Trolls are ugly, annoying, and irritating. Without a doubt, the best way to deal with them is to ignore them. Don't feed the trolls, the saying goes. With no one to antagonize, they'll quickly lose interest and move to another corner of the web. However, while it may be effective, ignoring trolls doesn't really teach us anything about them or why they do what they do.
The BBC's Panorama, a popular investigative current affairs program, recently focused its efforts on cyberbullying. The documentary was aired last Monday night but one particular segment posted online has attracted the attention of several blogs. In this clip, the BBC goes troll hunting, attempting to track down a known troll and confront him about the messages he posts online.
This man, known as Darren Burton to his friends, is said to post racist and other generally offensive comments on the memorial Facebook pages of individuals that have died. When the BBC asked Darren why he posts these messages, he said he was entitled to his own opinion and reminds the reporter Facebook is an open forum. When questioned as to whether or not he was worried about the consequences of his actions (the BBC reporter points out that 'people have gone to prison for less'), Burton scoffs at the prospect of going to prison.
His blasé reaction is interesting, especially when you consider the fact that most people assume that trolls act they way they do because of the anonymity the internet affords them. Apparently not.
(via The Next Web)