Inside the World of Hate and its Human Fallout
|Richmond, Victoria : Hardie Grant Books, 2019.
|xii, 292 pages ; 24 cm.
|Yarra Valley Library
An interesting but confronting investigation into how and why intelligent and successful men troll people on the internet.
The author starts off by telling us how she became the target of trolls by supporting a gay couple who were secretly molesting their adopted children. The damage and harassment that she attracted was significant and caused her, not just psychological harm but bordering on the physical too.
To give the reader a real picture of who a troll is she managed to interview a number of them including weev and meepsheep; and even met one face to face, which given how cowardly these people are, was quite an achievement.
Surprisingly the typical troll isn’t a social outcast working away in an isolated space. Many are highly educated white males working in well paid jobs and some are even married with children. The author goes into what motivates them to troll people, some get joy out it while others are doing it in the name of some cause.
The author says that people have said “don’t go online, just ignore them”. This is not easy as it’s human nature to read about ourselves, with the negative comments being particularly irresistible. It’s hard to know what the answer is.
It’s disturbing how disruptive trolls can be to their victims. Many suffer mental problems while others feel so threatened they need to move house. Others lose their job or business. This makes trolling a very serious problem and the author laments on the lack of progress policing and preventing it.
Troll Hunting is an informative look at trolling and the trolls’ profiles are thought provoking to read about. Reading about them may prevent you from engaging with them. Someone once said in a presentation “don’t feed the trolls”. Hopefully their entertainment will be robbed and they will interest in you, but it’s not easy resisting.