Sarah Perez
Are Trolls Ruining Social Media? -
Are Trolls Ruining Social Media?
Not here on FriendFeed, they're not. That's thanks to the ease of hiding and blocking. - Louis Gray
I actually find Trolls less prevalent in new social media than they are in forums, usenet etc. I think the subscription nature of the medium makes it much easier to simply exclude them. - Eoghann Irving
I think the recommendation for a 'PR team' is a bit much. I am sure that tools will be created to fill this niche. - Michael R. Bernstein
There's more to this story than just anonymous trolls. In following @trent_reznor, there seemed to be a group of people whose single purpose was to mock everything he said/did. And this behavior is not just on twitter. They post on the official NIN forums, some have their own blogs, alledgely under their own names; it is everywhere Trent has a cyber presence. Bottom line, no matter what the man did, this group had a negative comment, or ten, to spread around. When he twittered, they blasted what he said, when he didn't - they said he was pouting and it was just a PR stunt, when he fought back - they cried "oh look, what a jerk." In raising money for a man in need of a heart transplant (Eric De La Cruz - and he raised a LOT of money), they berated him for not caring about Brazilian quake victims. I don't blame Trent in the least for leaving and not looking back. It sucks because he had some great observations about life. A celebrity like this who tweets their life, gives the rest of us who don't live that lifestyle a peek into that culture. For the trolls - it's almost like that can't stand the fact that their idols are human and eat at Burger King just like the rest of us. I wish him the best - he's doing a wonderful thing for Eric. To bad the haters have won. - 2zen2 from FriendFeed MT Plugin
Sarah, GREAT post! I wish there were more advocates to eradicate the trolls from the interwebs! Ryan Carson posted an entry in January speaking to this issue after the situation Michael Arrington had dealt with ( I've followed the Carsonified blog for a while, and I noticed that some people go on there just to rip into Ryan personally. Ryan's a friend of mine and one of the nicest people in the world, so I started going on Carsonifed patrolling for these clowns to find them hiding behind a blank avatar spewing venom, and just started lighting the vitriolic assholes up asking that they identify themselves. There doesn't seem to be a real need for anonymity on open web platforms, such as blogs, twitter, etc. If someone is going to make a comment, they should be forced to identify themselves. I'm a nobody, so I really don't have a problem with trolls attacking me, but I feel horrible for people that have acquired any bit of "internet fame" because sooner or later this will be an issue for them. - AJ Leon from FriendFeed MT Plugin
I think this is another case of celebrity problems. If you have an account with your name expect trolls, bottom line. Don't change the 'net because they can't use their name for their personal accounts. Its just reversed for celebs... - Jim Gaudet from FriendFeed MT Plugin
+1 esther - Liz
interesting. Sometimes trolls can be cute and cuddly. - Thomas Hawk
This is not a surprise and has been going on for years. But generally on a smaller scale, so goes unnoticed by the news. The result will be the celebrities, sports pros, and pros in any area of expertise (doctors, chefs, whatever) will get fed up, remember why they hide from the public, remember the worth of their work and knowledge (as Reznor has), and leave. It is unfortunate for those of us who truly like to learn and hear from professionals. Eventually, I think a few of the pros/celebrities might do what Reznor suggests and create their own closed communities -- EXACTLY what they have now offline, and EXACTLY what the advocates of openness on the net are railing against. So, imo, things will come full circle (inet portraying RL)...and "normal" people will remain in the dark...the internet will have "openness" -- but will consist of the clueless communicating with the clueless, and we'll be dolled out polished bits via publicists, gossip rags and PR firms. ...bummer - Dean from FriendFeed MT Plugin
what louis said - they try to get a foothold but then poof they're trolling alone :) - mike "glemak" dunn
For those not deeply involved with the Eric De La Cruz campaign, what pushed the final button for Reznor was that the trolls were attacking #Eric. This was not just about a celebrity tired of dealing with crappy people. Its about saving a life. These trolls were writing elaborate blog posts and tweeting with the purpose of discrediting a campaign to keep someone alive. This is a sick breed of troll and a few were anonymous anyway. Why not get to work with your music, your tour, your family, especially when leaving social media means protecting your campaign to save Eric's life? - E-Advocate Network
Well... Of course i can understand Trent worries as he says he's so overwhelmed by hundreds of haters. But at the same time, there will always be morons, especially as media become so-to-say "larger-than-life" everyday. The point is not how to make the trolls or simply the assholes to shut up, because we don't like what they have to say. They have the right to say it anyway. It's democracy, with all its downsides. We can't start to block hundreds of "trolls" or whatever out of networks, because that's a dangerous road that lead to censorship in the long run. And it raises questions: who decides the troll? Who judges the hater? How anyone will gain the legitimate position to do that? I foresee infinte discussion that will lead to nothing, i'm afraid... I don't know, probably reputatation should be on top of our criteria; no hope of ever getting rid completely of stupidity, unfortunately. In regards to anonymous posts in general... that's another choice that's generally tolerated in "real" aspects of everyday life. The way you use it depends on many factors; some of them are just psychological. You can have all the reason in the world not to post in yr real name, maybe your shy, maybe you don't want exposure, maybe you're just experimenting with reactions... nothing bad in itself here, either...IMHO - diego morelli
@esther: ;-))) - diego morelli
As usual, it would help if people - readers and pos(t)ers - had the choice. If social media platforms would easily let me tune out comments from people who were not <i>verifiably</i> who they said they were, I would probably do it on some platforms, whenever the signal-to-noise ratio dropped too low. That would probably encourage thoughtful commenters to put their name behind their words, and discourage the rest. But you have to keep anonymity <a href = "">for the same reasons why it shouldn’t be possible for journalists to be punished when protecting their sources</a>. I'd also probably not filter out anonymous comments as a default, as that'd risk locking me into a groupthink trap, where I only see non-challenging ideas. But it would be great to be able to say 'cut out the crap' now and then. And all this assumes that allowing people to be verifiably them online - i.e., makign identity theft impossible - can be done without surrendering basic rights to privacy. - Mathew from FriendFeed MT Plugin
That's not a troll, it's a gnome! - Chris Charabaruk
A CREEPY gnome. - DGentry
Some networks are easier to control than others. People can say what3ever they want to on Twitter but you only see it if you followed them or you've got a search that brings it in. It's a lot easier on networks like Facebook (yes, I just said something nice about Facebook) where you can choose who you want to listen to. Trolls in communities on-line are no different than they are off line, it's just a shocking new phenomenon to people who haven't been online for long. - Janet Fouts
We were (me my lovely wife) were just talking 'bout FF trolls and noticed this post. Perfect trolling moment :) - Olcayto Cengiz
lol..@ esther.. ;o) - Rob Sellen :o)
You have to distinguish between anonymous access to the internet and anonymous user accounts on communities. Also, different communities have different needs. For some types of communities anonymity is required for all members, e.g. political or religious communities in non-democratic countries, while for some they are impossible. Celebrities, like everyone else, will have to choose the community which is right for them. However, this is not only a celeb problem. It is also a problem for many teenagers who find themselves harassed by anonymous bullies around the clock, rather than just school hours, shutting them out from communication and participation in the community. - hajons from FriendFeed MT Plugin
@hajons: Good point regarding cyberbullies. I just read that a quarter of girls have been bullied online ( how sad! Obviously I understand the need for anonymity in certain communities/situations and yes, even countries - I wish people hadn't taken the suggestion to do away with anonymity quite so literally!! - but there are also a lot of places online where anonymity isn't protecting anyone expect those who like to cause trouble. - Sarah Perez
Re: celebrities complaining about's like the celeb who relies on the paparazzi to make him/her famous, but then complains about them for invading their privacy. You can't have it both ways. - Curt Mercadante