Live From Mom’s Basement: The Scourge of Internet Trolls

Image from South Park Studios Website.
Image from South Park Studios Website.

I haven’t had a real good troll rant for a while on this blog so I think that today is a good day for it. Dating back to my days blogging on the Wisconsin Wildlife Ethic site, I have dealt with each of the troll types that I list below. They are both infuriating and laughable at the same time. Any wildlife advocate knows about these types and all ponder how to deal with them all the time.

Each and every time there is an article about wildlife being killed or domestic animals being treated with abhorrent cruelty the apologists and gutter slime troll elements like to counter with the argument of: “why don’t you focus your attention on all the humans suffering? It’s just an animal.” They have this mindset that if a person shows compassion and caring for animals that it somehow takes away from showing the same compassion and caring for humans. The trolls also seem to neglect to mention that they very likely are as equally hating of their fellow man and wouldn’t put down their Red Bull and Cool Ranch Doritos long enough to leave their mom’s basement to assist man or animal. This type of troll really fits the definition of a troll because most of their time is spent underground. These are also the same trolls that like to post things like “mmmmm bacon” and “People Eating Tasty Animals” on stories about horrific abuse against pigs or other “livestock.” We all have seen those types.

Then we have the obviously paid trolls that have to attack on online forums anything that might appear “liberal” or “lefty.” This species is known as the Koch Troll. An example of this species posted a comment following a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article about an area of Door County Wisconsin wetlands being designated as “globally significant.” Brace yourself for this Koch sewage bubbling to the surface:

“Protection of the wetlands is “essential to the life of our planet,” George Cobb said.” Let’s test that statement and drain the wetlands, then see if we all die. I’m guessing we wouldn’t, which shows the hyperbole that environmental extremists are forced to use to defend their fallacious world view. And global warming isn’t a fact, it’s a computer model based on a hypothesis, with literally no non-tampered with evidence to back it up.”

These types of trolls like to pretend that they are some kind of scientific authority and that if something doesn’t directly impact or benefit them then it should be destroyed. Essentially this type of troll is a mirror image of Taconite Tommy Tiffany only instead of destroying Wisconsin from the State Capitol building, they are trying to destroy it from mom’s basement.

The next trolls are the “hunters” that like to remind everyone that they kill animals to “put food on the table” or for “conservation.” They claim to only kill to “feed their families” while in the next sentence extol the virtues of eradicating any predator that gets in their way. They also conveniently fail to mention that the wolves, coyotes, bobcats, etc. that they kill are not “put on the table” or consumed in any way. These trolls know that they kill strictly for the thrill of the kill but need to pretend that they are doing it for a higher purpose rather than just sheer bloodlust. If these people are so proud about procuring food to “put on the table” why don’t they take pictures holding up the pack of hamburger that they picked up at the grocery store in the same manner they leer over the bloody animals they kill? If they are so proud of “putting food on the table” why not have big stickers on the rear of their pick up trucks that say “Grocery Shopper” rather than “Bow Hunter” or whatever “look at me” nonsense they decorate with? How about going out in public wearing something other than camouflage on everything right down to their phone cases. Because nothing says “rugged outdoorsman” than your iPhone  inside of a camo Otterbox, or donning camo to walk through the aisles of Walmart. Each time I see one of those morons I hope they drop their phone in the woods and the camo makes it impossible to find. That would be the ultimate in karma.

But it’s not just the anti-wildlife/anti-environment trolls that fire me up. The internet has provided a platform for the most vile among us to spew garbage and vitriol that most would never have the courage to say in public. No media platform is immune from this. On a national level the NBC News website comment sections have become quasi-Klan revivals full of racist trolling that any sensible news outlet should be ashamed of hosting. Apparently NBC is fine with it because it gets worse by the day. On the local level the website for Madison’s Channel 3 TV station, Channel 3000, has fallen into the same troll filled gutter where posters openly post racist taunts and attacks on anything deemed “liberal” or “progressive.” Again they give an open forum to spread the hate with apparently no oversight. Amazing how the same people spewing on about “freeloaders,” “takers,” and telling people to “get a job” are the ones that seem to be able to post hate filled comments 24/7/365 all while expressing the greatness of the “job creators.” Hmmmm fakin’.

The internet is an amazing tool that allows people like myself to have a forum to engage people in topics that sadly far too often falls out of the mainstream. The internet is also a very dark place inhabited by paid shills for evil corporate interests, vile racist/sexist/violent trolls, misinformation, and political propaganda mouthpieces hellbent on getting the old “liberal” or “bleeding heart” all riled up.

I often ponder how to counter the “dark side” of the internet. We have all tried countering with facts, but unfortunately that usually fails when dealing with people paid to shill a viewpoint or people that are ardent followers of a particular ideology. It fails even worse when trying to counter the basement dweller troll whose sole purpose in life, other than consuming voluminous amounts of Mountain Dew and Doritos, is to try and upset and offend animal welfare advocates or those fighting for common decency. The internet has given these losers a powerful medium to terrorize or offend previously unreachable elements of society. Their whole purpose in life is to get a rise out of you and make you lash out. Then they are getting the attention that they so long for. The best way to counter these slobs? Don’t give any attention to them. As hard as that may be I have found that it is best to ignore the trolls and let them stew in their own filth. Nothing upsets a troll more than being ignored. In my case that is what that nice little “garbage can” symbol is for when one of their posts come in. Just where these vermin belong.

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