Trolls, Voles, Moles, ogres, orcs…and Activists

The second line of defence against the trolls is vigilant self-policing.

In the midst of the undifferentiated mass of voices, we cluster into defensive huddles, but, as all borders are open online, anyone can blag their way in to our conversations. Who are the secret rightists? Who holds incorrect views? Are you who you say you are? Am I?

Those who wish harm to us or our way of life may betray themselves by their unorthodox words. Then we must pounce on them and purge our community. We must resolutely call out hypocrisy and cant. 

Your words, in turn, will reinforce your identity, your right to be part of this group. In this world, self is a series of emphatic assertions, more opinion and aspiration than securely known, objective truth. We secretly doubt what we say about ourselves, so, in an environment of hostility and suspicious scrutiny, a slip of the tongue can amount to a crisis of identity. You can lose control of the self you were trying to create, that you didn’t fully believe in and were trying to make secure by saying it was so. Suddenly accusers are telling your story. 

So, the fiercer you sound, the better, and it can help if you are the one leading the attack. That will really cement your position. You can convince yourself, and prove to everyone else that you are who you say you are: one of the elect; one of the righteous. Best of all is to go hunting celebrities. They are the ones who most rely on curating their images, it is their livelihood, so your indignation at exposing their hypocrisy, will have particular power to reinforce your sense of self.

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