60 Seconds Exploring Design & Technology since 1988

The first time I was a troll


I recently had a very popular personality in the design biz flame me on Facebook for pointing out clickbait. It was an interesting feeling since it had never happened to me before. What I did seemed like the right thing to do, but evidently he thought I was being a troll.

He had shared a particularly nasty meme of a political nature. You know the ones, they’ve become so popular on both sides since the Trump/Clinton campaign. I had gotten so sick of seeing them, that I began fact checking and checking the sources. When I found one to be clickbait (click bait) or ‘fake news’ I would note that in a comment.

I’ve made up several little comment graphics I invite others to use after checking and making sure they were in the right.

The meme he posted immediately smelled of clickbait — just the way the headline was written — and a number of his followers chimed in with equally raw and repugnant comments. I thought “geez, this is really not like _______ to post such crap, I’ll check it out.”

The link for the meme went to one of those news sites you’ve never heard of. Immediately upon arriving on the page I was accosted by three pop-ups before I even saw any of the content. When they were dismissed a video slid out from the right side-bar and began playing. Most of the first paragraph of content was covered with the slide-out video. When I scrolled down, the video traveled along, covering the second paragraph. When I clicked to dismiss the video, a new pop-up zoomed open. But it stopped for the full-width ad following the previous paragraph. I opened the source for the page and witnessed a nightmare of scripting and predator links. There were 34 links to external sites, all of which were ad cartels, Twitter or Google. There were only about 120 words of content, all of which was old, well hashed news. I backed out.

I posted the “Clickbait or Fake News?” banner asking the question are you sure you want to share this

His response was “Fred, I’m tired of your shit” — I had no idea what he was talking about because I couldn’t remember any other time I’d posted to one of his posts. But —suddenly the whole thread, meme and all was gone — along with all his other posts.

For the first time ever, I realized somebody thought I was a troll.

That was my first real, hard lesson on how difficult it is to do the right thing in a climate of political correctness on social media. He and his followers, who all agreed on that nasty meme, felt they were so “right” that even if it was clickbait or fake news, they would still spread it around. Let me share this :

Harassment — from garden-variety name calling to more threatening behavior — is a common part of online life that colors the experiences of many web users. Fully 73% of adult internet users have seen someone be harassed in some way online and 40% have personally experienced it, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

Also look up :

Was I a troll? Was I harassing him and his thread? Is it wrong to point out clickbait, or fake news?

… and thanks for reading

Editor/Publisher : DTG Magazine, 60-Second Windows
+FredShowker on Google+ or most social medias @Showker
Published online since 1988

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60 Seconds Exploring Design & Technology since 1988
Fred Showker explores design, graphics, computing, social media, marketing, and the online world with an eye to entertaining, amazing information that will possibly make you think!

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