Trolls? I thought they only lived under bridges in mythical places. Not anymore. They live and breath online. “What’s a troll?” you may ask. Well according to Wikipedia, the word “troll” originates from Old French troller, a hunting term. The noun troll comes from the Old Norse word for a mythological monster. The origin of the word Troll makes complete sense because it describes these individuals perfectly. These trolls get
courage from being behind the computer screen to bully and harass others. They act like mythological monsters whom no one can find.
For a recent example of trolling at its worst lets take a look at Anita Sarkeesian. She’s an American feminist pop culture media critic who is the blogger and host of Feminist Frequency. On June 12, she launched a Kickstarter initiative to raise $6,000 to research “tropes vs women in videogames”. The projects mission was to exposes the stereotypes in video games. I didn’t think it was too outlandish but apparently the male dominated gaming world was not pleased to say the least.
From misogynist and tiresome “get in the kitchen”
jokes posted onto her YouTube page to rape threats,
Anita has encountered all levels of online harassment.
If someone taking out the time to actually illustrate you getting raped isn’t enough, a 25 year old from Canada made an actual online game where you can beat Anita’s face.
Instead of deleting or blocking the violent and dangerous messages from the trolls, Anita has made a conscious decision to leave all trolling visible. I thank Anita for being so open about her harassment because it allows for everyone to be forced to face the truth about online harassment; the concept that IT EXIST. These Gaming trolls only proved Anita’s point to an extreme degree. They have proven that sexism, misogyny and prejudice strongly exist in the gaming community. Silly, silly trolls. SMH
In reference to trolling Anita says:
“It can not and should not be brushed off by saying, “oh well that’s YouTube for you“, “trolls will be trolls” or “it’s to be expected on the internet”.
The idea that online harassment isn’t a big deal is an ignorant one. Online harassment teaches individuals that certain actions are permissible as long as they are online. Hopefully, one day we will follow in the steps of Britain where a law is being proposed that will assist in identifying trolls.
In Anita’s case, she vocalized her opinion and she received an overwhelming amount of resistance. She was basically being told to “SHUT UP”. These trolls didn’t like what she had to say and therefore attempted to shame her into silence. Unfortunately for them, their plan backfired because Anita has raised $158,917 to support Tropes vs Women in Video Games thanks to effort of 6,967 backers. I can’t wait to see the final cut of Anita’s efforts.