Coping with Trolls (1 Viewer)

Sweetbit

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Jun 16, 2019
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Good day all you Feverish folks!

I'd like to blend my passion for positive gaming communities and psychology into a post about Trolls, and how to stay sane in their presence.
First let's remember that trolls are people. :p

In this beautiful world of ours, we encounter all sorts of people. Each one of us has a beautiful unique blend of characteristics and personality traits. The traits of sadism, narcissism, and machiavellianism (a.k.a the Dark Tetrad) have been shown to positively correlate with those that partake in trolling behaviors.
The trait that has a specific relationship to trolling, is Sadism. Sadist's, take pleasure in the act of cruelty.
When the next time arises that you spot a troll whilst enjoying a game, remember: as unflattering as you may find the behavior, the behavior ties to a trait that is a part of their unique character. Just as we all partake in activities that we find pleasurable, so do sadist. Try as you might, you will not convince a sadist (Especially over the internet), to stop an activity that gives them such pleasure.
If you are someone who gets negatively heated by sadists', it's probably best to mute or block the individual for your own sanity. If you ever see or hear someone else say "just mute them" try and heed their advice, as you might already be blinded by rage.

All this being said, how do you think the population of sadists should be dealt with?
It is likely that many are reported and receive bans of some sort. Some games discipline by incorporating automatic mute functions so that the individual is unable to communicate with their team members. Other games collect the population of offenders and give them their own queue?. Part of me enjoys this idea as perhaps some of the population will get a 'taste of their own medicine". It would be interesting to see if the trait could be altered in some way by these means.

Do you think the presence of trolls helps others to build thicker skin?
Does the presence go to far in harming those will lower resilience who may be driven to self injurious behavior, even suicide?
Perhaps the system should be left alone.
What our society really needs is bolstered mental health awareness. Early teachings of mindfulness. Learn how to truly know our unique selves, and how to spot when we may need the assistance from others who are more knowledgeable than ourselves at present.

Always here to help,
 

T3hK1tt3h

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All this being said, how do you think the population of sadists should be dealt with?
IMO, it depends of who is dealing with said sadist. Furthermore, I don't entirely agree with your definition that trolls = sadists. I would say that even something negative as trolling is not, per se, an act of deliberate will to hurt someone, and therefore I submit that sadists wouldn't be necessarily included in the psychological/psychiatric makeup of a troll. Some trolls, even if their acts hurt someone, don't intend to hurt, in their minds they're having fun. A sadist knows s/he is inflicting harm.

Do you think the presence of trolls helps others to build thicker skin?
If it doesn't, then I would posit that whoever is being targeted by a troll needs to seek council to learn how to deal with obstacles, because if someone online has this power, RL is much more cruel.

Does the presence go to far in harming those will lower resilience who may be driven to self injurious behavior, even suicide?

Again, it's happening online. I've been targeted by a narcissistic sociopath who harassed me for well over a year on a social media platform, and even though people who saw through their gaslighting opposed the idea, I eventually deleted my profile and went on my merry way. I disagree that leaving was an act of defeat, as I was told. I would say that should I have left sooner (not allowing pride to blind me) my enjoyment of my online life and its reflection IRL would have benefited greatly from this one small act of shutting the door and leaving.

If someone is being driven to injurious behavior because of an online entity, they, not the culprit should seek help. The harasser, troll, sadist, socio/psychopath won't change (the first two may, depending on life-changing events in their lives), so considering suicide or self-harm because of someone online is a weakness, and as such, it requires lessons, acquired by means of counseling, on how to deal with toxic people. Which is, IMO, by not dealing with such people at all.

Without an audience they're nothing. This is the worst "punishment" you can inflict on someone seeking this kind of attention.

P.S.: I've been on the Internet since its "birth", and sometimes I feel at loss how people react to anonymous random people online. Just don't interact with those who are likely to hurt you. Leave, go away, don't interact! A 100% valid advice for RL too. What happened to "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me" that I grew up with?

P.P.S.: And should one choose to not engage, they should also NOT listen to people who infer from their leaving that they're "offended". Leaving, not engaging, ignoring, are all a conscious CHOICE. Choose wisely, because one Internet meme is right, YOLO, you only live once. Make the best of it.

Cheers.
 

Sweetbit

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Thank you for your in-depth contribution.

Some trolls, even if their acts hurt someone, don't intend to hurt, in their minds they're having fun
Do you suppose that those who do not intend are to too young and immature to know the difference? Or perhaps, also, it is the un-resilient spirits who are sensitive and take certain comments the wrong way... especially since written commentary lacks tone and emotion.

I suppose I'm biased with my agreeing opinion of 'Trolls = Sadists' roughly due a variety of studies, such as Trolls just want to have fun
 

T3hK1tt3h

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Do you suppose that those who do not intend are to too young and immature to know the difference? Or perhaps, also, it is the un-resilient spirits who are sensitive and take certain comments the wrong way... especially since written commentary lacks tone and emotion.
From my experience, it's both, not necessarily at the same time, though coincidences can happen, especially considering how written commentary can be misconstrued. For about a year I had a series of very positive debates with a CB therapist, who was interested on my take, as a Linguist, on the evolution of language due to the Internet. Unfortunately, for reasons unknown, he deleted his entire channel before last year's Ramadan and hasn't been seen in the usual places (he's not a gamer).

I suppose I'm biased with my agreeing opinion of 'Trolls = Sadists' roughly due a variety of studies, such as Trolls just want to have fun

Since I can only see the abstract, I can't form an opinion on the study. What I do know, both from Research Methodology and from the classes on Statistics, is that the same data can be interpreted differently, varying according to one's bias.

I would, and I'm giving an opinion based on experience and lots of reading, give a "guesstimate" that most trolls don't belong in the Dark Tetrad. I had the dubious "pleasure" of having been intimate with a narcissistic psychopath (who by all definitions of the word is also a sadist), and to understand what happened I had to understand what kind of person/personality he was/is. These people are evil, they don't show remorse, even knowing that what they do isn't right or in certain cases, not socially acceptable. They just don't care. Their "happiness" comes first.

Trolls don't see themselves as evil, with obvious exceptions of those who revel in the fact they "owned" someone online. Probably even scratch the counting score somewhere. And in the early 2000's I met a group, very tight, who welcomed me with all honors trolls give to newbies on certain places (more back then than nowadays, the Internet was the Wild West). After I shared something personal in the advice forum, their leader empathized with what happened, and she invited me to hang out with them. And it eventually lead me back to playing videogames (I was an arcade teenager). They invited me to play WoW with them, and were amazingly patient while I was catching up. Were they trolls? Yes. Were they sadists, or bad people? No. They did it because they could, and because they mocked people who didn't have thick skin. And then, after about a decade, everybody grew up and disbanded.

As the Internet evolved, and with the advent of social media and everybody having access at least from their smartphone, the culture shifted, changed, morphed into something different. What was something silly people did is now seen as harassment and bullying. Which in some cases is true. And in some other cases, the recipient uses one "language" that is different from the "language" the alleged troll used. Language relies on both parties using the same code. If different people abide by different codes, communication gets truncated.

I would prefer that people didn't troll maliciously, didn't harass or bully, but I also would prefer that everybody agreed to use the same code, because otherwise we have huge misunderstandings, and people suffer because of this. I will end with Grandma's advice, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." (hmmm, I adapted to a more polite version of what my Russian Babushka used to say, she was... something.)
 

Sweetbit

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Language relies on both parties using the same code. If different people abide by different codes, communication gets truncated.
I love this.
Though, I imagine that the framework needed to create such circumstances of multiple parties using the "same code" would involve segregation. Due to vast environmental variables as we age, our reaction to particular language or, codes, will be different from person to person based on encountered variables.
Nevertheless, what you stated, is an interesting and pleasant way to view the trials of communication.
 

T3hK1tt3h

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Though, I imagine that the framework needed to create such circumstances of multiple parties using the "same code" would involve segregation.
No!!!!! Why segregation? I'm a bit horrified at the thought.

Language IS a code. When two people speak the same language, they use a key, the decoder or cipher, to understand each other. This is Language 101.

Any language is a code, even pre-historical pictographs. The most famous example of a cipher is the Rosetta Stone was an amazing tool to help decipher Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic script, for example. But only because they already knew Ancient Greek.

The Rosetta Stone is a granodiorite stele, found in 1799, inscribed with three versions of a decree issued at Memphis, Egypt in 196 BC during the Ptolemaic dynasty on behalf of King Ptolemy V. The top and middle texts are in Ancient Egyptian using hieroglyphic script and Demotic script, respectively, while the bottom is in Ancient Greek. As the decree has only minor differences between the three versions, the Rosetta Stone proved to be the key to deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs.
English (or any other language in the world) is no different from a computer code. The computer will perform its tasks if the code is correct. If not, it will issue an error message. Two people will be able to communicate effectively if they're using the same decoder, ci
pher, or key.

What I meant is that by adding new meanings to words, or changing completely words meanings, people understand different things when they attempt to communicate. It's already a problem when dealing with different generations of people, words stop being used, favored by other words that are the current "trend" in a given language. There's also the issue of people self-segregating into their own bubbles (as in different "tribes") and each bubble uses a different dictionary. So when the bubble-people interact, they normally clash due to inferring erroneously what their interlocutor said. If you want a perfect example of the "bubble-people" just look at Twitter from a Linguistics POV. :)

While language is adaptive, forced changes to words and their meanings are the current struggle of Linguists. Because quite the opposite from segregation, language is meant to UNITE people through common understanding.

I'm a bit amused, after feeling horrified, that a conversation about online trolls developed into discussing segregating people.

BTW, have you thought why trolls are called trolls? It's an intended slur at those who troll, because if you envision the image of a troll from a fable or fiction, they're ugly and nasty. And true to their nature, the online trolls, instead of feeling offended, wear their troll badges with pride. ;)

Cheers, thanks for the exchange. Please, don't segregate people!

Troll Fable.jpgTroll from Shrek.png
 
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