The past couple of weeks, I’ve examined the news, looking for topics for this column. There are certain subjects I’ve bypassed, not because I haven’t heard about them or couldn’t think of any quips, but the stories themselves were obvious bait.
I will argue (long after my identity is stolen, my friends’ profiles have devolved into mafia dens and virtual pastures and PayPal wipes out the human race to collect our debts) that the Internet is the greatest thing to happen to communication since the printing press. However, there is a seedier element that has spread from the online community into the established news media: trolling.
“Trolling,” for those of you who are just now joining Facebook, is the act of posting an intentionally inflammatory post in order to elicit a purely negative response. This is different from satire or parody because, when successful, the reader “sees what you did there.”
The latest top news items are trolling. Well, except Haiti …. Unless you’re Pat Robertson, but he’s God’s troll.
I fully realize that, by discussing these stories below, I’m officially not not writing about them. Just bear with me; there will be a point at the end.