How On-line Trolling Has Worsened Since 2020, And How We Can Repair The Drawback
The practice of deliberately insulting or provocative posting online with the aim of angering or eliciting an angry reaction from someone – a practice we call “trolling” – is still widespread on social media platforms.
Trolling is not constructive. It doesn’t add to the sense of community. Its only purpose is to threaten, anger, or intimidate others online.
For almost as long as it has been around, social media companies have ignored this problem. And it’s only seemingly getting worse as the pandemic has kept more and more people online.
Online trolling has increased since early 2020.
“We are swimming in a cesspool of misinformation,” Jevin West, associate professor at the University of Washington Information School, told Forbes. “The pandemic is likely making it worse because increased levels of insecurity create the kind of environments that trolls take advantage of.”
“It makes sense that the pandemic exacerbates and spreads trolling behavior,” said Dr. Kent Bausman, professor on the online sociology program at Maryville University.
Trolling is defined as deliberately offensive or provocative posting online with the aim of annoying someone or provoking an angry reaction.
“The overall intensity of this negative event is one that current generations have never seen,” said Kent. “When you couple this with the additional and simultaneous negative event of skyrocketing unemployment, you have the perfect concoction for an escalating collective negative mood. That’s what drives trolling. It is a grotesquely cathartic response to the negative feelings evoked by one or more events. I say grotesquely that one gains relief or joy when harassing and harassing others because of their differences of opinion or feelings. “
Online trolls can appeal to anyone, but they have been especially cruel towards high profile people who tend to have more followers than the average user, including athletes and celebrities.
Anyone can be attacked by online trolling.
Sports Illustrated details the case of a college basketball referee who was attacked by a wave of nearly 3,500 death threats after the video of his controversial calls went viral online.
“I was at [Higgins’s] Office for an hour and a half, ”said the sheriff’s investigator Matt Barrall. “And three different phone lines literally never stopped ringing. It was like that for three days.
The social media analysis group Demos examined 80,000 randomly selected social media accounts and counted more than 200,000 “aggressive tweets” over a period of three weeks.
A study of trolling on social media found that more than 200,000 “aggressive tweets” were generated in 3 weeks.
A separate study, jointly conducted by Stanford and Cornell, examined comments on the CNN website. The study found that the messages flagged as abuse were usually posted late at night or early in the work week, when studies show people are most likely to be in a bad mood.
According to The Guardian, Twitter users have historically been cruel towards athletes in the UK. Liverpool’s Mario Balotelli received more than 8,000 discriminatory posts on social media, more than half of which were racist rhetoric. Danny Welbeck received 1,700 offensive posts after joining another team, half of which used racist language. Daniel Sturridge was sent about 1,600 discriminatory posts, more than 60% of which demeaned his sexual orientation.
Social media platforms actually benefit from online trolling because it means users are online.
One possible reason: Social media platforms actually benefit from online trolling. This is because the storms that result from this type of behavior increase total “time spent online” – a key metric for social media platforms, reports Econsultancy.
If the internet is to be the democratizing force it has dreamed of, these social media sites must provide a safe space for people to share their views without resorting to trolling intimidation.
Social Media Companies: Do your part to stop the trolling
Social media companies have turned a blind eye to online trolling, an issue that only gets worse as the pandemic draws more people to screens.
Social media sites need to provide a safe space for people to share their views without resorting to intimidation.
Sign the petition and help us create a safer, friendlier environment online!