No, not her.
There’s something which has been pissing me off for a while now. I’ve been biting my tongue on it, because it’s not really important in the grand scheme of things. But yesterday’s Samantha Brick debacle brought it back to the forefront of my mind.
I’m not going to start harping on about how beautiful, or not, or whatever, Samantha Brick is. You’ve already read all about that. You read all about it on the Daily Mail’s website. You read all about it on Twitter. You may well have read the follow up article which is apparently actually in the Mail’s printed publication today, as well as online.
I’ve read all the above. I was as swept up and fished in as everyone else. But when I read the second instalment of the Samantha Brick saga this morning one paragraph leapt out at me:
“Until this week I never really understood the term 'Trolling' — used to describe when anonymous people viciously attack others on the internet. Now I do!”
No. You don’t.
Because that’s NOT WHAT TROLLING IS. That’s what the media, who obviously couldn’t be bothered to research it properly, have decided it is. And have decided to start spouting off about all the time.
Trolling is the posting of deliberately inflammatory content online, with the express intention of provoking a reaction. (Paraphrased from Wikipedia, because I CAN* be bothered to research)
It is not Samantha Brick who spent all day yesterday being trolled (though what was happening to her was indicative of the ugly, pack mentality of the internet. To actually think it’s okay to send her hate mail directly doesn’t seem okay to me. She didn’t have to read what was on Twitter, or being blogged, or even on the comments about her own article, but actually emailing her? That’s a bit nasty.)
It was us being trolled. That’s right. You just got “pwned” by the Daily Mail. We all did.
Someone posted on Twitter yesterday that the Daily Mail had won the internet. They were right. Mail Online is already the most viewed newspaper website in the WORLD. Now they’re being clever enough to use the internet against itself. It’s like some sort of postmodern mindfuck. If the Mail is now trolling us, who will troll the Mail?
No-one. Because the rest of the media is using its power to convince us that what I would probably term “cyber bullying” is actually trolling.
So here’s my intention for the future: I will not click on links that are to the Daily Mail Online. I will try not to react to articles elsewhere which are blatantly planted to gain a reaction. I will do my best not to feed the trolls.
And if you see that I have slipped, you’re more than welcome to tell me I’ve been a right old Sammy (in a thick cockney accent, preferably).
Disclaimer: I know I’m feeding the troll just by posting this. The irony has not passed me by.
*Can’t. I know Wikipedia doesn’t count as a valid source for anything. It is right though.