I wanted to start a separate thread on trolling. Not so much trolling, but recognizing one’s own trollishness. I hadn’t heard the “if 5 people say you are ass” thing before (see Introduction thread from Hayder) but I know the sentiment. I once literally cleared a room at a party because someone brought up how I constantly challenge a mutual friend on facebook, and I went on a short rant about it. I think it’s him who is trolling everyone with his conspiracy theories but I realized no one really cares, they just want people to play nice.
But, that’s just being fun at a party or not. Forums can be a great place to vent your anger and also to attempt to engage someone who is a polar opposite of yourself and keep the conversation going despite the nastiest insults and questioning of each other’s intelligence. You can’t do that with neighbors in public.
The tension is, we are talking about things that matter. Actual lives are at stake and the “fabric of society”. So we need our posse, our in-group that supports us and provides us with fuel to keep up the fight, but if we aren’t being challenged with outside information, that diminishes the value of having a group at all. What has made this more complicated is it has become increasingly mainstream to call out bad behavior, so instead of 5 people calling you an ass, you have millions. Both sides of these debates can’t be right, but it also can’t be right that millions of people are simply assholes bent on destroying democracy.
I have more to say, but I’ll let the conversation begin. If it does.