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Why The Trolls* Seem To Own Free Speech

The Trolls (above), from: Wikipedia**



"... And all you're ever gonna be is mean.
Why you gotta be so mean?"

Taylor Swift, "Mean" (this redirects to a YouTube.com video
Hit the back button on your browser to return to this page.)
(Yes, I'm a Swiftie too <3!)





“Hating people is like burning down
your own house to get rid of a rat."

Harry Emerson Fosdick





“Love for the same thing never makes allies.
It's always hate for the same thing."

Howard Spring







[This is an essay about how freedom, in the form of "Free Speech", can be used to hurt people, instead of help them come together. It is also the story of what kind of world this freedom is creating. Not a world that works together to keep our species united, but a world where everyone is afraid of everyone else! Yes, afraid, because saying or doing something can get you in a lot of trouble, and make you a perfect target, for abuse and ridicule!

That last quotation above, by Howard Spring, describes how groups can actually create hate from love – today, that very thing is being generated by groups, especially political and religious ones, who can't see that when you divide people from each other, you are, in fact, generating hate – add to this, the power of a “God”, and that hate is shrouded in a total blindness that can't see very far beyond that selfish love that enshrines itself in hate!

This is often, how the trolls of this world are born. And that is what this essay is all about! As Taylor Swift says above: "Why you gotta be so mean?"]



This essay is about a phenomenon created by that new “technology” the Internet spawned, called “social media”. But it's not really new, just that same old thing that has been around as long as human beings have existed on this earth. What makes it new, is that technology has been able to spread and accentuate it, to the point that even more hurt is created; and these “trolls” can twist things into just about any evil tenor, their evil minds can create, because technology can take a situation completely out of context, much easier than ever before, and spread it like the wind, using the Internet – today, they call it, “going viral”.

Let's begin by defining that term “Troll”: "In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat room, or blog) with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."1

In short, he's a troublemaker! And, today's Internet technology has just made his profession a lot easier! Why?

Taking Things Out Of Context!

Everything occurs in context2 to something else; there is nothing isolated in this mortal world, we live in. Taking things out of context has become a very easy thing to do, especially, when you record a picture, a video or a voice recording, and then add to it a twisted description or title. The “trolls” of the world have gotten to become experts at this “manipulation of the facts” that the Internet has excelled in, because of a technology that has made this possible!3 Free speech only magnifies this “freedom to hurt”, which the trolls have cornered the market on! And, the Internet gives them a tool that provides connectivity, speed and anonymity! In all, it makes them the perfect Bully!

Yes, Bullies! That's exactly what they are! They distort and warp a situation, to bully someone! And, free speech has become a tool they use to further this bullying! Little did we realize that our most precious freedom could become our greatest threat, and changed into an outright evil, instead of the benefit it was made to be!

But our forefathers knew this, even back then! this quote from Benjamin Franklin, I used, in another essay, made clear that he knew the trolls of the world, even in his time:

“There is nothing in which mankind reproach themselves more than in their diversity of Opinions. Every Man sets himself above another in his own Opinion, and there are not two Men in the World whose sentiments are alike in every thing. Hence it comes to pass, that the same Passages in the Holy Scriptures or the works of the Learned, are wrested to the meanings of two opposite parties, of contrary Opinions, as if the passages they recite were like our Master Janus, looking two ways at once, or like Lawyers, who with equal Force of Argument, can plead either for the Plaintiff or Defendant.”4

Just to inform some of our readers, who may not be up on Roman History, Janus was a God of the ancient Romans, who had two faces, looking in opposite directions – the originator of that term “two faced” we use, by coincidence, to perfectly describe that bully, called the troll! So, the troll has a long, if not distinguished, history! But trolls are not only individuals today, but even groups.

Yes, today, the groups have multiplied almost out of imagining; and every group causes more division, and more opportunity for the trolls of this world to reap havoc on the unsuspecting “believer”! But then, believers are a part of the problem, because beliefs are beyond reason. And, the groups of today's world (especially, the political, religious, or even both5) don't want to see that when you are outside of reason, you are like a blind man in a box, cut off from everything, but your own mind. So, that's how that love, that often originally forms the group, becomes its opposite – hate!

Yes, groups that begin with love, but end in hate – this is, very often, the origin of the troll! But, like all bullies, trolls have vulnerabilities. They don't like to be made known, in the light of day! They prefer the shadows, like all bullies do! That is why they prefer the Internet, and a life “on line”. That is why the Internet has damaged our free speech, because of this anonymity, it fosters. People with true opinions, make them known, with pride, not deceit and stealth, like the trolls do. Opinions can be unpopular, and many times are; in fact, they are frequently debated – as is only right, because that was part of the whole purpose of free speech. But, the freedom to hurt was not the purpose of free speech! Just as the distortion of facts cannot be called any kind of speech at all, except lies and deception. But then, we have laws to protect us from these kinds of things – things, called libel and slander. But, again, the anonymity of the Internet protects these trolls from this, but in the process destroys, what makes this medium so fascinating – its freedom!

Can we have that freedom of speech, we love so much, without giving up that privacy, we also love so much? As Shakespeare said: “That is the question!”

It is the question of our times, indeed! For we find ourselves, everyday, losing more and more of that privacy we value so much, and with it that freedom of speech we use to take for granted. The trolls of this world have taken their toll on us, whether we like it or not; for, because of their antics, we, everyday, lose more trust in each other, and, in losing that trust, our world becomes a little more unstable and a little more crazier. For trust is the glue that holds everything mortal together!

So, Mr. Troll, I hope you can sleep tonight, knowing just how much damage you have done to your world, and consequently, yourself – for as Mr. Fosdick says above: “Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat."! That is exactly what you are doing to yourself, Mr Troll!

Stop Trolls!

Please Do Not Feed The Trolls!

From: Wikipedia




FOOTNOTES

To return to note's origin click the footnote number at left



* "Internet" Trolls, that is!



** "A troll is a supernatural being in Norse mythology and Scandinavian folklore." from Wikipedia. See Wikipedia: "Troll" I think it's obvious, or will be obvious, after you read this essay, why "Internet Trolls" were named after these creatures!
(Note: You will leave our site when you use the above link, so, hit the back button on your browser to return to this page!)



1 Very properly, this definition is taken from the Wikipedia, Internet article: Internet troll.
(Note: You will leave our site when you use the above link, so, hit the back button on your browser to return to this page!)



2 See the essay: 'Let’s Put Life “In Context"'.



3 Add to this “technology”, a camera on every cell phone; cameras on just about every street corner; and a free press that loves to leaves the facts behind! What it comes down to is a world where privacy no longer exists! And, with the loss of privacy, so goes trust. That same “loss of trust”, also brought down another Republic, similar to our own, that thought itself invincible. See my essay: "The End of the Roman Republic – The Decline and Fall of Trust".



4 This is a quote by Benjamin Franklin, in “On Titles of Honour”. I first presented this quote as a footnote in the essay: "The MEDIA And A FREE Society, (The Anachronism Of A For-Profit Media)", footnote *. Of course, Franklin only hints at the larceny of the troll here, but the mention of Janus, certainly identifies that hidden hypocrisy!



5 Yes, even religions are “political” today! See my essay: "And Man Created God In His Image, To Subjugate... To Alienate... To Rule... To Enslave!"







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Originally Published:

August 9, 2015


Revised:

August 9, 2015