Reactions of a troll…

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I had an interesting experience yesterday… I had commented positively on a gentleman’s post on Medium. It was a well written discourse between the author and ‘God’. In my view, it was not disparaging of God or of any religion. It was, if anything, a frustration over misinterpretations and using the name of God or religion as a weapon for personal issues. I applauded the author and stated I might have to ‘borrow’ his idea of conversations with God in the future.

And then an email pops up saying that someone had targeted MY comment for reaction. Now, I use the word reaction instead of response because the way the comment was worded, with odd capitalizations and rambling religious text didn’t seem very well thought out. I believe in the definitions of reaction being knee-jerk and response exhibiting thought and compassion.

Yes, yes, I know. You are never supposed to engage the trolls. I did, once. I attempted to address him politely and state that I disagreed with his opinion and pointed out where, objectively in the article, there did not seem to be disparaging remarks about the God figure. And of course, he just sent me back more of the same dribble about hell and my future address.

So here are the thoughts that have occurred to me today in regards to this odd encroachment.

First – this man (and yes, his first name and photo indicated a man), had not really taken the time or effort to carefully read the original article, so after trying to engage him once and receiving no difference in his responses, I didn’t continue the conversation. I’m curious as to the number of responses people with high viewership and varied experiences have with something similar? Is it something that occurs often and we just don’t necessarily see it unless we scroll through every comment? How do others handle these kinds of comments? Ignore? Attempt gentle engagement?

Second – the original article was written by a gentleman. Another man also commented on the article before me. The troll didn’t target either of them. He targeted me. This isn’t a ‘woe-is-me’ kind of statement. Just a matter of fact. My praise for the article was not much different from the other man’s. I wonder why the troll chose me to try and convert or berate? Is it because with the name Liz, I’m obviously female. Did he feel it was his patriarchal duty to bring the little lady into the fold? Am I being a bit touchy? Maybe… but I’m not sure.

Third – while the incident has been in the back of my mind and obviously I felt led to post about it, I didn’t let it ruin my evening or today. I know his trolling was more about his issues than mine. It has been an interesting thing to think about today though. What causes someone to feel as if they can condemn, lecture and try to debase another’s comments online? I don’t mean healthy disagreement. That is what great discourse, conversation and idea comes from… I mean nasty-ass condemnation. Really, if we could figure that out, maybe we could control 45’s tweets? Maybe his constant desire to do nothing but put others down and destroy would be explained? Maybe, just maybe, we could understand and solve the issues that make the idea of superiority over others seem so vital to the picture of some who want to believe they are? Maybe…

Or maybe I’m playing Pollyana again. Maybe the pie-in-the-sky will work on occasion and maybe we just have to understand that some people will never get out of the mud. I dipped my toe for a moment, but then decided it wasn’t for me. I didn’t want it to feel dirty the rest of my day.

I hope you find a hose or shower and a nice fluffy towel oh troll… I shudder thinking of others in your path. (Or am I trying to be superior here?)

4 thoughts on “Reactions of a troll…”

  1. I used to be a decently ranked member of the Medium society. [But left because the site was extremely bias and full of golden girl bullies…Oh and I wasn’t big on the whole membership thing.]
    And faced my fair share of trolls on my posts and other close “friends”. (I use friends loosely because well these were all other bloggers I’d never met.)

    And your particular troll sounds eerily familiar. Posed himself as a “preacher” but was anything but. He ONLY attacked women. And if a male got involved it was like he couldn’t see their response.

    Now to answer your question of how people with higher viewership handle trolls, I can only speak for myself when I say I always read every single comment that popped up on Medium. (And well even here for that matter.) 9 out of 10 times I just let it go. Trolls seek a reaction out of you. But on that off chance I responded it was because troll or not, I felt strongly about whatever the post was about and was not going to be shamed or belittled or whatever. Not always the best method. It becomes exhausting. Because trolls can keep going and going.

    Once or twice, groups of us would just go after a known troll after so many days until they either blocked us or deleted their account. Of course only to rejoin under a new name.

    Every now and then I like to pretend that they were just do awestruck by my post that they’re incapable of anything of the like and that’s why they’re mean. They wish they’d written it. Lol but that feeling is extremely rare.

    Goodluck with the trolls

    Reply
      • I wish we as those who are trying to find truth could find solace in an understanding that merit comes from love and kindness, not from those that troll and are mean… but then again, I suppose they believe their positions is valid… I don’t know what that says about us…

        Reply
        • Definitely food for thought. But I also wonder if these trolls are actual people or simply blogger bots? Sounds weird to even consider that bots are equally as cruel as humans but that is a reality.

          Reply

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