Thoughts

How to Stop a Troll

You know the ones. They take over a post, plastering it with snide comments and ridiculous gifs like a vigilante social media avalanche. Yup, that kind of troll.

As of the start of this post, I had effectively silenced one for 17 minutes and counting. I’ll check again at the end, ’cause you know how they are – fucking cockroaches.

I’m feeling pretty proud to be honest, even if they do find a way to retort. The OP seemed innocent enough to me, albeit I don’t make a habit of participating in random online discussions so I’m no expert. The post read as follows:

This is a philosophical question. Why is it acceptable for humans to hunt, kill, and eat animals, but not okay for animals to hunt, kill, and eat humans? Don’t both groups do so to sustain themselves?

Now because I’m me and “philosophical” is potent mind bate for me, I jumped right in with the following:

It’s a concept called anthropocentrism, or the distorted belief that humans are the center of the world. This is also why humans take it so personally when a natural disaster strikes. We no longer see ourselves as a part of nature but above it, and therefore believe ourselves deserving of separation and protection from it’s dangers whilst also believing that any/all damage we may cause is justifiable, aka any natural resources we need should be readily available to us as we so desire. It is completely unsustainable and detrimental to our planet. Humans can live in alignment with nature only if they accept that they are a part of it and subject to its dangers. We need some humility and to abandon the cult of technotopia that is leading us and our world to the widespread slaughter of life via overuse/underappreciation…

Highly recommend the book The Ascent of Humanity by Charles Eisenstein for a comprehensive anthropological and philosophical breakdown of the discontentment and challenges of the modern human condition, as well as how we have developed these alongside our own classically shortsighted developments.

The comments proceeding mine were certainly not as weighted but there was no signs of a troll yet. It didn’t take long for things to change though, with multiple trolls showing up, one in particular leading the charge.

In their defense, this is a local social media group and I live in a little town that just suffered a mountain lion attack this past week. The little boy was playing in his yard in our rural mountain town.

Granted, without the “philosophical” bait, I would have thought wiser about participating in such an untimely post, but alas, I was hooked anyway. Philosophy isn’t about the emotional response anyway right?

Wrong. Well, at least to the trolls.

Still, despite understanding their plight as well, I stood by my thoughtful contribution and tried to entice some real discussion from the group with the following:

For any of you who may actually be interested in talking academically about these topics and may have missed this due to vigilante trolls, here it is again:

“[My previous post]”

Now, are any of you mature enough to discuss these very real issues without making it a dramatic show of emotion and ignorance?

*Note: I do not inherently disagree that the lions should have been put to death in this recent instance, though as a pagan I mourn their loss immensely. I also feel great pain for the boy and his family, as a fellow nature lover and lifelong mountain resident I am empathetic to their horrible situation. However, the philosophical and anthropological concepts are far from limited to our local scope of effect. This issue is far reaching and evermore pertinent as the human population continues to grow on this planet of finite resources. It’s just the way it is. Philosophy is about trying to find an optimal means of rationality within the conditions present. Anthropology is about reviewing what humans have done, so as to learn from our behaviors and develop more comprehensive understanding about how we exist in the world.

So, anyone up for some healthy cognitive gymnastics?

And that’s when everything went silent. Apparently, to stop trolls you have to ask them to think for themselves lol…

Now to check for any new responses…

I GOT 30 MINUTES! Haha, they have returned – but the vigilante seems to be gone for good. I’ve got one new troll talking about pie, a guy who agreed with me but told me I’m wasting my time in a very complicated manner, and some others who are talking about the mountain lion’s rights now.

I’m done. Overcomplicated guy is right… but now you know how to stop a troll – at least one troll, for like 30 minutes…

*Smh*

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