So after a Panorama documentary last night I learnt what “trolls” are. No, not a mythical creature typically carrying a very ugly appearance found under bridges, but in fact a cyber bully too scared to remove his anonymity.
It’s one thing seeing Cher Lloyd in tears breaking down her self proclaimed wall of steel strong personality, declaring she gets at least ten tweets a day saying she’s a “dirty pikey” but it’s another story seeing how these unnecessary messages consisting of potentially harmful abuse can go so far that it has led to victim suicide.
I have definitely had my fair share of cyber bullying and abuse on pretty much every social networking site there is, from Facebook, to Formspring and Little Gossip. Some of which I’ve published and preceded to act like it didn’t bother me, but others too horrific to publicly display or even repeat to friends.
There was many a night I went to sleep in tears after receiving these messages. Countless repeated posts stating ‘ugly’, ‘ugly’, ‘ugly’, was definitely the lighter of the abuse. But when you look below the post and it shows the author’s identity as ‘anonymous’ you begin to wonder what this ‘trolls’ real objective is.
Does it make them feel better about themselves? Does it inflate their ego?
Self-confessed ‘Troll’ shown on the Panorama documentary claimed the only reason for this abuse was to get a reaction from others. It’s disgusting to think that the way to get others attention nowadays is by abusing others, some of whom you know nothing about.
I live with the opinion that the people who take part in this abuse are worse than physical bullies. Trolls hide behind a screen with the “post anonymously” box permanently ticked then act oblivious to any occurring consequences.
Racist cyber bully Ryan Heats held the opinion that Facebook is a public site, and therefore he has the right to write and publish anything he wants. But when does public opinion become the breach of personal discrimination? And when should freedom of speech draw a line?