Monday, 8 July 2019

Yardley Syndrome - how anti-troll campaigners end up as trolls

It's a Twitter version of Stockholm Syndrome where those who spend most time shouting about trolls (especially but not exclusively alt-right trolls) end up being trolls themselves:
Twitter do me a favour, I'm on a train and my signal is rubbish and I'm writing a thing about biting back at alt right trolls and my search function isn't working. Send me your favourite burn I've ever done to a sexist. Ta. X
So it begins. This Tweet, sent out by one of the most vociferous of the "we must do something about the Trolls" MPs, makes my point beautifully. What does Jess Phillips think will be the result of this message? Maybe it's a bit thoughtless or perhaps it's an indication that Ms Phillips has, in her desire to have a social media impact, succumbed to the same tricks and tactics as any teenaged 'troll' (or indeed - teenagers probably get a bad rap here - trolls of any age).

"I'm writing a thing about biting back..." This isn't a mature, considered approach such as we might expect from a member of parliament but rather the sort of mindset that produces those interminable blogposts setting out the evils of the blogger's chosen subject of hatred. You know, the ones filled with out of context drags from social media, long screeds on how horrid these people are to the blogger and lots of bold headlines. All interspersed with chunks of text in capital letters.

An MP sat on a train chooses to spend her time writing a 'piece' about horrid people on the Internet and how she socked it to them. Among things that we might expect an MP to do faced with an hour on the train and no phone signal, this is not what folk would put at the top of the list. Yet it seems increasingly, from MPs of all stripes, to be the thing that bothers them the most. I'm sure they'll snap back with catty comments about how their constituents love them and "what would you know about what I'm doing anyway" but it isn't a good look when an MP uses that time to write about trolling ("favourite burn" is merely a celebration of that trolling, nothing else) groups of people on social media.



A K Haart said...

She is not alone in her bright and breezy lack of maturity. It raises some familiar but disturbing questions about the people we elect.

Lucretius1 said...

I see the Tories are going to eradicate smoking by 2030. Looks like a lot of Tory voters will be going to jail in 2030 !