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  1. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Online troll kills herself

    Discussion in 'Debate Room' started by jazzabel, Oct 6, 2014.

    Pretty shocking news I saw today, that puts perspective on online trolling. I can't help but feel that a lot of online trolls are actually quite fragile people who need help more than hate. I am really sad to see this woman saw no other way out.

    Full article here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2781377/BREAKING-NEWS-Internet-troll-targeted-McCanns-dead-hotel-room-days-fleeing-home.html#

    ps. I thought about making a debate thread about this, but I think the tragedy of the whole situation could use more gentle consideration. Just food for thought.
     
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  2. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    A more balanced discussion was had in the Guardian's coverage:

    Was Brenda Leyland really a troll?
    It's interesting that the tabloid which wrote the more critical story was one she had complained about:
    I think in a way the news crew that outed her might have been equally as bad re public shaming.
    As a person who is not sure the McCann's are guilty or innocent, she sounds more like someone who strongly believed the former. That's not my idea of a troll. My definition of troll is usually someone who either has a political agenda like the trolls that tell half the women bloggers they deserve to be raped, or people who troll forums just getting a kick out of reactions to the outrageous things they post.
     
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  3. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    I suppose what came forward for me most strongly when I was reading this article, is the similarity of this woman's actions to the poison pen letter phenomenon which is not all that uncommon. I too am unsure of what happened, as are many people, and in it is the double tragedy of the McCann's situation. But taunting the grieving parents anonymously, accusing them with words that are recognised widely as 'vitriolic', based on personal opinion alone, is suggestive of a serious psychopathology. This could have lead her to react the way she did when she was confronted publicly, imo. Which is why I feel it was extremely irresponsible of the journalists to approach this person. It should have been done by the police, discreetly, not backing her into a corner.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Suicide is suggestive of a serious psychopathology.
     
  5. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    The issue is one of suicide prevention. What if she didn't kill herself? Would that change the realities of her behaviour? I don't think so. Her abusive, prolific trolling of McCanns (they use that term and I believe they felt trolled) was still indicative of serious psychopathology, and on account of that, she should have been treated as someone who needs help rather than public shaming.
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2014
  6. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    suggestive, but not diagnostic.

    I'm not buying that trolls are fragile people who need help. it's like the "bullies are insecure and just need positive encouragement" myth; when bullies have been given positive encouragement, they have escalated their bullying, secure in their belief that they are right and the people they're tormenting are somehow wrong or bad and therefore deserving of the treatment they get. given the vast amount of damage done by online bullies (a.k.a. trolls) who have driven people to suicide, suicide attempts, episodes of severe depression/anxiety, quit their jobs, fear for their lives, etc. etc., I continue to have no sympathy whatsoever for anyone who engages in trolling behavior.

    a far greater problem is the casting of online harassment (trolling) as somehow "not real," and telling the victims of that harassment to "just get over it." for some excellent examples and perspectives on the subject, you can look at "Gamergate," a hideous debacle that is unfolding right now all over Twitter and various other online venues, which can be characterized as women who have spoken up about misogyny and harassment in game developer circles then being ruthlessly and viciously attacked in a nonstop barrage of vitriol until they withdraw from public discourse entirely, afraid that their careers may be ruined. and you can bet your bottom dollar that this campaign has successfully prevented scores more women (and men) from talking about their own situations.
     
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  7. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @elynne : I agree that it's extremely hard to feel empathy for bullies, whether they are anonymous or not, and I would not expect their victims to feel compassion toward them. But the reality remains, anyone who is capable of obsessively, anonymously terrorising others is mentally unstable. I think trolls are extreme nuisance, but they don't deserve to die. I feel journalists here pushed her over the edge, and wonder if she was arrested rather than publicly shamed, that the outcome might have been different.

    'Gamergate' sounds interesting. It sounds though like it's more to do with patriarchal structure and misogyny that uses tactics of online bullying to promote slut-shaming and encourage dismissiveness of female perspective and experience. Just what we are discussing in at least two,other threads at the moment :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2014
  8. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    Excuse me? Sorry, but I can't let this slide. Are you aware at all about the conduct of one miss Zoe Quinn? It's not like it's baseless allegation that she slept with numerous men in relatively high ranking positions so she could further her own agenda, when there are bloody pictures of her correspondences. That's not a case of women being unfairly targeted, that's a case of shoddy journalism and petty interest hidden behind accusations of misogyny against the gaming community. It's a showcase of how rotten the gaming industry is on the media side of things. To put Quinn on the same line as women that have actually experienced misogyny is an insult to those women.
     
  9. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That would depend on how you defined it, but no matter.

    I totally agree with this. It goes with the "they want to get caught", and "they want someone to stop them" myths.

    Not to mention there are several different kind of classic trolls, not to mention the whole continuum.
     
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  10. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm sorry if this particular woman was as mentally fragile as she appears to have been. It certainly appears that she was obsessed with the McCanns. It also seems that her posts were not as threatening or out of the park as some others, and Gerry McCann said he'd never actually seen any of her 'tweets' and wasn't aware of her at all.

    I think the factor here is anonymity. Trolls aren't crusaders, except perhaps in their own heads. Crusaders stand up and identify themselves. Trolls hide behind anonymity and throw unfiltered and unmitigated crap at high profile targets who can't fight back. According to some news reports (which I don't totally believe yet) the McCanns weren't the only people this particular woman targeted.

    You play with fire, you can get burned. Nobody killed this woman—she killed herself. (Apparently ...the actual cause of death has not been released to the public yet.) What if her nasty tweets had resulted in one of the McCanns or one of her other targets killing themselves? Would she have felt remorse? What goes around comes around, ey? She wasn't so happy when SHE was suddenly in the public eye and open to scrutiny, was she?

    I have absolutely no sympathy for trolls. Yes of course they have sad lives. But their sad lives are spent trying to make other people miserable–and they apparently get a thrill from that. And as @elynne pointed out, their activities do more than just make people upset, they actually shut people down and shut down discussion. Just because the internet is a relatively new phenomenon doesn't mean all shreds of decency can be thrown into the air when interacting on it.

    I hope that anybody who 'trolls' and creates malicious or threatening posts will stop and think for a moment before doing so from now on. You can and will be outed, eventually? If the inevitability of that outcome is hanging over these people's heads, maybe they'll stop.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  11. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Wow. I really didn't expect this here. Quinn was hounded across the internet. Her parents were threatened, she fled her home, and an unrelated friend had his entire identity disclosed. And based on what? The offensive and inaccurate screed of a jilted boyfriend; rightfully torn from every forum on which it was posted until it found a single post on tumblr.

    Quinn was the subject of rape threats, murder threats, rape and then murder threats, murder and then rape threats, and even more disgusting things. Your attempt to downplay these things, as if sleeping with a game reporter instigated the backlash it is insulting to everyone.
     
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  12. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Learn something new everyday. I never heard of Gamergate until now.
     
  13. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    It is probably the worst thing the "gaming community" has been tacit to in the history of the term.
     
  14. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    That's a different person, Anita Sarkeesian, that fled her home and got her family threatened. And inaccurate according to who, you? You know who's actually the subject of legitimate threats? People like Ayaan Hirsi Ali. She has to walk with bodyguards to feel remotely safe. Compared to her, Quinn is a disgrace to feminism. There is so much evidence to show her adding fuel to the fire that it's ridiculous that you even suggest that she's a victim.
     
  15. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    Check out #NotYourShield to see what's really going on.
     
  16. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    pretty much everything about your response is 1. wrong 2. based entirely on the 4chan bullies who have been relentlessly and viciously hounding Quinn and dozens of other people 3. kind of hilarious in how completely wrong it is. sorry, I couldn't let that slide. :)

    @jazzabel "mentally unstable" is a bit far to go, I think. as to whether I think they deserve to die... let's just say my opinions on certain matters are a bit more extreme than pretty much anybody here would guess, and I keep them to myself for a wide variety of reasons. ;) and, yeah... for a perfect example of what "Gamergate" is all about, the post quoted above is a pretty good indication. I'd argue that it's a symptom of an online culture that is caused and continuously fueled by "trolls," though, so it is part of this discussion... but given what's going on in the other threads, yeah. sigh

    @jannert it's kind of funny (in a sad, painful way) how often trolls using tactics ranging from abuse to threats to actual vandalism and destruction of property will whine about "censorship" when they're told (or forced) to stop, when the fact is that they're the ones who are deliberately using campaigns of terror to silence the people they disagree with. habitual arsonists really shouldn't whine about fire safety regulations.
     
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  17. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Nope. She fled to a hotel and called the cops. Then the gamergate trolls told everyone that the cops had never heard about it, as if that somehow justified the abuse.

    Just so everyone know, these are the posts that @Dean Stride is defending:
    [​IMG]
    They are not even near the bottom of what people have said. Not nearly.
     
  18. elynne
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    elynne Active Member

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    or check Wikipedia, for actual, y'know, accuracy and factual information, rather than deliberately concocted misinformation.
     
  19. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    1. How come?

    2. Really? You mean
    [​IMG]

    3. Redundancy is redundant.
     
  20. Jack Asher
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    Jack Asher Wildly experimental Contributor

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    Here's some more of the valient #Notyoursheild community
    [​IMG]
    Once again, these are the people that @Dean Stride is sticking up for. I feel that there are no shortage of women on this site that have been called a "cunt" at some point, just as I feel certain that they did not deserve it. I hope this kind of behavior hits home for you in the same way it does for me.
    Also, the only conflict of interest with any degree of plausibility has been debunked here
    http://kotaku.com/in-recent-days-ive-been-asked-several-times-about-a-pos-1624707346
     
  21. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    Yes, because Wikipedia is a bastion for objective and non-editable information, especially on a controversy in motion such as this.
     
  22. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @Dean Stride : Lets's refrain from bashing women on this thread please, if possible. It's ok for you to raise doubts, and present an alternative point of view but what you are saying is bordering on slut-shaming, and I am not comfortable with that.

    @jannert Mentally ill people can sometimes be really difficult to take, some even kill and injure others as a direct consequence of disordered thinking, not to mention behaving offensively and similar. Some get better, some never do. How 'hateful' the behaviour of mentally unwell person is, has no bearing on the fact they need help. And I consider personality disorders a 'mental illness' in a sense that it isn't a normal state of being, it isn't something those people 'brought on themselves' and they genuinely can't help behaving in truly horrible ways and modern medicine has no real answers for them either.

    However, I know that most people can't see it that way. To me, perhaps due to working with the mentally ill, there's not much difference in terms of accountability for verbal vitriol, between an inadequate stalker/obsessive deluded person, a bipolar patient with manic episode, a person with a serious relapse of OCD or a paranoid schizophrenic. A mentally stable person doesn't behave like this, and as such she deserved that slight bit of compassion of mental health assessment and arrest for her crime instead of public shaming. I know it might seem as just desserts, but with what I've seen over the years, I feel there should have been a better way of dealing with this.
     
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  23. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    Can't make an argument or get your facts straight, so you make me out to be a villain, Jack? Nice, coming from you.
     
  24. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I'm floored by this turn of thread events, it's much bigger than Elevatorgate and I've never heard of it until now. Oh well, time to figure it out.

    @Dean Stride, could you summarize in a sentence or two what horrible thing you think this woman did, because it looks to me like a vicious ex-boyfriend attack and I'm not readily seeing what she is supposed to have done.
     
  25. Dean Stride
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    Dean Stride Contributing Member

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    Slut-shaming? I couldn't even remotely care about the sexual activities of a woman I don't even know. What I care about is the implications of these actions on an industry that's already problematic as it is.
     
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