I have a confession to make. I was a Twitter Troll at times in 2012. And I hate Twitter Trolls … so I was at risk at becoming what I despise, so it’s time for a change. Partially because of the risk of increasing my high blood pressure and partly because I really don’t have time for inane, four hour twitter wars that were started by trolling, I am going to do my best to be Troll Free in 2013. Both in my tweets and in my timeline. In case you are new to the whole concept of trolling, here is the standard definition of Twitter Troll or “Twroll” is:
This person can mention other user’s or reply to tweets just to insult them or making ignorant/controversial comments about another user’s tweet just for the sake of it.
And yes, I have been guilty. I can’t resist trolling a Louisville fans assertion that Peyton Siva is better than all UK point guards combined, or Tom Crean’s random, creepy comments that no matter how you spin it come off as sexual. And I’m not the only one that has trolled in the sports kingdom. There is a Louisville blogger that pretty much trolls everything UK related and yes, there are UK fans that do the same about UL. But as these UK/UL games come, twitter just becomes distasteful and resembles something the dog leaves in the yard.
I have to admit that my reason for doing this is pretty much not sports related. I have to admit I made it through an especially contentious election campaign without trolling too many people or putting people on blast for views that I considered idiotic different from mine, but probably half of my readers did not. And I showed great restraint knowing the people do not want sports/politics/religion mixed. In that I succeeded.
But while it was not sports related, the whole Sandy Hook Tragedy really opened my eyes as to what lived on Twitter and the dark recesses of the human mind. Seeing some of the garbage that people wrote or the fact that these people trolled victims and well doers really gave me a wake up call and made me feel dirty all over. So while I never trolled on the same level, I trolled none the less … so I am declaring myself troll free in 2013.
My only hope is that fellow bloggers and even the national media follow my lead and do the same. It won’t happen, but it needs to. Especially from the national media types. See, Twitter is kind of a “If it did not appear under my byline”, it did not happen kind of thing. Lots of national media types troll incessantly on Twitter and then try to be “fair and balanced” online because that is what he really gets paid for. But in reality, Twitter trolling affects you and your brand, and if your employers realized how hard you troll and that it eventually equates to less hits/pageviews, they may put their foot down.
So what is trolling by the national media? It’s an attempt by a writer to inflame/annoy/and get the attention of a particular fanbase just to get hits, attention, or RT’s. If that makes no sense, this is probably the ultimate example of Twitter Trolling by one of the worst trolls around: