Sunday, August 07, 2011

Concerned Trolls

The urban dictionary defines concerned troll as
"A person who posts on a blog thread, in the guise of "concern," to disrupt dialogue or undermine morale by pointing out that posters and/or the site may be getting themselves in trouble, usually with an authority or power. They point out problems that don't really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere and condescending."
The  adventures of Christopher Lao and the various reactions on the internet engendered a lot of concerned trolling.  There is Ed Biao who writes in the Manila Standard
...everyone who tweeted and blogged negative things about Christopher and the more than 35,000 people (as of this writing) who liked the “Christopher Lao (ang bobong sinugod ang kotse sa baha)” should reassess their values. Like you haven’t done anything stupid in your life? You should be thankful that your foolish deeds were not televised.
 or J. Miguel Tanchico for the Inquirer
However, whether or not to like the social media pages created to diss a flood victim online requires a lot of thinking before you click, because this clearly shows how prone social media is to abuse by some netizens who think they have the freedom to bash a person they hardly know, effectively making a group of cyber bullies out of them.
 The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, who should know better also got into the act
GMA News had to take down the video from their website because apart from sharing the news, people had started to call Lao names—used rude and/or insulting words to describe him and the incident—in other words, a clear abuse of social media.
It is one thing to point out that the reactions of people are unfair, another to blame social media for being at fault.  It should be noted that Mr. Biao, supports of social media tyranny if he disapproves of the subjects, in the same column wrote
Some individuals, like the couple who took distasteful and disrespectful pre-nup photos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani and the guy who hung his puppy on a clothesline, deserved the multimedia attention and the public outrage. They made premeditated bad choices and had to suffer the consequences. In Christopher’s case, it was a spur of the moment thing. He’s a person who happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Both his examples are instances of poor judgement, the same as that of Mr. Christopher Lao.

And Mr. Tanchico (through the PDI) and the CMFR both uses social media to promote their ideas.  Freedom of expression means we protect expression we like as well as those we abhor.  Concerned trolling only gives ammunition to people who would want to stifle the free wheeling nature of the internet and impose their own order.

1 comment:

The Nashman said...

it used to be 'ano nalang sasabihin ng mga tao/kapitbahay/ sa ginawa mong kalokohan/katarantaduhan'....with new media, we definitely know. and that is generally a good thing.

Christopher Lao might want to sponsor the world beating Philippine Dragon Boat team and redeem himself....or wait 15 minutes and it will be all it did for that fat woman who made lait the economy passengers...mai mislang..and chip tsao...

To the next viral!