All Articles Tagged "internet trolls"
For all the full-time Internet trolls out there, let this be a warning to you: If there’s one celebrity you might not want to go after, especially through their social media accounts that they clearly have control over, it’s probably Rihanna.
According to VIBE, the singer and wannabe “gangsta” was minding her business, posting her usual variety of photos to her Instagram. One of these photos just so happened to be of Ri with one of her family members, so you would hope these type of photos would be off-limits to the haters.
A follower who clearly wasn’t a fan commented on the picture saying, “I swear everyone in Rihanna’s family looks like they’re retarded… Must be the drugs and alcohol!”
Like most trolls, this follower assumed that she wasn’t going to see it and that she could just get a few Navy stans riled up, but the singer herself caught wind of the comment and went on attack mode.
She went to the woman’s Instagram profile, grabbed a photo of her, put it side-by-side with a goat and posted it to her profile with the following caption:
“Can you spot the 3 things that are different in these pics? Chile, it’s time to privatize that account!”
Ouch. In the end, the young woman privatized her account, because we’re sure the stans were trying to do some research on her and be ugly, and as for Rihanna, she would later delete the photo of the young woman next to the goat. But alas, what’s done on the Internet always comes to light.
While the young woman shouldn’t have said that a member of the singer’s family looks “retarted,” and even if she deserved some sort of tongue-lashing, at the same time, Rihanna needs to be above going toe-to-toe with these folks. We all do it once or twice out of frustration, but we know this isn’t the first time she’s done so on her Instagram and Twitter. And with all of her often fanatic/crazed followers, she was, in a way, setting this woman up to get verbally attacked by hundreds of people. All in all, everybody needs to do better.
So, to you, is this a form of cyber-bullying? Or are people overreacting?
Rhonda Lee, the Louisiana based meteorologist, spoke with Roland Martin on the Tom Joyner Morning show yesterday about her termination from KTBS, a local ABC Affiliate, for responding to derogatory comments about her natural hair, among other things, made on the station’s Facebook page.
If you haven’t read the full details of the story, Veronica Wells does a great analysis of the situation; therefore it is no need to reiterate again. But listening to Lee explain the sequence of events to Martin, there are two things to note about this story: First, Lee’s termination doesn’t compare at all to the story of Jennifer Livingston, a Wisconsin reporter, who took to the airways and responded to a viewer, who reprimanded her via email for being overweight, thus not being “a suitable example for this community’s young people, girls in particular.” I have heard this comparison a lot since this story went viral. While both took a stand against bullying and harassment over the Internet, Livingston had the full support of her station (including her husband who works as an anchor for the station), who even carved out time in the news show’s broadcast for her to speak on the derogatory comment. Unfortunately for Lee, she did not have the same permission – although there is some disagreement over how this policy was or was not communicated.
Another thing to note is the difficulty in handling negative criticism, especially in this new digital age. In short, Facebook is getting more and more people fired and Lee is its latest casualty.
Nowadays, all you have to do is click-[Insert derogatory comment here]-click and boom! Instant gratification for them; instant bruised ego, hurt feelings and painful historical reminders for you. Nicci at FatFemPinUp recently listed a sampling all of the derogatory, vile and hateful comments she’d receive after posting a picture of herself via Twitter, with a caption, “450lbs *shrugs* and no, im not trying to lose or gain weight.” Most of the comments were so ugly and vicious that it would be hard to ignore them, if not take them to heart. And many of them could stand to get their feelings hurt from a verbal thrashing.
However, in order to survive in this new digital age, you need a new level of patience as well as tougher than leather skin to deal with the anti-social folks. But in those instances where the tomfoolery and shenanigans are too much and you lose patience, discernment is key. As Yvette Carnell, a writer friend of mine, bluntly said recently of this controversy, don’t engage crazy. Or in more universal terms, don’t feed the trolls. Reason being, you can’t change their minds and some folks really do thrive off of attention – no matter if it is negative or positive. And responding not only fuels their debauchery but tends to derail conversation on a thread. And if a couple of commenters manage to insult both black people and cancer patients in the same sentence as well as create an elaborate conspiracy theory involving little black kids winning a free shopping trip at Wal-Mart to the mayor of the town, I really don’t think that a response, no matter how well intentioned, is worth your time, effort and energy. Believe me, his/her stupidity is already duly noted.
In, The 4 Worst Things About Writing for the Internet, which is one of my favorite humorous articles about writing for online audiences, Cracked writer Daniel O’Brien speaks very fluently about how veteran professionals in this digital era end up dealing with some of the more colorful forms of feedback we see in comment sections:
“You can get over it. I’ve been doing this long enough that I’ve gotten plenty of comments from both ends of the spectrum of Internet Commentary, from the lows of “You’re the worst thing to ever happen to writing, I fucking hate you,” all the way to the highs of “This article wasn’t a piece of Isht like your others, I fucking hate you.” I’ve read both of those comments and everything in between them enough times that it’s all basically white noise at this point. So there’s a possibility that you’ll eventually become immune to all comments. Or you could just develop a thicker skin. Or just not read comments at all. Or you can read and intensely focus on every single comment, (though only a total lunatic would do that). Whatever. The point is, you can get to a place where comments don’t affect you at all.
With that said what a lame reason to lose your job, especially considering how innocuous her response was. When I first heard of this story, I thought she went in on this jerk, with some colorful and derogatory language of her own. Instead she delivered a very thoughtful reply, in my opinion, definitely not worthy of being fired over. Exactly why you should never try to save your haters.
When you blog, Facebook or tweet you open yourself up to a vast network of potential contacts, new friends or maybe even romance. But be careful not to have too much success, too much happiness and too much uncommon sense and you might as well put a sign on your backside that says, “Kick me.” And boy, they do. They spew the most horrid and vile word vomit, cloaked behind the glass shield of the computer screen. These are the Trolls, from the land of Trollpania, and they walk amongst us, cowards that they are, because what the write online they would be too yellow-spined to say to your face.
Khadija Nassif, founder of the ground-breaking Black Women’s Empowerment blog, Sojourner’s Passport, called these folks internet Ike Turners, if they’re men and “Ikettes” if they’re women. These trollpanians/Ikes/Ikettes feed off of throwing salt, extinguishing any hopes and dreams you have, poo-pooing on your success and want you to be as miserable as they are.
Here’s a few reasons why trollpanians like to sling e-turds online.
Control and Fear
It seems silly to try to control someone you don’t know with no skin in the game, yet they try. And try. And try. Perhaps you stand for a cause that threatens them and upsets their entire worldview. Could you imagine if the internet was around when Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Earth was round, and then blogged about it? Just picture all those Flat Earth people hurling f-bombs and threatening to burn ole’ Ferdi at the stake. Some people would rather seek to destroy what they fear rather than expend the brain cells necessary to think critically. Flat Earth folks would rather Google and cut and paste something–ANYTHING–that supports their point of view, no matter how wrong it is.
Envy and Jealousy
I see a lot of this on You Tube, when some happy couple publicly announces an engagement, eager and giddy to share their happiness with the world. They’ll be absolutely no reason to “dislike” a couple with plans to pledge their lives to one another, so why do I keep seeing “thumb’s down” on videos as tame as Bambi in a field full of flowers?
“It’s jealousy. These people think they are entitled to have what you have,” says psychologist, relationships expert and author, Dr. Gilda Carle. “They are mad at themselves because they have not succeeded as much as they would like,” and hate to see you doing what they aren’t doing.
Perhaps if the trollpanians spent a bit more time on their personal development and less time tearing others down, they might be able to celebrate the good fortune of others. Could we all be so lucky?
Christelyn D. Karazin is the co-author of “Swirling: How to Date, Mate and Relate Mixing Race, Culture and Creed” (to be released May 2012), and runs a blog, www.beyondblackwhite.com, dedicated to women of color who are interested and or involved in interracial and intercultural relationships. She is also the founder and organizer of “No Wedding, No Womb,” an initiative to find solutions to the 72 percent out-of-wedlock rate in the black community.
More on Madame Noire!
- Sisters In Hiding: Not So Famous Sisters of Famous Celebs
- Delusions Of A Thirsty Chick
- Things Black Mothers Say
- Celebrity Mistresses: The Good, The Bad, and The Trifling
- 7 Curl Defining Products to Get Your Curls and Coils Poppin’
- Family Ties: 7 Rappers Who Finally Grew Up
- He Loves Me: Men Who Just Adore Their Wives
- What Exactly Makes Something Ghetto?