Today I received another “private” message from a troll. Or, as my son calls these odd beings who send or leave nasty messages to strangers: Basement Warriors.
These messages are unsolicited communications from young-ish men who battle feelings of inferiority. Someone has psychically (we hope not literally), emasculated them at some point and they lash out.
That being the case, I s’pose I should feel sorry for them. Once I figured this out, like the crack detective I am, I occasionally feel a spark of pity.
That’s quickly extinguished however, when I remember the uncalled for nasty things they say, and that regardless of how I may be feeling, I manage NOT to harass people with negativity and hate. I have never, not once, sent anyone a message of anger other than to tell someone to leave me the flock alone.
My “male insecurity” diagnosis is a shot in the dark, but I hope it hits one of them.
I really have no clue what drives this behavior, but I do feel sorry for the women in their lives, if they have any. Women, that is.
So far, two men have harassed me on Messenger over comments exchanged on Quora.
One called me a “liar” and something else because I said the candles in church in New Delhi were melting from the heat during a Christmas service. Apparently, it isn’t hot in New Delhi in the winter and my saying so ticked someone off.
Well, it was hot that Christmas. I know I didn’t dream the layover.
The third Basement Warrior, the one today, left a long comment on the Anti-Americanism post, thinking, incorrectly, that it would be held in moderation.
He wrote it on my blog because I blocked him on Quora after he left me a nasty comment. Naturally, that called for swift justice to befall the uppity woman who dared to close the door in his face.
I stopped holding comments in moderation; his comment had already been seen, so I left it and replied to it. I have since trashed all of his comments and reinstituted holding comments in moderation.
It has been a peaceful year without any drama, but I guess I’m too important now. Trolls are like fleas; they aren’t going to attach themselves to just ANY lowly host!
I picked up my very first enduring troll, determined to beat the crap verbally, or psychologically, out of anyone who rejects him in any way. He lives in Germany, so this over the top hyperbole and stormtrooper stuff doesn’t really surprise me.
If someone writes a comment here, they must intend for it to be read. I don’t understand the distress that occurs when a comment is actually posted. Do people get upset when they mail a letter to the editor of a newspaper (does this happen anymore?), and it gets printed?
Trolls who have left other nasty messages on my blog have objected in new comments when their nasty comments are posted.
And now for a commercial break for Troll Tooties, the Awesome New Cereal from General Mills. Crunch a Bunch Today!:
“The findings of a few studies suggest that trolls who are mean-spirited and manipulative online have offline personalities to match, and that insecurity drives a fair amount of their trollery. ….In the first study, participants were given tests measuring sadistic tendencies to get a feel for how much they enjoyed hurting other people. On a scale of one to five, those surveyed were asked to rate the extent to which they agreed with statements like, “Hurting people is exciting’’ and, ‘‘I enjoy hurting people.’’
All of this is kind of ironic-haha-funny. First, it’s funny that people object to the general public seeing what they do when they do it in public.
Secondly, it’s ironic that the guy who messaged me today and inspired this post, holds “empathy” dear to his heart. He mentions it several times in his comment, charging me with a lack of it in his comment and on Quora. Which is why I blocked him. I left him a one word response to a snarky question: “No.”
He replied that I had proved myself as a person lacking in empathy. His priggish lecturing had fallen on deaf ears and I didn’t feel like expounding on what I said before my first cup of coffee.
I was tired, because Toby, the comer-late-to-the-party dog, slept in our room last night. Now, HE is someone who is lacking in empathy. And etiquette. He jumped on the bed at O Dark Hundred, woke me up, and I couldn’t get back to sleep for hours. He’s sleeping in the living room from now on. We let him get comfy on the couch since he’s such a barbarian.
Lately, I run into priggish, high-handed, holier than thou-ers every time I’m on Quora and it’s getting old. I thanked this guy for telling me to “Have a nice life,” and then reported and blocked him for his nasty comment.
This Empathy Lover trashes me in no uncertain terms while he’s charging me with a lack of empathy. Perhaps he might have the courage one day to torture someone and as he sticks bamboo slivers under their fingernails, he will demand that they admit to not feeling empathy.
How’s that for a creepy SS fantasy?
On to the “entitlement” part. I read the entire exchange between this person and I to the MOTH and the SOTH when they came home from work and told them what transpired to cause it, and asked for their input as to why these guys do this.
The MOTH declares that they feel entitled. Which is interesting. This is what people are always accusing Americans of feeling. Two of the Basement Warriors have been foreign: One from India, this one today an ex-pat Canadian living in Germany.
Age doesn’t seem to make a difference. Two are in their 30s, I think, and one was in his 20s. When you hit your 30s, feelings of inferiority should be dealt with summarily. It’s okay to feel them, but taking it out on other people is a no-no.
In researching the troll question, I found dozens of articles about it. Negativity and hate are endemic to the internet. That’s no surprise. Most of the advice tells bloggers not to feed the trolls. Trolls like the attention and their goal is to hurt someone (because “empathy”), so the standard advice is to ignore them.
Only one article advised responding to them, as long as it wasn’t with a “Neener, neener,” type comment. I kind of managed that.
This troll wanted a voice. He left his comment in order for it to be read. I tried having a grown up conversation with him, and responded to his “concerns” about my regrettable lack of sympatico and character (he thinks I’m too frivolous too, or something), but civilized conversation was not to be had.
I blocked his email address and he responded by sending me MORE messages under another email address.
He was self-righteously angry that I had: blocked him, that I have written books (which he critiqued based on the previews) and threatened to leave them one star reviews, that I didn’t give someone the “whole” story about our exchange of three words on Quora, which was the first I was even aware of his existence, but this meant I was “dishonest,” angry that I run my blog the way I see fit, and that I love my country.
My writing “is terrible” he told me, “basically masturbation on the page,” and that I “have my head up my arse,” but he hastened to add that it was “constructive criticism.” Of course it is.
A troll with a Napoleon complex. A tropoleon. He probably wears a tricorn hat and keeps one hand under the lapel of his black uniform. He must know a LOT about masturbation, I’ll give him that.
There was more, but what’s the point? I actually tried to have a conversation with a troll and big surprise! It didn’t work out.
The lesson was learned: Anyone who would even feel the need to follow me to my blog and harass and insult and lecture and try to intimidate me over being blocked is one sick puppy. Why try talking to them in the first place?
His last message had a vague threat in it, so I’ve archived all of them and sent an email to the Hamburg police with all the info I had on him. I’d advise everyone to do the same (only don’t send all complaints to the Hamburg police) when they get infested with fleas.
Or trolls, as the case may be.