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Ask a cop: Trolling should be illegal

Ask a cop: Trolling should be illegal

By Officer Anonymous | Posted - Sep. 16, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.



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SALT LAKE CITY — First off, I am not talking about those silly wild haired dolls with jewels in their belly buttons. I am also not speaking about the ones that live under bridges and eat small children. I am speaking about the spineless bottom feeders who sit at their computer all day bullying other people with inflammatory comments and remarks.

A troll's sole purpose in life is to comment about an article, statement, question in a forum or other Internet venue so that comment will upset the target person or persons to the point where they are yelling at their computer and punching the monitor. The upset person will even go so far as to Google search the user name “wizardslayer7” to see if somehow there is an address associated with it.

A troll thrives on a back and forth argument where one ultimately challenges the other to a fist fight or threatens to find out where the other person lives so they can settle this in person. These arguments tend to be typed in all caps lock. There are professional troll organizations where this becomes a quasi profession. Lame, I know.


A troll thrives on a back and forth argument where one ultimately challenges the other to a fist fight or threatens to find out where the other person lives so they can settle this in person

Here are some definitions I found on trolling:

Dictionary.com:

1. Informal

Submit a deliberately provocative posting to an online message board with the aim of inciting an angry response.

"If people are obviously trolling, then I'll delete your posts and do my best to ban you."

Urban Dictionary.com:

2. Being hurtful on the Internet because you can. Typically unleashing one or more cynical or sarcastic remarks on an innocent bystander because it's the Internet and, hey, you can.

Guy: "I just found the coolest ninja pencil in existence." Other Guy: "I just found the most retarded thread in existence."

3. The art of deliberately, cleverly and secretly angering people, usually via the Internet, using dialogue. Trolling does not mean just making rude remarks: Shouting swear words at someone doesn't count as trolling; it's just flaming, and isn't funny. Spam isn't trolling either; it enrages people, but it's lame.

The most essential part of trolling is convincing your victim that either a) you truly believe in what you are saying, no matter how outrageous, or b) give your victim malicious instructions under the guise of help.

Trolling requires deceiving; any trolling that doesn't involve deceiving someone isn't trolling at all; it's just stupid. As such, your victim must not know that you are trolling; if he does, you are an unsuccessful troll.

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This last definition shows you that these people actually take themselves seriously. Some actually think they are providing a source of entertainment. Unfortunately the people who do find this funny are trolls themselves. I can just imagine two pasty skinned trolls, one hand in a bag of Funyun's, spraying crumbs on their overly used keyboard as they laugh at each other's wit.


So why should trolls go to jail? They are causing or inciting a riot plain and simple. The sole purpose is to upset as many people as possible through malicious or deceptive statements.

You could be thinking that I have been the victim of trolling so I am just ranting about this. I wouldn't know as I rarely if ever read the comments posted from my articles. I do read all my emails however. I have read the comments from various articles and it's always the same, some person will make an uneducated statement about a subject they know nothing about and then the arguments fly. The person who started the argument is usually a troll.

So why should trolls go to jail? They are causing or inciting a riot plain and simple. The sole purpose is to upset as many people as possible through malicious or deceptive statements. They then sit back and watch the carnage. There is no benefit to anyone except themselves. The victims of these trolls are upset the rest of the day. They are driving aggressively on the roads, yelling at their co-workers and being consumed with a way to find out who that person on the Internet was.

This is not good for public safety. This is why I think the only way to combat this is to change the way we run comment boards and forums. Anyone who wants to comment or post anything needs to do this with their official email address registered by the government. This will be verified in person at your local driver's license division. No more anonymity on the Internet. Every time you post anything, your picture and name will pop up.

You trolls can still keep your precious usernames like halochamp34 and doritoskiller709, but it will be tied to your official email, the one and only email you can have. No more fictional emails and no more hiding behind the Internet. If you want to make public comments and be in the public domain of the Internet, then you should be brave enough to show your actual face.


No more fictional emails and no more hiding behind the Internet. If you want to make public comments and be in the public domain of the Internet, then you should be brave enough to show your actual face.

This would also take care of many other problems on the Internet, like fraud and phishing scams or having an online relationship with a fictional person (sorry Manti Te'o). You may not see the brave statements about how you are a third-degree black belt and 6'4” 230. Which is apparently the standard height, weight and skill of every person on call of duty.

How refreshing it would be to see who actually posted those racially charged comments. It would be interesting to see if they posted at all. Do you think those same people are making those same remarks in person? I don't think they are. It would take awhile for them to adjust to sunlight, or being around people. I bet it would be nice for their parents to have access to their basements again. They could finally put in that game room they always wanted.

You may be reading this, flabbergasted by my own hypocrisy. I am aware that I am writing these articles through the safety of anonymity. But if you guys are willing to come forward, then so am I. Let's break down the barriers of the Internet and come forward showing our true selves with no judgment. I can't wait to see the national email registry! This article is for entertainment purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. I do not represent any specific agency or government. Please send questions to askacop@ksl.com

Officer Anonymous

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