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Friday, October 1, 2010

Fuck Off Friday: Twitter Trolls

  I didn't get as many FOF nods this week because it's been so long since I've used the once-familiar topic. After numerous requests from my old-school readers, I've decided that Fuck Off Friday must return. With this week's FOF the category is restarting with a bang simply because everyone who social networks has been the victim of one type of lifeless beast that I'll call the Twitter Troll.

 There are various types of online trolls- blog beaters, spam senders, chat room crashers, and many more. Since this week's FOF started off in Twitter, I'll confine it to two types of particular yoyos, because they're actually malicious.

  The first one is the Frequent Follower Troll. This particular pain-in-the-tweet follows or friend lists a whole bunch of people on any of a number of social networks. They often find them through buddy lists of others, and often follow the entire list. And then they wait....and wait....and wait. They linger somewhat harmlessly until you say something about their favourite politician or athlete or just make a joke they don't like. Then...

 ....KER-SPLAT! Here comes everything from the Yenta telling you how to live your life to the serial insulter to the Tea Party and its kin. The FFT could be anyone from a nosy housewife to a political pundit to a garbage man. All you know is that your first contact with the person involves them trying to infiltrate your existence. These people may be frustrating, but aren't usually too mean. They just think that they are right and you must agree with them or that they can fix what they see as wrong with you.

  The second is far more menacing. It is the Trending Topic Terrorist. This person uses keyword searches to find people to harass and knows no bounds. The person is actively hunting for people to inflict cruelty upon. If you dare to say something about Christine O'Donnell, Mariah Carey, or anyone they are a fan of you're going to get the force of their boredom and virulence. This person is usually a fangirl or wannabe politico. All that matters to them is that they have never talked to you but they sure don't like you. There may be an exchange that can result in a barrage of personal derisions, character defamations, and even violent threats. This individual often prides him or herself on their capacity for cruelty. The T3 is a bully who may even be a criminal.

  So we have briefly studied two of the more common types of internet assholes. These are people that you do not have to deal with. Upon first disgusting comment or threat, block them. If the person persists, makes threats, displays your address, or incites violence (including suicide suggestions) have the person's account suspended. If the lifeless idiot stick continues, phone the police. Don't enable the bully.

  This Fuck Off Friday is in YOUR hands. Tell the trolls to fuck off this Friday and make the interwebs a better place.

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