Articles About Mean, Racist Twitter Trolls Are Helping You Guys
How many times have you opened up your Facebook, Twitter or whatever feed and seen this story: Look at All the Awful Things People Said About This Woman. Or, Check Out This Compilation of Racist Comments. Here Are All the Idiots Who’ve Said Idiotic Things About Something We Know Violates Decency and Common Sense.
OK, y’all. Enough. I don’t know what’s worse: the media outlets that spend time aggregating noxious comments from trolls, or the people who post them but, either way, this trend needs to stop with us. Immediately.
We saw it after Netflix’s Luke Cage premiered: that roundup of buffoons outraged that there weren’t any white people in the story (about a black superhero, set in Harlem.) We saw it when NFL fans responded with gross comments when the league floated the idea of a female ref.
What exactly is the point here, to remind us that stupid people exist, and they say stupid things? What does having this information do for us, other than send a punt of disappointment in humankind right to the groin? How or why is this even news?
One of the many awesome things about social media, of course, is that we can know what our collective consciousness is thinking about any particular thing at any given time. It’s also the worst thing, because we can mine the edges of reasonable discourse to find outliers who don’t understand that the Earth is round. Remember how in grade school, where that kid that would routinely ask stupid questions would eventually be mocked and shamed to the point where he learned to censor himself? That was good. It was social conditioning that kept dumb people from having the courage to air their foolishness in a public forum. Over time, they learned to self-regulate, stay silent or find an underground tribe of fellow fools with whom they could enjoy their idiocy in peace.
Thanks to the Internet, these dummies don’t have to hide, and they can find their tribe – in public. But that doesn’t mean we should legitimize their thought by amplifying it. Morons belong where they’ve already migrated: the fringes. Those of us on the right side of basic respect, civility and common sense would do best to do what makes the most sense in the presence of idiots: ignore them.