Racist jabs. Misogynistic and sexist bragging. Bullyish “kill ya’ self” comments. Political preachers. According to Zoe Williams at The Guardian, all of these qualify as legitimate forms of internet trolling.
When is trolling not trolling? Sending targeted hateful or threatening messages is not trolling, it’s hating. They’re not the same, though that does not make one necessarily better behaviour than the other. A hater is essentially an online bully. A troll is a bully with a bloated sense of self-importance, interested in turning his (or her) shenanigans into a group project of sorts. More voices! More contrary attitudes!
The various personae of the internet commenter — yes, yes, you’ll have your chance in just a minute, but stay with me here — make an interesting study. For instance, I’ve noticed that my comments are different on different sites. And on some I don’t leave comments at all.
What do you guys think about commenting in general? Get your opinions out. Now is your chance to lay it on thick. [The Guardian]