Tuesday, 27 March 2012

What is this Trolling trend?

I know I have said it before, but what is it with nastiness becoming such a popular trend on the internet? Whether it be on social networking sites, newspaper or magazine articles practically anything that the public is able to comment on, you are guaranteeed to find hideous comments.

Today I read an article on a well known newpaper website about reality TV star Lauren Goodger covering up while sunbathing in Miami. She is curvy girl who admits she has put on some weight lately, however she still looks (in my eyes) perfectly fine! Yet this article appeared to be about her 'finally' covering up.

Many comments on the article - refreshingly - were quite positive and stuck up for Lauren suggesting that she is just a natural girl who is a natural shape, others were not so nice. Some people suggested she is 'fair game' for comments due to appearing on a reality programme and being famous...maybe. Others said that because she is in the public eye she should be slim and make sure she kept slim at all costs (do anorexia and bullemia come into those 'costs' too?). There were also comments that got a lot nastier but I won't go into detail as to what they were.

This trend as we all know is called Trolling and those who dish out the comments are 'Trolls' and it seems it is very quickly spiralling out of control. A few stories have hit the headlines lately regarding celebrities quitting the networking site 'Twitter' due to internet Trolls. Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher has handed all use of his account over to his assistant because of it and Matt Lucas quit his account after receiving vile comments regarding his late partner who took his own life a couple of years ago. TV presenter Richard Bacon recently did a documentary about trolling and how he had been affected, only to receive even MORE posts from trolls after the programme had aired.

TROLL: Not just a mythical character anymore.
It seems as though people find it entertaining and the nastier the comment the better the entertainment. Where has this come from? I can't help but think that nastiness on reality TV shows have played their part a bit, since the turn of the century it has become increasingly 'normal' to include put downs as part of the entertainment. I don't think them responsible but do wonder if they're to blame slightly. After all as we are regularly reminded, people are influenced by the media and what they see on TV.

This week a trolling university student has been sentenced to 56 days in jail for posting racist tweets about Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed with heart failure during a football game against Tottenham nearly two weeks ago. A small sentence maybe but it's a start! This awful trend needs to be policed - and quick!

Why has everyone only ever got horrible things to say about eachother? Maybe celebrities are 'fair game' but they are people too. I for one am relieved when I see a perfect celebrity with a bit of cellulite or slightly rounded tum. It makes me feel a bit more normal! I would never think to say anything nasty because I am nowhere near body perfect and even if I were, I have no right to criticise someone else, it's hurtful.

With negative comments about peoples weight we are only going to see a rise in more thinspiration blogs and eating disorder sufferers. With racist comments we are moving backwards not forwards. It will create bad feeling and a 'them and us' culture that in this civil, equal rights world is not acceptable.

Somehow, it needs to be policed and fast because it is very quickly spiralling out of control and children and teenagers who have never known any different will grow up believing this is acceptable behaviour.

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