I find this topic fascinating. Over the last year or so, I’ve noticed more and more that when someone comes and defends an attack on one’s group from a post, that more often than not, there’s an attempt made to signal to folk “don’t listen to this person!” by an accusation that the person is a troll.
Several big name authors, musicians, actors, media personalities have taken to using their social media platforms to do absolutely nothing but rabble rouse, inspire fear, call names and worse as of late, such as the band The Early November calling yours truly and others ‘racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic” the other day after I responded politely to their exceedingly bigoted and nasty comments:
Which had the tertiary effect of giving their platform of fans my handle name, and encouraging them to berate and shout me down, of which i received thousands of notifications of just that. The clear attempt is to social pressure people into silence. As this emotional perspective operates entirely off of social pressure, they assume this will have an effect on their peers, me in this instance. When I see this, it empowers me and fuels me to the direct opposite reaction, as it should, because this kind of mob shouting down requires people to stand up against it, otherwise we DO get the fascism they’re pretending to fight against.
But the main response I see most often, is calling me a troll. What’s ironic about this is, until names are called to me, I stick to dialectic, rational propositions in response to the original shrieking accusations and fearmongerings. Once the names are called, all bets are off, but the original “trolling” if you take the definition of the word ironically does not come from me, but from the original posters themselves.
The metaphorical use of the word “troll” comes from fishing terminology, its definition being: “v. To fish for by trailing a baited line from behind a slowly moving boat.”
When someone makes angry post about this and that, they are publically broadcasting to the internet to thousands of people in the event of popular artists/authors. Since such things are not “raising awareness” — as everyone has access to news reports and media and almost all of these items are repeated ad nauseam across facebook/twitter feeds, the intention of these posts can only be a couple of things: 1. To receive an echo chamber “pat on the back” from people to inspire that feeling of rallying for, to quote science fiction author Sharon Lee today, the “suppression and opposition of people not like us”. Or 2. to evoke the emotional response with the bait to make people outraged. As I’ve demonstratively concluded already, there is no other option as these are emotionally made, not rationally made postings for the most part on the internet.
When the term “troll” gets thrown in to a rational response to a post like that, it’s disingenuous at best, as I’ve proved. A larger problem occurs when it happens from someone who has a much bigger platform than the person being name called, however. The reason I brought up the Early November, is that they are evidence of the end result of that name calling will start to turn fans and other artists to start escalating the name calling as a result. These escalations can go rather quickly once they snowball, and end up with tertiary effects that it one, psychologically abuses the victim of it, and it could lead to more social ramifications of their being suppressed and opposed. Now there’s very strong willed people like me who are able to handle this, but the majority of people can’t take these slings and arrows without breaking, and that’s what I’m standing against on their behalf.
I’ve been, over the last few months:
1. Had murder attempted of me as a gang of large white males came after me and threw glass bottles at me because I had a Trump hat on.
2. Called, of course, the litany of words that don’t mean anything anymore, racist, sexist, nazi, etc. Repeatedly and regularly, almost every day.
3. Been chased down, sworn at, had my picture snapped on repeat in harassment for having attended a speech by President Trump as these terrorists saw me outside.
4. Been called a troll, of course.
5. Had my education, my IQ, etc. questioned on repeat nearly as much as the name calling in point 1.
6. Been attacked by celebrities and famous authors alike on public forums.
7. Been threatened with blackball from the publishing industry for my “wrongthink” by powerful people within the industry.
8. Had a soft-ban of invitations to science fiction conventions to speak, in which I used to do regularly and to many accolades as I am funny and high energy.
And my story is not singular or an isolated incident. I’ve been messaged in private quite a bit by people to tell me “me too!” when they’ve faced this near-violent suppression and opposition. I won’t out the ones who are too afraid to speak at the moment, but know you’re not alone and you have friends. Many such cases!
I used to be quiet. I used to be the silent majority. As a hispanic and an author it’s VERY dangerous for me to speak out, because of the above. There’s been real negative impacts to my career progression already to which these folk don’t have to even consider when completely openly expressing whatever the heck they want. The thing is, most people are getting fed up with the constant barrage of negativity. More and more we are seeing that people are willing to take a stand, myself included, because it’s too much. Your shitposting has caused the OPPOSITE effect of what you’ve desired. Consider that when you clog our feeds relentlessly with crying Hitler wolf.
So when you are rabble rousing fear, getting people to name call and shout, with the above in mind that’s happening, especially when you’re upset about ideas and not about people taking actions to literally suppress and oppose a person’s livelihood, or causing violence to them, know that you don’t have the high ground. You’re the one trolling, not me.
Update: Sharon Lee Y’know what, Jon? This is doing neither of us any good. I’m banning you from the wall now.
It’s about echo chamber and continuing outrage, as mentioned. Sad!
#PraiseKek #RainOfFrogs #FreeKekistan