It is a well known fact that the internet can bring out the worst in people. Due to a complete lack of consequence, these heathens (colloquially known as trolls) poison the World Wide Web with content meant only to sadden, anger, or degrade its viewers. And frighteningly, these cold expressions of contempt can be found anywhere and everywhere on the internet. Of course, this is not new. Ever since the infantile days of the web people have found ways to express pent-up rage which would be considered highly inappropriate in a public setting. Lately, however, I have noticed a steady rise in internet spite, and it is beginning to get on my nerves.
For the sake of simplicity, I am going to concentrate this article on the most well known variety of internet malice, although it extends much further: comments. It is standard that blogs, video sharing sites, and social networks have a commenting system, allowing viewers to comment on the content. Of course, these systems are abused by the aforementioned heathens. Take, for example, YouTube. Nearly every video is followed by a series of rude remarks which simply tears the creator apart. These comments, of course, serve no purpose: its quite obvious they are meant only to make the author feel bad.
Experienced content creators such as the mastermind behind The Oatmeal have learned to ignore such criticism, but to the amateur internet surfer this behavior creates a hostile, and ultimately undesirable experience. One would certainly not like to attend a concert if the crowd were reprimanding the performers non-stop.
So what are we to do? How can we convince people everywhere to maintain a certain amount of civility when discussing internet content? Well, unfortunately, we cannot. Trolls will be trolls, and trolls will always have an insatiable urge to make others angry. Therefore, the only thing we can do is control ourselves (meaning us who look down upon internet rudeness). Trolls feed off negative reactions: their only purpose, after all, is to generate them. So rather than responding to their comments, simply take a deep breath, flag them as inappropriate, and move on with your day.
With time, and an immense amount of patience, internet trolls will realize they no longer have an effect on people, and we will be free from the burden. So with this knowledge, I implore you to assist me in my quest to stop internet bitterness.