Thursday, January 3, 2013
smithsonianmag:

Is the Internet Turning Us Into a Nation of Hate-Filled Trolls?



It’s taken a while for this prophecy to come true, a while for this mode of communication to replace and degrade political conversation, to drive out any ambiguity. Or departure from the binary. But it slowly is turning us into a nation of hate-filled trolls.
Surprisingly, [Jaron] Lanier tells me it first came to him when he recognized his own inner troll—for instance, when he’d find himself shamefully taking pleasure when someone he knew got attacked online. “I definitely noticed it happening to me,” he recalled. “We’re not as different from one another as we’d like to imagine. So when we look at this pathetic guy in Texas who was just outed as ‘Violentacrez’…I don’t know if you followed it?”
“I did.” “Violentacrez” was the screen name of a notorious troll on the popular site Reddit. He was known for posting “images of scantily clad underage girls…[and] an unending fountain of racism, porn, gore” and more, according to the Gawker.com reporter who exposed his real name, shaming him and evoking consternation among some Reddit users who felt that this use of anonymity was inseparable from freedom of speech somehow.
“So it turns out Violencacrez is this guy with a disabled wife who’s middle-aged and he’s kind of a Walter Mitty—someone who wants to be significant, wants some bit of Nietzschean spark to his life.”
Only Lanier would attribute Nietzschean longing to Violentacrez. “And he’s not that different from any of us. The difference is that he’s scared and possibly hurt a lot of people.” - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.



Photo of Jaron Lanier by: Robert Holmgren



What we are becoming is a nation of subcultures that fail to recognize their isolation. We are not becoming a nation of trolls. We are becoming increasingly insincere as a general trend, perhaps, and that is quite concerning, but trolling is only one manifestation.

smithsonianmag:

Is the Internet Turning Us Into a Nation of Hate-Filled Trolls?

It’s taken a while for this prophecy to come true, a while for this mode of communication to replace and degrade political conversation, to drive out any ambiguity. Or departure from the binary. But it slowly is turning us into a nation of hate-filled trolls.

Surprisingly, [Jaron] Lanier tells me it first came to him when he recognized his own inner troll—for instance, when he’d find himself shamefully taking pleasure when someone he knew got attacked online. “I definitely noticed it happening to me,” he recalled. “We’re not as different from one another as we’d like to imagine. So when we look at this pathetic guy in Texas who was just outed as ‘Violentacrez’…I don’t know if you followed it?”

“I did.” “Violentacrez” was the screen name of a notorious troll on the popular site Reddit. He was known for posting “images of scantily clad underage girls…[and] an unending fountain of racism, porn, gore” and more, according to the Gawker.com reporter who exposed his real name, shaming him and evoking consternation among some Reddit users who felt that this use of anonymity was inseparable from freedom of speech somehow.

“So it turns out Violencacrez is this guy with a disabled wife who’s middle-aged and he’s kind of a Walter Mitty—someone who wants to be significant, wants some bit of Nietzschean spark to his life.”

Only Lanier would attribute Nietzschean longing to Violentacrez. “And he’s not that different from any of us. The difference is that he’s scared and possibly hurt a lot of people.” - Continue reading at Smithsonian.com.

Photo of Jaron Lanier by: Robert Holmgren


What we are becoming is a nation of subcultures that fail to recognize their isolation. We are not becoming a nation of trolls. We are becoming increasingly insincere as a general trend, perhaps, and that is quite concerning, but trolling is only one manifestation.

Notes

  1. teslas-pigeons reblogged this from smithsonianmag
  2. wearehavingcake reblogged this from smithsonianmag
  3. inquisitive2816 reblogged this from smithsonianmag
  4. jordanhgreen reblogged this from smithsonianmag and added:
    Has the Internet turned you into an evil hate filled troll?
  5. 6stronghands reblogged this from smithsonianmag
  6. flippedroundagain reblogged this from smithsonianmag and added:
    It’s an interesting read. I’m still not sure what exactly Lanier’s mission here is; however, I absolutely agree that we...
  7. structuralflaws reblogged this from smithsonianmag and added:
    What we are becoming is a nation of subcultures that fail to recognize their isolation. We are not becoming a nation of...
  8. thehedrick reblogged this from smithsonianmag and added:
    In the case of digital barbarism, call me an optimist, but I think that the vastness of information on the web and it’s...
  9. lesoleildugal reblogged this from smithsonianmag
  10. soleilalae reblogged this from 0rcinus0rca and added:
    Well of course not.
  11. 0rcinus0rca reblogged this from soleilalae and added:
    Excuse me, but real adults don’t act like that. :)
  12. grupertawesome reblogged this from smithsonianmag
  13. smithsonianmag posted this