I find it amazing just how nasty some people can be in cyberspace. The behavior of some towards people that they know nothing about on sites like Facebook, Twitter and even comments on news articles or blogs is mind boggling in terms of outright rudeness.
A lot of people refer to such purveyors of hate and ignorance, and that is really what it is, as Trolls.
The sad thing is that most of the Trolls that I am accosted by claim to be Christians or those who are claim to be family values type conservatives or anti-government types. Actually it makes me tired.
It has been a while since I had any of these, but today I got hit on Twitter by someone who decided to insult first and then not ask questions later. I gave a short terse response, then blocked and ignored him. I looked at his Twitter profile and he kind of fit the conservative anti-government mold. I know that some conservatives experience similar behaviors from some people on the political left so I don’t think that it is limited to any particular group. Anti-social and rude behavior is common to humanity and has been made worse by our wonderful technology.
Unfortunately that is the common denominator of Trolls regardless of their politics, religion. ideology or alma mater. Personally I don’t know how people can be so angry and it does cause me great concern.
As a historian it kind of scares me. It reminds me of what I read about the United States in the 1850s before the Civil War and after Reconstruction, or Weimar Germany.
Likewise from my experience in Iraq I learned from Iraqi officers just how they felt about the extremists, especially the religious types both Sunni and Shia who helped drive that country into a civil war. A civil war that is threatening to again envelop that unfortunate country that we helped destroy. In fact though they had billets for Imam’s in thier units most Iraq commanders would not fill them because the Imam’s and Mullahs of both sides were seen to be a big part of the problem. It is a warning that our religious leaders who want to establish their religion above all others should heed. But I digress…
The fact is that for all its wonders the world of cyberspace has removed many of the boundaries and filters that many people used to take for granted. Most people would never say the things to someone in person that they do on the internet. I believe that this has made us a much less civil society and in fact it is a cancer that will destroy us if we are not careful.
Oh well, Karma is a bitch. Though I will not be the one to take matters in my own hands, the truth of the matter is that Trolls will see that what goes around comes around.