Skip to comments.The Trolls Among Us
Posted on 03/09/2010 9:47:48 AM PST by Reaganesque
One afternoon in the spring of 2006, for reasons unknown to those who knew him, Mitchell Henderson, a seventh grader from Rochester, Minn., took a .22-caliber rifle down from a shelf in his parents bedroom closet and shot himself in the head. The next morning, Mitchells school assembled in the gym to begin mourning. His classmates created a virtual memorial on MySpace and garlanded it with remembrances. One wrote that Mitchell was an hero to take that shot, to leave us all behind. God do we wish we could take it back. . . . Someone e-mailed a clipping of Mitchells newspaper obituary to MyDeathSpace.com, a Web site that links to the MySpace pages of the dead. From MyDeathSpace, Mitchells page came to the attention of an Internet message board known as /b/ and the trolls, as they have come to be called, who dwell there.
/b/ is the designated random board of 4chan.org, a group of message boards that draws more than 200 million page views a month....
Someone hacked Hendersons MySpace page and gave him the face of a zombie. Someone placed an iPod on Hendersons grave, took a picture and posted it to /b/. Hendersons face was appended to dancing iPods, spinning iPods, hardcore porn scenes. A dramatic re-enactment of Hendersons demise appeared on YouTube, complete with shattered iPod. The phone began ringing at Mitchells parents home. It sounded like kids, remembers Mitchells father, Mark Henderson, a 44-year-old I.T. executive. Theyd say, Hi, this is Mitchell, Im at the cemetery. Hi, Ive got Mitchells iPod. Hi, Im Mitchells ghost, the front door is locked. Can you come down and let me in? He sighed. It really got to my wife. The calls continued for a year and a half.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The author interviewed several of these kinds of people and the comments he solicits from them are, frankly, terrifying. They feel that they not only have the right to be cruel and inhuman to others they deem to be "inferior" in some way, shape or form, but the duty to tear others down. In fact, those interviewed actually thought they were doing people a favor by being so heartlessly viscious.
So, the article raises a good point; where do you draw the line between vigorous comment and cyberbullying? Is anonymity a blessing or a curse online? There will always be those who abuse freedom and those who treasure it. How do rational adults draw a balance in this new, online world? Opinions?
The nice thing about longtime FReepers. Even in disagreement we still tend to have a certain degree of respect for each other.
For online video games we call it "nerd rage".
That is true. However, I was glad to see longtime troll member, Steve-B, finally get banned. It only took 12 years. :)
” there is a growing culture of people online with, as the article states, “a fluid morality and a disdain for pretty much everyone else online.” “
Has nothing to do with the internet or online anonymity.
It has to do with what they are taught and their base moral values.
Kids these days are taught that nobody matters but them.
And if their parents try to discipline them, they are told that is abuse.
I don't know how these parents survived this ordeal.
A consequence of liberalism gone wild.
Mutual respect is the catalyst that allows us to have a discourse and, even though we may disagree, remain FRiends. We are united in our love for conservative values, and at the end of the day, even after a fiery WOD flame war, we go to bed knowing that we are, indeed, all on the same side. Except you pricks from Maryland. can't even stand the smell of you guys.
I keed, I keed!
They usually give themselves away in truncated sentences where they normally have an F word as they use at least once or more per sentence over at the DUmp.
Its very frustrating to be civil tongued here, day after...day after day... got to swear..got to swear...
The itch for profanity that cannot be scratched at FR.
Oh the huge-manatee!
With no net anonymity, FR and the similar sites will fold. The government sees many of us as dangerous Tom Paine types who must be watched, and with no anonymity, we’ll all be personally watched.
Imagine making a post here, and finding SEIU and CBS outside demanding “justice”.
The news people wanted to find the principals in the Rathergate discoveries, rather than find the source of the memos, to illuminate what their priorities are.
Yup net anonymity can be a pain in a very few cases, but it currently is what drives the existing Power To The People we’ve been enjoying.
A few weeks ago the local AM talk radio in Albuquerque mentioned a couple of different web sites that desecrate the highway memorials families put up. One idiot films/photographs himself with the memorial, and posts disgusting crap about the dead. The other documents going around and pulling down, or destroying the memorials.
In New Mexico, it is illegal to desecrate these roadside memorials.
Personally, I wouldn't put a memorial up. However, I'm never bothered by those who do.
As long as the family maintains or removes them if they can no longer maintain them, I have no problem with them.
Whoops, that should read “web sites by folks who desecrate”
When did that happen?
All I know is ‘there are no girls on the internet’....but for some reason...I’m still here. ;-)
Seriously, tho I feel so sorry for Mitchell’s parents. I can’t even imagine. I’ve seen the sick and twisted way ‘an hero’ deaths have been made fun of in this internet culture...and for the life of me, I don’t understand WHY. Sick, sick, sick.
I feel the NYT is a little slow, here. This behavior has been going on for quite a while.
Wow. I missed that one. Same with BobJ.
Correct. Consider how the current culture is not to put the blame or fault on the exact place it belongs but to spread it around or slam it on someone/something else entirely.
And respect for life? and compassion? ppffftttt, as we demand hot 'n' cold running ab0rti0ns for all, not likely.
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