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1.02.2009

Three Goats and a Troll

Under the bridge of the Three Billy Goats Gruff lived a mean troll. And thus far in my online life, I've been very fortunate to be the smallest of the bunch so the trolls have let me slip by. I have yet to have a nasty troll swing by any of my blogs and try to eat me alive or even raise a major stink.

And I'm thankful for that.

Please feel no pressure to come troll me <smile>. I'm quite content having only friends and the occasional skeptic swing through and decide to stop and chat.

But others are not so fortunate.

One of my homeschooling mom friends has actually banned Mr. Ebert from her blog after he "post[ed inflammatory] comments of an attacking, personal nature" on her and her friend's blogs. Now, that's according to her. For full disclosure: I could find no such comments on her blog. So, if Mr. Ebert actually posted some less than kind things, I haven't found them and either I'm blind (very plausible since I merely glanced around), she read his intent wrong (easy to do when we feel attacked), or the comments have been removed for the sake of her readers (also completely reasonable).

But herein lies a problem: If you're truly a troll your real nature may be hidden from others if your nasty comments are deleted. If you're a goat you may incorrectly call someone a troll just for hanging out under your bridge. People can be really touchy sometimes, and if another person seems to get too close to your buttons, name calling can start.

We must be very careful about how we handle online content, especially with the propensity for it to be misunderstood and its rather eternal nature.

I've already recorded my thoughts on Mr. Ebert and this issue, and I tried to be fair and insightful.

This post isn't about any particular incident, and I mean neither Karen nor Mr. Ebert any ill-will: Their exchange is merely illustrative of and the catalyst for the topic of this post. I would welcome any further insights either of them have to offer as I'm always interested in the truth of the matter and would like people to come to an understanding and treat each other with love.

May you do so in all of your encounters around this world wide web of interconnected tubes.

~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor

2 comments :

onlysometimesclever said...

Luke ~ In case you're interested, you can click here to see the progression of discussion-becomes-abuse. All the ones marked onein6billion, suppressed, and Roger Ebert, are the same guy (and he's not Roger Ebert. His name is Mike McCants and he lives in Austin, TX). You're right, though, in that I deleted other blog posts of his where he uses foul language, and ones where he is just plain ridiculing me (though I did leave a few posted). He also would write abusive e-mails to me, and I had to block him there, too.

This is just ONE thread on which he posted similar. I can give you other examples, too, if you care to read.

Luke said...

Karen,

I saw some of that progression at the time. Going to the point of blasting people with person emails full of profanity is rather... ridiculous.

I mean, I can see why some people cuss on their own blogs--though it doesn't do much for their reputation as an intellectual <smile>--but to go to other people's blogs and do so is just lame.

I'm sorry you've been trolled. Hopefully some billy goats will come along and save you in the near future <smile>.

~Luke