July 11th, 2012

Brendan O’Neil ponders:

“Consider how the term “trolling” itself has been expanded in recent years. It is now used not only to describe weirdos like Frank Zimmerman, who was given a two-year suspended prison sentence for sending vile and threatening messages to Conservative MP Louise Mensch, but also journalists and bloggers who express political views that don’t conform to mainstream thinking, which rile the Twitterati.

Everyone from the loner with violent fantasies to the hack who does some far-out political thinking is now labelled a “troll”, a scourge on the internet which must be cleansed by respectable, right-thinking journalists “above the line”. A divide is being created between the plebs below the line, who think and say the “wrong” things, and the righteous guardians of internet culture above the line, who now frequently make an ostentatious display of their right-on credentials in order to distinguish themselves from the politically uncouth, keyboard-smashing hordes.

One is forced to ask: who is really being intolerant here?”


  1. 1
    Gordon Cameron says:

    The left need to “urgently engage”


    • 5
      Plastic jock says:

      After hearing about the care for the elderly in the HoC and then 1.5 billion for jonnies in the third world. Gordon Cameron is apt


  2. 2
    Troll says:

    I find the use of the term outside of dwelling under bridges deeply offensive and feel it breached my inhuman rights.


    • 4
      Plastic jock says:

      what about the bloody goats


    • 12
      Northern Chap says:

      Of course the actual definition of Trolling is saying something shocking purely to elicit a response


      • 14
        Flame War says:

        Dick head


      • 17
        Business Cat (Specializing in yarns, Cdn owned & op) says:

        From my experience at the forum of the über-liberal United Church of Canada, some people definitely think a troll is someone who does share their beliefs, even if the posts are written intelligently, without trying to elicit a particular response.

        There is one person who is obsessed with sock puppets. If a non-liberal leaves, then another arrives, he has endless discussions with like-minded members as to whether the new person is merely a sock puppet.


  3. 3
    Output from the contemplation suite focus group says:

    Any more sandwiches?


  4. 8
    Nan Taylor says:

    That’ll be that Owen Jones knob, then. Thinks he owns the f+kkin interweb thing.


  5. 9
    Penny Red Licker (Stamp collector what else!!) says:

    Wimmin are often accosted by evil male Trolls on the interweb of thingies


  6. 13
    Tay King-dePisse says:

    “Comment ISN’T Free if I disagree with you; I expect that everyone who reads my stunningly beautiful breath-taking prose shall be so overcome with my brilliance that they will abandon all their benighted views and use the comments section to tell me so, and that I have converted them to the side of the angels. Only a perverse mean-spirited wretch of an excuse for a human being could possibly disagree with me, and those people are not just wrong– why, they’re EVIL! And they’re all put up to it by far-right wing extremists who are proto-terrorists like that Guido Fawkes character! Think about it– that man idolises a religious extremist who wanted to blow up the Parliament building! It’s obvious he and his minions must be stopped– and in the meantime, I will just have to reply in kind on all the right-wing blogs and hope some poor deluded soul sees the light and repents!”– that’s not what they’re SAYING, mind, but of course, it’s what they mean, when they conflate well-spoken opponents and, yes, loudmouth idiots with the kind of nutter who threatens someone’s children and SHOULD be stopped, FFS!


    • 18
      Business Cat (Specializing in yarns, Cdn owned & op) says:

      Exactly the same at the forum I mentioned above (called Wondercafe). They constantly rant about the “right” and how hideous they are.


  7. 16
    casstrickland says:

    And here’s me thinking trolling was polari for flouncing about. Giving my age away there I think


  8. 19
    BaronPhaedrus says:

    Start of the real crackdown on the free speech of t’internet. The FBI are watching, or removing access and putting up a “virtual” Internet so you don’t notice. Like t’internet isn’t virtual already. Who’s that clip clopping across my bridge?


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