18 October 2011

Look Out! Troll!

Look out! Troll!

Niall O Conghaile recently posted a piece on Dangerous Minds about a T-shirt Zazzle were selling, which, as per "hilarious T-shirt" protocol demands, was just crap. And made light of rape etc etc. He recommended pinging a few "remove" requests to Zazzle to get the T-shirt taken down, on account of being unequivocally shitty and generally misogynistic, which actually seems to have worked.

As usual, the internet converts well-intention discussion about this kind of thing - "should we censor?", "where does free speech end?", "is this humourous enough to be harmless?" "are offensive T-shirts part of the problem, or just a minor irritation?" - into a verbal mud-slinging fest that eventually becomes a slew of penis insults, "feminazi" accusations and generally ill-informed ranting. Bloody hell.

I was attempting to provide some rational discussion about the rights of people to complain about products they feel are offensive and the question of whether shit rape jokes actually propogate a culture of sexual violence, but decided the whole thing had just degenerated into a slough of crap well worth steering clear of. I couldn't actually tell if there were any genuine comments, or just an army of trolls trolling each other...

Try to post a comment on youtube that is so stupid and offensive that it cannot be taken seriously and immediately recognized as a parody of youtube comments. You will fail. - XKCD

Related note, The film Troll Hunter is truly marvellous, sitting somewhere between Spinal Tap and The Blair Witch Project. Alternately, reimagine how much better the X-files would be if Mulder had played the role as an over-worked, underpaid, long term call centre supervisor.

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