I Like the Sound of it: *Don't Ignore the Trolls. Feed Them Until They Explode*

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The social media world is getting mature to the point where we can no longer ignore the trolls, because, well, they exist... That's what Lindy West discusses in the great piece called "Don't Ignore the Trolls. Feed Them Until They Explode".

One of the pillars of conventional wisdom about internet trolling is that internet trolling just happens. You hear this all the time, from even the most progressive allies: Oh, well, it's the internet. There are trolls.

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So, world, we have a troll problem. And one of these days we'll have to figure out what we're going to do about it. From the first day the first troll king pooped out his first troll-sac full of butt-eggs (and then told his placenta to eat less/exercise more, fatty), the conventional wisdom has been to ignore them. Ignore them and they'll go away. Stop feeding them and they'll starve. Except...has that worked? That's been the policy since day one, and has trolling gotten better or worse?

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I feed trolls. Not always, not every troll, but when I feel like it—when I think it will make me feel better—I talk back... I talk back because internet trolls are not, in fact, monsters. They are human beings—and I don't believe that their attempts to dehumanize me can be counteracted by dehumanizing them. The only thing that fights dehumanization is increased humanization—of me, of them, of marginalized groups in general, of the internet as a whole.

Image: "Unmasking Reddit's Violentacrez, The Biggest Troll on the Web"