only be out of our hair when awareness and prevention for trolling is taken seriously.

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