Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Trolling RL

Would a real name have stopped this?

Gabriel's Greater Internet Dickwad Theory requires anonymity to be included, with the result being a troll. A person who is playing a game with the Real Life feeling and emotions of others. On the internet, for the most part, that means you simple say, "They're not real either" and move on with your life.

But when they start mailing things to your house? Hacking into YOUR personal site and email? This isn't the first time this has happened, but its the first time I've heard of the troll getting caught.

Leo here lucked out, but what about Anita Sarkeesian? She's never going to meet some of the people who hacked and harassed her. Are they doing it for the same reason? Could they be someone who knows her? Would the fact that they know her cause them to be more aggressive and spiteful?

We know that real names would deter some people, but it also would open more people up to harassment. And as Leo's article shows, the police would do nothing, at least not until they actually crossed the threshold of your house. At least not until they had killed you or your family.

This kind of behavior escalates. Just like how lying and stealing will escalate. But would it have ever stopped? Would this 17 year old have ever stopped harassing this man?

One thing I know, is that be NOT having him arrested, he has given this kid a chance to actually grow; for him to change directions.

Those people attacking Anita though. They have not been caught, shamed, or anything. They simply continue to exist, to troll, and to be evil.

Real names online give more power to Trolls than it takes away. Instead, we need places like Twitter, Facebook, Google and our online communities to step up about who these people are. When harassment occurs, we need to be able to have those people be made public and responsible. We need to be able to out the trolls while protecting those who behave.

Are there any other solutions or ideas about this? Or... are there any defenders to trolling?