28 2 mins 9 yrs

For those who use Twitter as a means of making political comment, as I do, there is a constant menace – Trolls. These are people who tweet gratuitous insult which often descends into threat and abuse, and maybe worse. So I was glad to read that Mary Beard (someone I entirely disagree with politically and who has exchanged tweets with me) was able to name and shame one particularly obnoxious troll as you can read here.

In a way the social networks are worse than the blogosphere. People who you have never spoken to can suddenly appear and say the most obnoxious things about you. Of course the laws of libel apply on Twitter, as one particularly obsessive troll is finding out at the moment with regard to me, and people cannot allege things without consequences. But on a more general level, I am all for swatting trolls. I advocate vigorous if not fiery debate, I enjoy taking contrarian views and defending them but I ALSO like politeness and the right to disagree agreeably! I think Twitter is really useful and has many benefits but the lurking trolls who stalk people like me and Beard, and who abuse regularly, should face the consequences. Personally, I think they should be banned from Twitter and sent into oblivion.

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28 thoughts on “TROLLS….

  1. I find Twitter to have little use. It allows people to sound off, sort of like everyone getting a chance to put out a new bumper sticker on their car every few seconds. But for real conversation, debate and information it strikes me as almost useless.

    I am sorry that trolls follow you to that forum. Must be annoying.

  2. I don’t like Twitter and I shall never use it, just as I don’t like FaceBook or any other info gathering sites.

    I quite enjoyed her programme on the Roman Emperor Caligula last night, but otherwise don’t much care for Mary Beard, and if she were to offer herself on a NUTS doublespread in Tescos, I doubt I should buy it..

  3. Agit8ed

    No, you’d just sneak it out under your jacket too embarrassed to go to the till and pay for it 😉

  4. Agit8ed –

    “just as I don’t like FaceBook or any other info gathering sites”

    Eh? What’s an info gathering site? What do you mean?

  5. I think he just means those sort of social sites where the only reason for their existence is for you to fill them up with often inane personal ephemera in the belief that others will be interested in reading about your life.

  6. ” I think he just means those sort of social sites where the only reason for their existence is for you to fill them up with often inane personal ephemera in the belief that others will be interested in reading about your life.”

    Near Colm,
    but no cigar.
    I have friends and contacts on Facebook, but the thing is these sites are collecting information about you, your likes and dislikes etc, and that info somehow finds its way to advertisers and sellers of services tailored to you.
    And yes, I know that my web connection does that too, but why feed the monster?

  7. I think he just means those sort of social sites where the only reason for their existence is for you to fill them up with often inane personal ephemera in the belief that others will be interested in reading about your life.

    You mean like Anthony Weiner who put photos of his d..k on the internet? But he didn’t do it on twitter, did he… so the argument that all trolls are on twitter is wrong, isn’t it?

    It’s not the medium used that’s at fault, its how people behave and there are trolls everywhere, the problem with going to court over one or a few trolls at one time is that it could be endless…and expensive. I think newsnight is covering the issue tonight..

  8. kateyo,
    why would he post pictures of a duck on the internet but not on twitter?
    Surely on duck fits all?

  9. Agit8ed –

    “I have friends and contacts on Facebook, but the thing is these sites are collecting information about you, your likes and dislikes etc,”

    Eh? What?

    The CIA’s facebook is collecting info about users? Would they actually do that?

  10. he did use twitter back in 2011 when he tried to send a dm with a photo of his willy to a woman, and he resigned from congress over that, but I don’t think the messages that were disclosed were on twitter but will stand corrected. Not fully up to date with the events in NY maybe some of the Americans can tell us the correct version.

  11. kateyo,
    Most modern mass communication consists of the incredibly banal.
    And yes I include my own stuff in that.
    But twitter seems to me like the worst form of verbal/cerebral diaorrhea and an opportunity for really sick nasty people (and I don’t think they are all necessarily inadequates) to intimidate and frighten.

  12. You could be right agi, I guess its a matter of how you use it and what you chose to talk about. I use it for politics, but like anything else it can be used for good or bad. The medium its self is neutral, it’s down to the person using it imv.

  13. but even if you use it for politics, surely the medium is intrinsically so fast and superficial that on an important subject like politics you would spend half your time explaining what you really meant to say?
    Gosh, it’s bad enough here on ATW.

  14. Twitter is just a medium. The software is not to blame. Millions of people no doubt have enjoyable entertaining and interesting conversations and debates on it, but yes it is also easy for cowardly idiots to post abuse. Do we blame the existence of the telephone for some people’s desires to engage in nuisance or ‘heavy breathing’ calls ?

  15. no I don’t think so. I’ve seen it used to get stuff for food banks, to get signatures for petitions and in one case locally an elderly man who was missing was found by twitter. There are misunderstandings in all forms of communication, doubt twitter is any different.

  16. ” Do we blame the existence of the telephone for some people’s desires to engage in nuisance or ‘heavy breathing’ calls ?”

    My advice Colm?
    Turn yourself in.
    You can’t blame the media, but you can blame yourself for not realising the limitations and constraints of the media.
    The whole point of rapid mass communication is just that: rapid communication.
    It’s a case of
    “Never mind the quality, feel the width”

  17. “Never mind the quality, feel the width”

    Oh we’re not back onto the issue of posting willy pictures again are we ? 😉

  18. …and in one case locally an elderly man who was missing was found by twitter.

    Was that that guy Donaldson, kateyo?

  19. Twitter is just a medium. The software is not to blame. Millions of people no doubt have enjoyable entertaining and interesting conversations and debates on it, but yes it is also easy for cowardly idiots to post abuse. Do we blame the existence of the telephone for some people’s desires to engage in nuisance or ‘heavy breathing’ calls ?

    You’re correct Colm, but some who post on here don’t get it.
    People are happy with the technology they grew up with and when get past a certain point in their lives, it seems to become strange and confusing. I see it all the time, I call it the Fred Dibnah phenomenon. Fred always blamed modern technology, ‘bloody computers an’ internet’ as he would say, for most of the modern problems, and waxed lyrical about the glorious days of the industrial revolution. For him, the technology he understood from a set period in history was good, but anything after that was a no-no.
    Twitter and Facebook just allow the same arseholes we’ve always had, to reach a wider audience.

  20. kateyo,
    My willy is an object of scorn to some, and a weapon of great terror to others. 😉

    Who is ROLF?

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