Don’t Feed the Trolls, and Other Hideous Lies

Film Crit Hulk, writing at The Verge:

One of the most popular solutions that arose in online culture was, again, the mantra of “don’t feed the trolls.” This meant that any time a troll popped up in an online situation making inflammatory remarks, you were supposed to ignore them because responding would derail the thread and give them the attention they wanted. What no one seems to remember is it never worked, practically on any level. There was always someone who wanted to troll back in the opposite direction, someone who genuinely got offended for a personal and valid reason, or someone who wanted to try to be reasonable. Instead of solving anything, “don’t feed the trolls” became a motto for people who want to act above it all or regale us with stories about how much harder it was to troll back in their day when they had to troll uphill, both ways! But most of all, it became the mantra of how to ignore online abuse completely.

Fantastic piece. Definitely worth the read.