There are many good elements of trolling. For one thing, if the world didn’t have trolls, imagine how boring it would be. Could you imagine how boring the internet would be without trolls to spice things up? Trolling entertains us and gives us something to read that is usually against the opinion of the material you are reading. The reason trolling is not bullying is because bullying is usually a continuous thing that specifically targets a person or small group of people. Trolling is not used to target and follow a person around and make them hate themselves. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, ”Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.” Trolling is not the same as cyberbullying because trolling is not meant to harass people like cyberbullying does.
|Before I trolled him. (I took this picture)|
|After I trolled him. (I took this picture)|
People tend to confuse trolling and bullying because there are bullies who call themselves trolls when they are really just being bullies. This gives trolls a bad name because bullies act continuously aggressive toward another person in the name of trolling. There are a couple kinds of bullying. The first is physical bullying. You don’t really see physical bullying happen though, because it is immediately reported as assault. If someone physically hit another person with the intent of hurting them, that would be considered bullying. The second kind of bullying is verbal, and when it happens online, it is called cyberbullying. The most common form of verbal abuse online is being called offensive names. According to Maeve Duggan from Pew Research Center, 4 out of 10 internet users have experienced bullying. Also talked about in the Pew Research article, most people choose to confront their bullies online and, “30% reported it was a little upsetting, 22% found it not at all upsetting.” We hear about bullying all the time, and it sounds like such a terrible thing, but over the half who have been bullied (not trolled) don’t even care. Since trolling is less aggressive than bullying, then that means even more than 50% of people will take trolling as a joke. To me this shows that people using the internet don't really care about online harassment even if it happens to them, because it is not going to affect the average person that much. Trolling is an extremely lesser form of harassment, so if people are generally not affected by harassment, then trolling definitely won’t affect them either. Trolling is different from bullying because it is simply about about having fun and making people laugh as a joke, not about bullying people or attacking them in any way. Even though people confuse bullying and trolling, trolling is actually just for the purpose of entertainment. Los Angeles writer Mike Rougeau put it perfectly: "We'll make you rage. We'll make you cry. You'll throw your hands in the air in frustration. And afterward, if we've trolled you right, you'll laugh."
Conclusion: Updated March 5, 2015