The Internet Troll calling you a "stupid fatty c*nt" could very well be your brother

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TROLL!While we've discussed the fantastic comments one can receive if you're an opinionated, female blogger before, this past week was a rather interesting one. Last week, I wrote an open letter to Perez Hilton, asking him to stop ragging on Rumer Willis' face. What I found interesting was that some people thought that Perez Hilton was in the right, because Rumer "is not exactly the prettiest girl out there" and that "he will just keep ridiculing her until she fixes what she can". The attitude that there is something to "fix" on Rumer's face is the attitude that gets me. Fix? Is her face broken?

However, there were some people who not only thought that Perez Hilton was an honorable of a man as Jesus Christ, but that Rumer Willis should, like, totes get her face fixed. This same commenter incorrectly entered the CAPTCHA code in our commenting system, and were told that the comment had to be approved before being published. Apparently, because of this, I am a "cunt".

I'm not just any ole cunt; I'm a "cowardly fucking cunt":

BITCH! OF COURSE YOU WANT "BLOG APPROVAL" YOU COWARDLY FUCKING CUNT, YOU WON'T PRINT WHAT PEOPLE REALLY THINK CUNT FACE SLUT WHORE. NOW GO FUCK YOURSELF. YOU WISH U HAD A BLOG AS GOOD AS PEREZ'S.

Thank you, "NOTPCNOTPC@YAHOO.COM" for that insight. Trying to block Spam comments from being published on this blog does make me a "cowardly fucking cunt...cunt face slut whore" who should definitely go fuck myself. I'm glad we see eye-to-eye on this issue.

What concerns me about this comment is that when we discuss online trolls, we tend to generalize and say that they are more than likely a group of male, 42-year-old virgins who play WoW (no offense WoW folks) and live in their mother's basement. Sadly, this is not true. For the most part, anyway. While I haven't done a world wide Internet Troll Poll to find out who these people are, I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that they're people like you and me. (Just dumber.)

They're our younger brothers, or dimwit boyfriends and socially unaware younger sisters. They are the people in our family who make racist jokes, hate gay people and think all fat people are stupid.

Stupidity, misogyny and racism are not all confined to Mothers Basements in the Midwest. These assholes are people we know. There is no Secret Troll Society in the backwoods of god knows where, like I'm sure we would all like to think.

This is why I find these comments annoying. Not because they hurt me wittle feelings or make me feel bad about myself - but because it just creeps me out that they comments were made by everyday people who are over-empowered by the anonymity of the internet.

Cate Sevilla is a freelance writer in London and regular contributor to Dollymix.

Showing 17 Comments

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June 23rd, 2008, at 2:06pm

Alas. Thought I'd got rid of those comments before you'd seen them. I'm operating a 'what they don't know won't hurt them' policy when it comes to trolls now.

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Cate
June 23rd, 2008, at 2:14pm

"Hurt them" I think is the wrong term. "Make them laugh until they pee themselves a little" is probably more appropriate.

Most of the comments like that (not the "die in a fire" ones) I tend to leave simply because it doesn't make us look stupid - it makes the Troll look like exactly what they are.

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Gemma
June 23rd, 2008, at 2:23pm

True enough. I was tempted to respond and say something along the lines of 'well, if Perez's visitors are all like you I'm glad this tiny little site doesn't get as many hits as his'. But the capital letters were too much. Almost As Good As The Trolls Who Capitalise Every Word. Now That Takes Some Effort.

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Stella
June 23rd, 2008, at 4:38pm

But don't you think that by responding to and/or even devoting an entire post to these trolls, you're giving them a validation they neither deserve nor need?

Why not just delete or ignore?


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June 23rd, 2008, at 6:13pm

There used to be a day when profanity was actually effective. Not that it was a good thing, but at least you knew when you had actually pissed somebody off.

Now, because of the Internet, profanity is like the dumbass way out. People seem to think that they get their point across just by firing off a bunch of profane words, and maybe if they add an "ugly" or two in there, that they have won the argument because they were just oh so offensive.

Just look at Youtube. Most of the arguments there are stemmed off of music videos that people don't like, or a lousy opinion about some mediocre topic that really wasn't a big deal. And then the personal insults come out, and the people flaming them are just hiding behind some vague screenname.

This is what I hate most about the Internet. It takes everyone's opinion, and turns it into a bunch of bullshit bold caps.

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June 24th, 2008, at 10:29am

Stella -

For the most part I do. It's the really ridiculous ones that actually make me laugh and start thinking about WHO exactly it is that does things like that get my mind working and then, well, a post comes out of it sometimes.

I suppose if I were to respond and post every single negative, bitchy or irritating Spam-esque comment that would be ridiculous, but I don't see the harm in discussing one comment in a column.

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