The mind of a Facebook troll

What is going on with these people who spend their whole time trolling on Facebook and Twitter? It's really very sad...

by on 18 February 2013 13:20

Earlier this year I insisted that I would not 'feed the trolls'. And don't worry, I haven't. Much. Yet.

Over the past few days, I've noticed some hyper-critical and less than constructive comments on The Commentator's Facebook page. Given that we're a small team and quite frankly, I can't be stuffed to do 'background' on a troll, I took the necessary measures to stop him commenting on our Facebook page. 

"How authoritarian!" you cry. Well, sure. We're a small team of three here at The Commentator and we run the site, the blog, the Facebook, Twitter, hunt for news, promote the brand, develop the site, images, etc etc etc. If we're heavy handed on the moderation, we're always willing to take another look, but let's face it, when there's unconstructive criticism intended purely to damage a brand - I think we're within our rights to take it down. 

But one Mr. Don McCarron has taken so much offense to my removal of him, that he has e-mailed me seven times this morning.

Here's what he said, when I explained why he'd been banned:

Raheem: Don, I found your comments to be increasingly snide, petty and seemingly intentionally motivated to turning people away from our Facebook and site. I assumed, since you had few constructive criticisms, that you were either a fake account or a professional troll. 

Don McCarron: Then you "assumed" wrong my friend - as you would have discovered if you'd displayed a moment's professionalism and checked my account. And no rational person would need an explanation for criticism of that ridiculous update. You don't have a leg to stand on - I think you know that given your petulant response. And if you're going to try to use English you might want to try learning the definitions of words. "Increasingly" would apply to more than one comment. Or were you reading it over and over and getting "increasingly" ashamed of yourslef? With your complete lack of professionalism and this childish response by iPhone you've made a joke of yourself and your site. I'll take great pleasure in pointing that out at every opportunity.

Raheem: Well if you have nothing better to do... 

Don McCarron: Hardly surprising, given the quality of your communication so far, that the irony of your latest attempt escapes you. I hope you don't mind me quoting you.

Raheem: I would have thought you'd be more interested in reconciling the situation rather than worsening it, but do as you please. As you probably are aware, we're a team of 3 here and we try our best to be fair and open minded, but given the spam/trolling as of late, we do often have to take decisions along those lines and rectify them afterwards if we were too hasty. I'm happy to rectify it, and if you'd like to quote this e-mail too that'd be good. But I won't hold my breath.

Don McCarron: Nice try.

Raheem: You seem incredibly on edge about commenting on websites/Facebook. Think you may need to reflect on reality... 

Don McCarron: I see. So your site deals in fiction? I feel such a fool.

Raheem: Whatever helps.

Don McCarron: I see you need the last word. More indication of your lack of professionalism. Feel free to continue, this is great copy.

Raheem: Lol.

Don McCarron: Anything else? Come on, you can do better than that.

Raheem: You're right, I can. But it doesn't involve you.

Don McCarron: Bit lame. Say something with "What a crock..." in it.

- - - - - 

Sadly, the man seemingly has nothing better to do than engage in spats online. He also seems to think I'd be intimidated by him claiming I was making 'great copy' for him by responding, quite nicely I think, to his e-mails. 

But you'll quickly realise that what Don McCarron (here's his Facebook) means by 'great copy' is probably more fodder for his online comments. He seems to like the work of my colleague Douglas Murray, and actively liked both The Commentator and the Henry Jackson Society, two organisations which I work for, on Facebook. 

So what has dragged this man into such a nasty and pathetic vendetta against us over the past 24 hours? Surely not because he's no longer allowed to spew crap over our Facebook page? Can that really explain such behaviour?

No, what's more likely is that in truth, the mind of a troll is inherently irrational. As you'll note by one of my more concilliatory messages above, they cannot be reasoned with, placated or in any way engaged in a rational conversation.

But hey, I'm not too bothered about losing a man who makes these kind of comments on The Spectator website, from our online following: 

Oh and if you feel at all sorry for what I have to endure, please feel free to donate the cost of a strong drink to me, here


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