What Went Wrong With… The Term “Troll” And Its Use In Contemporary Society?

An image of a troll against news stories and headlines which feature the word "Troll" by

Society has become extremely contradictory since the millennium, especially when it comes to liberty. The people incessantly brag about their freedom but following a certain event they seem to be in a mad dash to erode the very freedoms they’re apparently so fond of. After a terrorist attack for example, the leaders always say (about the terrorists) “they hate our freedom, they want us to change how we live, but they will never change us!”, then the very next day these pricks start enacting the most fascist and totalitarian laws such as America’s Patriot Act or France’s Apology For Terrorism. When our governments ramp up illegal surveillance, when they stamp down on the right to protest, the idiotic people who were so proud of their freedoms a moment ago immediately accept their removal, surely the terrorists have already won? It’s funny but western society constantly lords it over the rest of the world and gloats about our “advanced” and “civilised” culture, look at all the freedom we have that you don’t! But look closer and you’ll see that the daft masses are slowly walking headlong into servitude, if we’re not careful we’ll soon be indistinguishable from all the Dictatorships we’re supposed to despise.

Recently when our government voted for airstrikes on Syria, many people quite rightly sent derogatory tweets and messages to their members of parliament. Surely that’s the way a democratic system works, we elected you fuckers, so we have the right to tell you when you’re being a cunt. But of course even this display of free speech was in turn used by the establishment to undermine our freedom. The mainstream news grouped all criticism against the MP’s together with alleged death threats, they seemed to be suggesting that by simply showing your disapproval of an elected leader you were somehow the same as a violent criminal. What made this situation worse was the fact that context and tone was never considered by these twatting journalists. I mean if you’re told to “lay down and die” isn’t that a non-literal figure of speech? And if you’re told that “you’ve got blood on your hands” isn’t that metaphorical and in this context accurate? In addition to this absurdity, like every other reactionary story there was a call to issue a “code of conduct” for social media, once again the powers that be were trying to use an overreaction to a non-event to usher in more legislation. Then, on a less serious note, these mainstream broadcasters not content with labelling critics as criminals, were also dismissive of people’s opinions across the board, and when the mainstream don’t like what you’re saying their go-to label for you these days is the conveniently all-encompassing “Troll”.

Calling someone a “Troll” has become a great way of suppressing criticism, it was originally a term to describe someone who strayed off-topic on forums just to cause disruption, usually for personal amusement. Today however, the term is used to describe anybody who has an opinion contrary to the accepted norm, air your point of view about anything these days from politics to popular culture and if it doesn’t fit in with the status quo, watch how quickly some imbecilic drone will call you a troll.

It’s a weird and slightly inaccurate description if you think about it, a troll used to be synonymous with living at one with nature or being part of the wilderness, if you read fairytales as a kid a troll was someone who guarded bridges or ate goats, what the hell does that have to do with baiting or pestering someone online? Regardless, the original meaning and the original slang meaning are now all but lost, similar to the word “hater” if the mainstream don’t like what you have to say, they have this little magic word in their arsenal of bullshit comebacks. They can’t take Freedom Of Speech away from us just yet, so until they do they’ll simply mock our viewpoint.

Since the public has a penchant for co-opting folklore and fictional creatures, maybe they should be categorised and marginalised too. If having an opinion makes you a troll, then all these conformist serfs, these helots and slaves who like to suck their leaders cock and swallow everything they’re fed by the mainstream media should all be labelled…


5 replies »

  1. I always enjoy checking in here or there to see you articulate your viewpoint on things. One thing of note…I’ve always thought that the “trolling” synonym was actually derived from the technique of fishing where you have baited lures moving behind a boat. In that sense, it etymologically makes perfect sense that the “troll” is baiting/luring/fishing for an argument/being deliberately provocative for the sake of an argument and thus…ego gratification. I’ve always wondered why most people haven’t drawn this conclusion…

    • So, some droll little fisherman is to blame for this term. That would make more sense but since I don’t fish I wasn’t aware of “trolling” in that sense so thanks for the explanation. That being said, the current usage of the word “troll” as a blanket term to dismiss genuine yet opposing opinions, is still infuriating to me. Being referred to as a troll for angrily countering someone on social media still makes no sense, most mainstream examples of “trolling” are not baiting in any way, but simply comedic or indignant comments.

      A true example of a troll is something like the #BoycottStarWarsVII hashtag which I think was created to cause a reaction for the amusement of the creator. Simply stating to an MP that they’re a sellout isn’t at all trolling since this isn’t done to get a reaction it is merely the opinion of anti-war citizens. The media and the public really need to differentiate between the two.

      Thanks for taking the time to reply.

  2. Exactly! People don’t even know the meaning of a troll. I got a similar response on YouTube and Social Media. Isn’t this freedom of speech? Everyone has the right to say what they want! These hypocrites constantly brag about their democracy, yet constantly demonise anyone who has a different opinion. Seriously, these idiots are acting like dictators.
    On the topic of MPs, they deserve every criticism they get. They were elected by us, so we have the right to criticise them. The Labour MPs who voted for airstrikes are sellouts. Isn’t Labour supposedly a leftwing party? Voting for airstrikes is as right wing as you can get! Look at how Sky News attempted to sell Hilary Benn’s crappy speech as “impassioned” and “charismatic”. Hell Adolf Hitler was charismatic and impassioned, but it doesn’t change the fact that he was a hateful, genocidal maniac does it?

  3. I’ve been touting this for YEARS. People call anything they dislike a ‘troll’. You’ve put it more eloquently than I ever could though.

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