Internet Trolls: A personal story about killing the power of an Internet troll by not responding to them. This method might work for you.
When we troll the Internet trolls, we only give them more power. On the Internet, criticism is attention, and Internet trolls love attention. Take away their power by ignoring them. ~ www.jaywren.com
Today, I had to have a talk with my Internet troll.
I was reading an article online and came across an ugly description of one of my friends. The physical description was demeaning and inaccurate. The description of my friend’s behavior was completely out of character. The wording of the article revealed the bias and hurt feelings the writer had for my friend.
The writer described how he had gone nose-to-nose with my friend. He said that he had talked down to him, physically and verbally. By physically, the man told how my friend was the shorter of the two and that he looked down his nose while delivering a lecture on my friend’s shortcomings.
Knowing the fact that my friend was a college football player, I wonder whether the author’s hard feelings lead him to dramatize the encounter inaccurately.
Encounter in Front of Congress
The author went on to describe how the two had crossed paths later. This time my friend appeared before a congressional hearing. President Ronald Reagan had appointed my friend to serve as a U.S. Assistant Secretary for Defense. The author of the article described how he had the satisfaction of a congressional member pressing my friend on his ability to work with congressional staff. My friend passed the hearings and received the appointment.
The author then implied that my friend’s career simply evaporated, and he disappeared into obscurity.
Internet Trolls are Examples of Bias over Reality
In fact, my friend retired from federal service and went on to become president of a Fortune 500 company. A few years later, President George W. Bush appointed my friend to serve as vice president in the office of the University of California to oversee the management of the federal research labs. In this responsibility, my friend corrected the security issues in a system with over 12,000 employees and billions of dollars in annual budget.
There’s is No Winning Against a Troll
The author of the article is a journalistic Internet troll.
Instead of going after this writer, I redirected my anger to write an article about my feelings in reading the article.
My inner troll said told me to rant to correct the inaccuracies of the article. Then it occurred to me that by correcting this person online, I would only be promoting the very article and the very person who detracted from my friend. Thus, I have vented my inner troll here without mentioning the name of the author or the article. I will not use my resources to empower an author I don’t like.