Updated: Jul 23, 2022
The Internet has made trolls real. Remember how you grew up thinking that trolls were these mythical creatures who were inherently evil? In the 2000s, someone applied that mythical term to real people who intentionally tried to antagonize others whether or not they actually believed what they were saying. I would like to make the argument that the modern-day concept of “troll” is real, and far more damaging than the mythical creature. I believe when it all comes down to it, that trolling will be the singlemost destructive social phenomenon in a century. I put it on a par with wars because I believe it can and will lead to wars, if it hasn’t already. The ability for people to spread ideas minus the social pressure of personal accountability both corrupts communication itself and proves the usefulness of technologies like the printing press. Anonymous printed materials were never direct, real-time responses to communiques. But trolling by definition picks and chooses specific communiques and attacks them in a real-time public forum -- before people have a chance to absorb ideas, they read their rebuttals in the comments section. If you are a troll, you do more damage with words than those creatures ever did with fangs. But you’re a million times worse because you're real.