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  1. #1

    Default RIP Trolls: Revolutionaries, miscreants, or other?

    I've seen this *sshattery practiced, but I was unaware it had a name or was a "social phenomenon", so to speak.

    Whitney Phillips, a Ph.D. student's online paper, "LOLing at tragedy: Facebook trolls, memorial pages and resistance to grief online"...
    ...examines the emergence of organized trolling behaviors on Facebook, specifically in relation to memorial groups and fan pages. In addition to mapping the development of RIP trolling — in which online instigators post abusive comments and images onto pages created for and dedicated to the deceased — the paper also examines the highly contentious and ultimately parasitic relationship(s) between memorial trolls, Facebook’s social networking platform and mainstream media outlets. Recalling Oring’s account of disaster humor, the paper goes on to suggest that, inadvertently or not, Facebook memorial page trolling presents a pointed critique of a tragedy–obsessed global media.


    Gawker.com Article concerning the student paper.
    But some of these trolls offer an interesting justification for their anti-social behavior. Phillips focuses on a guy who goes by the handle "Paulie Socash." Paulie says he and his crew sow chaos on public Facebook memorial pages for gay kids who have committed suicide because the collective mourning by people who have never met the kids is "tacky." "This isn't grief," Paulie tells Phillips, "This is boredom and a pathological need for attention masquerading as grief."
    Both writers seem to indicate that even if most RIP Trolls aren't deliberately acting as cultural whistleblowers, they still serve to benefit society. So what do you think? Is this sort of behavior redemptive if it reveals a poignant truth? (I guess it's another one of those 'do the means justify the ends' discussions.)

    I'm of the mind that while I'm glad something is learned from their behavior, it is hardly redemptive. They're contribution to the collective consciousness is hardly revolutionary enough to justify the pain they inflict.

    Per the usual, I am posting this because I am seeking the input of others. I'm sure there are perspectives that I have not considered.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

  2. #2
    Sniffles
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    I'll have to read more, but if I understand the gist presented here: I agree that the level of grief expressed towards the dead nowadays gets rather overblown to the point of absurdity. Take the example of Steve Jobs, and how some people tried to lionize him as a "hero" of sorts for his work in technology. The more old-fashioned form of restraint in mourning has been forgotten and I think it'd do us some good to recover that. You can properly mourn the dead without going overboard. For me, whenever I hear about a death either on the news, word of mouth, online, etc. I always at least say a short prayer for that person's soul - not necessarily because I knew them, most times I don't, but just out of a general concern for other people when they reach eternity. Often times I don't sit and dwell on the matter afterwards, I just move on with life. For somebody closer, the story very often is different - but that's almost a given. If somebody close to me dies, I don't expect everybody to have the same level of grief as me, and a simple statement expressing regards is more than enough.

    So I understand the annoyance some people might have, but RIP trolling is the wrong way to respond to it. It's like going from one extreme to another. I don't see their actions as anymore proper or heroic as people who go overboard in their grief - they're almost two sides of the same coin.

    My two cents.

  3. #3
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    there are some people that have experienced great loss and understand grief that they would express condolence or wish to console and offer sympathies. a troll does not understand that, have no emotional connection to the person and simply make no effort to consider the other person`s feelings or have trouble or dont care to understand why someone else is expressing grief toward someone they dont know.

    some trolls get off on other peoples suffering
    trolling =schadenfreude. compromising someones emotional stability is satisfying to trolls.

    btw, I dont agree with pauly. you dont choose a time of grieving, when people are in pain and vulnerable to make your points and provide grating social commentary. she is going to understand at some point in her life when she suffers a great loss. its not helping but compounding grief with more pain. Paulie Socash is rationalizing her malevolence so its acceptable. the explanation is kinda connected to gas lighting. it takes your indignant anger and bounces it back inside you, and if you were emotional makes look at it and question weather you are wrong for being angry in the first place, when you are not, when in fact people like pauly are doing something that is wrong and should not be tolerated
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by iwakar View Post
    I'm of the mind that while I'm glad something is learned from their behavior, it is hardly redemptive.
    I consider this to be correct, although that's putting it mildly.

    Most trolls are anti-social for entertainment and rationalise it however they can when they're cornered and have to deal with the consequences of their behaviour. If you have a problem with the status of grief by all means do a service as a cultural whistleblower but do not troll with cultural whistleblowing as a cover.

    This to me is just a good or another example of researchers opting for the "best case scenario" spin or hypothesis, the idea that even the most reprehensible and despicable behaviour is ultimately or even slightly utilitarian or beneficial after all, intellectually I think this is cowardly and cringe worthy and often a good indication that an academic ideology is preferable to the ugly facts.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I'll have to read more, but if I understand the gist presented here: I agree that the level of grief expressed towards the dead nowadays gets rather overblown to the point of absurdity. Take the example of Steve Jobs, and how some people tried to lionize him as a "hero" of sorts for his work in technology. The more old-fashioned form of restraint in mourning has been forgotten and I think it'd do us some good to recover that. You can properly mourn the dead without going overboard. For me, whenever I hear about a death either on the news, word of mouth, online, etc. I always at least say a short prayer for that person's soul - not necessarily because I knew them, most times I don't, but just out of a general concern for other people when they reach eternity. Often times I don't sit and dwell on the matter afterwards, I just move on with life. For somebody closer, the story very often is different - but that's almost a given. If somebody close to me dies, I don't expect everybody to have the same level of grief as me, and a simple statement expressing regards is more than enough.

    So I understand the annoyance some people might have, but RIP trolling is the wrong way to respond to it. It's like going from one extreme to another. I don't see their actions as anymore proper or heroic as people who go overboard in their grief - they're almost two sides of the same coin.

    My two cents.
    True Dat.

    Snark has replaced proper critique and its all part of the great late phenomenon of "Where all the adults at?"

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I'll have to read more, but if I understand the gist presented here: I agree that the level of grief expressed towards the dead nowadays gets rather overblown to the point of absurdity. Take the example of Steve Jobs, and how some people tried to lionize him as a "hero" of sorts for his work in technology. The more old-fashioned form of restraint in mourning has been forgotten and I think it'd do us some good to recover that. You can properly mourn the dead without going overboard. For me, whenever I hear about a death either on the news, word of mouth, online, etc. I always at least say a short prayer for that person's soul - not necessarily because I knew them, most times I don't, but just out of a general concern for other people when they reach eternity. Often times I don't sit and dwell on the matter afterwards, I just move on with life. For somebody closer, the story very often is different - but that's almost a given. If somebody close to me dies, I don't expect everybody to have the same level of grief as me, and a simple statement expressing regards is more than enough.

    So I understand the annoyance some people might have, but RIP trolling is the wrong way to respond to it. It's like going from one extreme to another. I don't see their actions as anymore proper or heroic as people who go overboard in their grief - they're almost two sides of the same coin.

    My two cents.
    True Dat.

    Snark has replaced proper critique and its all part of the great late phenomenon of "Where all the adults at?"

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    I'll have to read more, but if I understand the gist presented here: I agree that the level of grief expressed towards the dead nowadays gets rather overblown to the point of absurdity. Take the example of Steve Jobs, and how some people tried to lionize him as a "hero" of sorts for his work in technology. The more old-fashioned form of restraint in mourning has been forgotten and I think it'd do us some good to recover that. You can properly mourn the dead without going overboard. For me, whenever I hear about a death either on the news, word of mouth, online, etc. I always at least say a short prayer for that person's soul - not necessarily because I knew them, most times I don't, but just out of a general concern for other people when they reach eternity. Often times I don't sit and dwell on the matter afterwards, I just move on with life. For somebody closer, the story very often is different - but that's almost a given. If somebody close to me dies, I don't expect everybody to have the same level of grief as me, and a simple statement expressing regards is more than enough.

    So I understand the annoyance some people might have, but RIP trolling is the wrong way to respond to it. It's like going from one extreme to another. I don't see their actions as anymore proper or heroic as people who go overboard in their grief - they're almost two sides of the same coin.

    My two cents.
    True Dat.

    Snark has replaced proper critique and its all part of the great late phenomenon of "Where all the adults at?"

  8. #8

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    What the hell, why'd that come out three times?

  9. #9
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    So what stops people from just being cultural whistleblowers? Are they not hypocritical in the exact same stance? "Im hiding my motivations with more sincere-looking actions." They're complaining that the society that posts wants to look good, and feel like they did something good, and make sure everyone sees their good deeds... but they don't really care about the person that died themself.

    The trolls are having fun and enjoying themselves and having a laugh at the expense of a dead person and the grief that at least SOME people on there truly are experiencing.. and disguising it as some viva-la-revolution. They're just as full of shit.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by yakimadude View Post
    there are some people that have experienced great loss and understand grief that they would express condolence or wish to console and offer sympathies. a troll does not understand that, have no emotional connection to the person and simply make no effort to consider the other person`s feelings or have trouble or dont care to understand why someone else is expressing grief toward someone they dont know.

    some trolls get off on other peoples suffering
    trolling =schadenfreude. compromising someones emotional stability is satisfying to trolls.

    btw, I dont agree with pauly. you dont choose a time of grieving, when people are in pain and vulnerable to make your points and provide grating social commentary. she is going to understand at some point in her life when she suffers a great loss. its not helping but compounding grief with more pain. Paulie Socash is rationalizing her malevolence so its acceptable. the explanation is kinda connected to gas lighting. it takes your indignant anger and bounces it back inside you, and if you were emotional makes look at it and question weather you are wrong for being angry in the first place, when you are not, when in fact people like pauly are doing something that is wrong and should not be tolerated

    I agree that their attempts to rationalize their behavior is postmortem justification... otherwise known as total and utter bullshit.

    However, I do agree with the author that we inhabit a tragedy-obsessed global media. This obsession has serious consequences.

    The Ph.D. student shows the feedback loop created by the media and RIP Trolls, which in this scenario are equally responsible parties to the mayhem. The RIP Trolls troll, then the media reports on this awful behavior. So the RIP Trolls, getting the desired attention from the press even if the grieving friends/family had the wisdom to ignore them, continue to point out the rapidly compounding faux hysteria generated by the press, who then respond in kind, completely missing the ironic point trying to be made by the RIP Trolls.

    This is the same reason these school shootings and workplace shootings are on the rise. If we inadvertently pay tribute to the killers by giving them unlimited press, we are encouraging these psychologically disturbed individuals by providing them with the attention they felt they were lacking pre-crimespree.

    It is an ugly cycle.
    "The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." - Rainer Maria Rilke

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