Internet Trolls. Last week, Twitter went crazy. In the UK, there is a yearly blogger awards program hosted by Cosmopolitan and Next. Bloggers are nominated to various categories by their readers and then through voting by both a panel and blog readers, winners in each category are announced in a full blown awards ceremony. At least, that's what I understand from what I've read.
Anyway, Twitter went nuts, because a couple of bloggers who were nominated to be finalists were proven to be trolls. You think I'm kidding? Nope... Last year, after a few months of blogging, I was browsing my Twitter feed and came across the "GG". If you don't know what GG is, then that's good, because it is a vile site to see. I'm a pretty good researcher, so I found the site on my own using clues from the Twitter conversations. It's a forum where people talk about other bloggers and Youtubers. There is a section for positive comments and praise, but the section everyone was talking about at the time was the section for trash talk. The things these people said about certain bloggers was painful to read, and it still saddens me, because I know some of these beautiful girls who had horrible threads dedicated to them.
Two ladies who were found out to be trolls a few months ago, and proof was provided to the victims. There was no public outcry, and their identities were kept quiet. Speaking to these ladies last week, they never received an apology. After the Cosmo Blog Awards shortlist had been posted, there was an uproar on Twitter. Of course, these ladies were angry - why were trolls allowed to be honoured and celebrated when they prey on the blogging community? What's the sense in that? The thing was, Cosmo didn't know about the reports, but then someone got brave. One of my dear blogger friends approached Cosmo privately and provided information and proof. The investigation began, and the apology came out. One of the two ladies submitted a public apology on Twitter as well as personal apologies e-mailed to each person she hurt through the forum. I'll show snapshots, but not names. That's not my place.
The other lady, however....
Take from those statements what you will, but the main consensus is "too little, too late" - apologies are more sincere when an awards ceremony isn't hanging in the background, and then there's the second statement. Not really sure what to think of it.
In the blogging and Youtube world, the bigger you get, the more hate and trolls there are. Not always true. A dear friend of mine and her friend, both fairly smaller bloggers, became the subject of blog trolling this year. One of them found out, and the saddest part is that the trolls were a few ladies that they interacted with regularly, also smaller bloggers. I know them as well, and when I found out, I was livid. I still am. I'm not one to stand by and say nothing, but I haven't chewed them out, because I was asked to. If it ever happens to you, and you have proof, speak up - because if not you, they're hurting someone else. I wouldn't want anyone to feel that kind of hurt. Not ever.
As much as we say words are just words, I truly believe that words can be more powerful than any kind of physical pain. Wounds heal, but words leave scars behind that no one can see. The pain will linger for a long, long time. So what to do when you encounter an internet troll? It really depends on the situation. You can do a Jaclyn Hill and tell them to "Get outta here" or you can do a Rihanna and dismember their soul with your witty remarks. It's really up to you how you want to handle your trolls, as long as you don't become one too.
Trolls really don't matter. No matter what you say or do, if they're not harassing you, they're harassing someone else. They do it for different reasons. Sometimes to get a reaction out of you or because they're bored. They aren't always jealous, but sometimes they are. They don't matter, because their words are empty, coming from a place within that only mirrors how they feel about themselves. What they say really has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with them. So when you see a nasty comment, just think this... what a poor soul. I'm so sorry you feel that you have to try to hurt me even though it won't work, because I have no idea who you are, and you don't know me at all. Then you can go on creating more awesome content for the rest of us to enjoy.
Have you encountered any internet trolls? I haven't yet, but maybe after this post, I might get my first one. :)
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