March 12, 2012

Dealing With Trolls

Trolls are those individuals who invade chat rooms and comment threads to post off-topic and the most vile of remarks in order to interfere with a free exchange of ideas and information.

Perhaps most important thing to know about most trolls is they are as insecure in their own lives as they are insignificant yours.  Their inane rants are the products of weak minds attempting to draw attention to themselves and away from the main topic.  Many trolls post their despicable remarks in hopes someone will respond in like prose.  That is exactly the recognition they seek, as it fulfills some warped sense of gratification because they have succeeded in hijacking the discussion.  Consider their unwelcome input a form of mental masturbation.

So, how does one deal with trolls?
  1. NEVER respond to direct personal attacks.  Engaging them only feeds into their sick desires.
  2. Do not acknowledge them directly. Instead, talk about and around them, but not TO them.  Hold them and their posts up for ridicule, but only referenced in the third person. e.g.
    “Can you folks believe the tripe 'TimmyTroll' is spouting? I wish he/she/it would stop the copy and paste of Mother Jones editorials to try and prove his/her/its idiotic point.”
  3. Rebuke their assertions with FACTS, not opinion.  Cite authoritative sources demonstrating the fallacies of their arguments.
  4. Above all, STAY CLASSY.  Remember, you are usually engaging with like minds or those of a differing political philosophy who are truly interested holding intelligent discussion.  Using words or phrases that could be construed as misogynistic, homophobic, racist, or otherwise offensive is an intellectually lazy trap you set for yourself, and only invites trolls to attack.
Following these four basic rules marginalizes trolls to the point they cease to be a problem.

Dennis P. O'Neil

March 3, 2012

Not With Pike, But With Pen

Many, if not most, Americans were incensed by President Barack Obama's hat in hand apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for the burning of Korans on a U.S. air base in Afghanistan.  Most disturbing was President Obama's promise of retribution against our own troops by, “... holding accountable those responsible.”  With that, President Obama threw our military personnel under the proverbial Afghani donkey cart, even as rioting crowds murdered them in cold blood.

One patriot, angry with this betrayal, took a few minutes out of her busy day to express her thoughts, then post the video with her version of a proper apology to President Karzi on YouTube and her blog (transcript included).  The video went viral within hours and, before a week passed, had nearly reached the holy grail for Internet videos – One Million views.

Kira Ayn Davis, the self-described “actress, writer, blogger and talker... also a mother, wife, proud American and black conservative... ” seemed awestruck by an overwhelmingly positive response from hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans who shared her sentiments.  As Davis posted on her facebook page:
“Woohoo! Video just crossed 900,000! How should I celebrate 1,000,000?”
I remembered the story of Revolutionary War heroine, Mary Hagidorn, who refused an order for women and children to shelter in a cellar during an expected British attack.  Mary defiantly replied, ”I shall not go to that cellar should the enemy come.  I will take a spear which I can use as well as any man and help defend the fort.”  With spear in hand, Mary took her place along the defensive line, holding her position until the battle was won.

So, to Kira, I humbly offer this counsel: Hold your children close, tell them the story of Mary Hagidorn, and whisper, “This I do for you, not with pike, but with pen.”

Please visit Kira's blog at KiraDavis.net and enjoy her writings, along with those of other talented young conservatives

Dennis P. O'Neil