LOVED this talk. “Don’t Feed the Trolls,” by Nicole Sullivan, a web developer from California.
Nicole spells out the different kinds of troll behavior of which we ALL have been guilty at least once. Troll-iness is when one responds with nastiness or spite to any question or comment posted on the internet.
My observation is that the nastiness is often delivered with a strong dose of sarcasm. Some of the comments offer content, but very many do not.
I have found that sarcasm is the new wit…which is kind of weird because it’s not clever when it’s nasty.
I had an opportunity to be in public, actually stand in public spaces (part of art project) in Washington DC for 5 months. I was using my First Amendment right to bring attention to healthcare. I had a message on my sign that brought out “trolly bits” for many people.
When I think of wit I think of playwright, George Bernard Shaw. “A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.” Witty, right?
There was no cleverness in people’s discourse when sarcasm replaced wit. The sarcasm was the equivalent of saying, “So so stupid.” But very few would back up the condemnation with actual content that could form the basis of discussion.
I think sarcasm as wit is a direct outgrowth of the “trolly” bits and nastiness on the internet that are devoid of content. And I think we might have to look at hate-speech talk radio for taking this kind of discourse mainstream.
Or is it the other way around? Sarcasm and nastiness devoid of wit have gone mainstream because the public has embraced it on the internet, and talk-radio show hosts are cashing in on the trend.
Nicole’s website is Stubbornealla.