Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Trolls Of The Internet

I suppose it was only a matter of time before I was going to have to deal with the Internet scourge known as the Troll.

The Urban Dictionary defines troll as:

1. The act of purposefully antagonizing other people on the internet, generally on message boards. When done in a moderated internet community, this can result in banning.

2. To use the internet to start problems, insult, or hurt others. An action that only usually affects the person trolling. Usually a very bored, lonely person with no friends. Or a punk ass kid.

3. Being a prick on the internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent by-stander, because it's the internet and hey, you can.

Internet trolls generally engage in this particular sort of behavior because of the relative anonymity and "safety" of being able to run their mouths from behind their computer keyboard without fear of retribution, or a good old-fashioned ass-kicking from the person they are directing their attack at.

Most of us have come across these subhumans from time to time on the internet. They're everywhere, and therefore pretty hard to avoid. Since the vast majority of my readers are either people I already know, and have known for years, or are people who find this blog through an internet search for images or relevant keywords, I've had the pleasure of not having to deal with any trolls here.

There's a good chance that's about to change.

Even though I relocated to Minnesota a little over a year ago, most of you are aware that I still keep close ties with friends, in addition to business and political contacts in the Western New York region... specifically the City of Buffalo, which I still refer to as home. It makes perfect sense to do this, since I will eventually be returning to Buffalo to live again. Those of you in the know are aware that I even kept my 716 cell phone as my primary contact number.

Since my relocation, I have used the internet to keep abreast of what's happening back in Buffalo. I use the Buffalo News website to keep up on some of what's happening at home, along with the Artvoice website to follow my actor, artist, and musician friends, and the Buffalo Rising website for news and discussion of relevant, city-centric topics.

It was on the Buffalo Rising website of all places that I have encountered the most vicious and on some level amusing subset of the troll subspecies.

More often than not, I ignore these basement-dwellers since they need the negative energy they create by their presence to survive. It goes without saying that some of them get a sort of strange sexual gratification from the "power" they feel that stems from their ability to say whatever they like, to whomever they like without being held accountable for their words. Often, these individuals were picked on or bullied as children, and they feel that the internet gives them their chance to finally be the "tough guy".

Case in point:

Over the last couple of weeks, I have involved myself in a few discussion threads on the Buffalo Rising website, specifically the story about the Spaulding Lake-style McMansion monstrosity that someone has decided to build at 186 Middlesex Road, and the one about City Councilman-turned-criminal Brian Davis.

For the purpose of this blog, Misplaced will concentrate on the Councilman Davis story.

To bring those unaware of that particular situation up to speed, on November 13th 2009 Ellicott District Councilman Davis entered a guilty plea to misdemeanor criminal charges, admitting that he had used campaign funds for personal expenses. Davis, in a startling display of audacity informed the public, through his attorney that he intended to stay in office.

This isn't the first time there has been trouble laid at the feet of Councilman Davis. Investigations by the Buffalo News, have shown that the college degree that the Councilman claimed to have was non-existent, has unpaid taxes, and his driver's license has been repeatedly suspended for non-payment of insurance.

This of course sparked a lively discussion on the Buffalo Rising website, as evidenced by the comments left by some of the users:

always heartwarming to see a new generation carrying on buffalo's fine tradition of corruption and ineptitude in elected office.

I suspect Davis won't resign because even if he faces jail time, he figures it's so easy to escape from Tim Howard's jails that he'll be on time for every Council meeting

Byron Brown should grow a set and be the mayor of Buffalo. The man does not belong on the council if he is taking donated money for personal use. He lies, steals and breaks the law, is this the tip of the iceberg? Step up Mayor Brown...friend or not, ally or not...do your job and make this man resign.

And so on...

Comments like the ones above led to this comment being left:

Anyboy know anyone in the Ellicott district that wants to run for office? If he stays he should be easy to knock off in two years.

Does Marilyn Rogers qualify?

she would rock

Thats who I had in mind.

At this point, I weighed in:

If Marilyn isn't interested, I would seriously consider returning to Buffalo to run against Brian. He definitely needs to go.

Which led to the arrival of the troll:

Ooh! You got my vote! I just knew that like Lenin, you were out there in Minnesota, in self-exile, waiting for conditions to be ripe to spring your magnificence on Buffalo!

Those who know me, know that it was ON at that point:

Why do you have to be such a troll? Do you ever add anything other than vitriol to a conversation?

By the way sonyactivision, you obviously don't know who I am.

My name has been brought up on more than one occasion as a viable independent candidate for elections on the city, county, and state levels.

Had I chosen to remain in Buffalo, instead of relocating to the midwestern U.S., I certainly would have thrown my hat into the political ring.

It has been suggested by more than one respected member of the community that I return to Buffalo solely for that purpose.

I'm guessing that I wouldn't be receiving any campaign contributions from you... that alone makes me reluctant to return home. If I don't have YOU on my side with your insightful advice and commentary, how could I POSSIBLY make a difference, or even get elected for that matter?

To which he or she replied:

Well, you're always welcome to do your "fundraising" along Hennepin Ave. That might get you on the ballot for a school board position, otherwise, I would suggest that you find another "exporatory" venue besides your tatty blog where your posts seem to get 3 comments at most -half of them negative. ( I promise not to troll there: driving up your pageviews could lead to a literal ego explosion that might harm your neighbors in Frogtown ) I do look forward to the refreshing ideas and opinions forthcoming from "god's gift to Blogspot"...

"Tatty" blog?

The definition of "tatty" is:

adj. tat·ti·er, tat·ti·est
Somewhat worn, shabby, or dilapidated.

Worn? Shabby?? Dilapidated???

I think not. The number of page views I get here attests to that.

"Literal ego explosion"??

"God's gift to blogspot"???

I will say this for sonyactivision... he seems to understand greatness when he reads it.

Of course, I had to help him get his rocks off by responding:

It pleases me that you read my "tatty" blog. Your mere presence drives up my page views by at least one per day, and I welcome your traffic.

I see that you are capable of looking at a map of Minneapolis, but not actually READING one. For the record, Frogtown is in St. Paul, across the river... not Minneapolis.

You are more than welcome to troll all you want on my blog. Considering that the majority of my readers are friends back in WNY, they don't feel the need to comment there, when they can simply pick up the phone and call me directly as most of them do.

As for the comments being half negative, I'd guess that your perception of negative is as clouded as the rest of your thinking.

Troll my blog.

PLEASE troll my blog. I'm guessing that you'd find yourself with plenty of people attacking you in short order, which is obviously your sole purpose for participating in online forums.

In fact, I may even give you a mention in today's entry... that should give you PLENTY of trollin' material, and may even entice you to leave a comment there!

Here's a link in case you forgot where it is:


Thank you for reading! Every time you visit it my advertising revenue goes up by one page view.

So it seems that sonyactivision (pictured at top) is so jealous of my military service, graduate school education, business acumen, potential as a viable political candidate, and web presence, that he feels the need to focus his attention on me, in the hopes that he can either:

1. Draw me into a flamewar, which is what all trolls live for.


2. Chase me away. (Yeah... THAT'S gonna happen)


3. Ride on my coattails to glory, because he secretly desires to be like me, and is probably furiously beating off to my photo as we speak.

So, sonyactivision, when you read this, (and we all know you will) feel free to leave a comment in response to what I've written above. But when you do so, I hope that you'll at least have the courage to create an account here, under the name sonyactivision, so we all know who you are, instead of hiding behind an "Anonymous" comment. If you're going to be a troll, be the BEST troll you can possibly be.

You fucking PUSSY.

Regular readers, see you tomorrow. Maybe that douchebag would like to be tomorrow's topic as well.

1 comment:

  1. OMG!! The image of him/her "furiously beating off" to your photo is priceless! That got a big ol' laugh from me. And the point goes to Misplaced. In fact, maybe a couple of bonus points, too. That's gonna keep me chuckling awhile. Alright Sony guy...whaddya got?? Give me some more entertainment! Tara