A week ago, in honor of the Internet Troll Personality Disorder diagnosis, I announced I was hosting an ITPD contest. I asked people to write in the most egregious troll remark they had ever received on a blog post.
I did not get the scores of entrants I imagined, perhaps because I miscalculated the appeal of the giveaway prize, this unique ITPD coffee mug.
Five people wrote in to share their trolliest remark. In order of least heinous to most heinous, here are the troll riffs:
Janie reported an exchange on a Yahoo blog. In response to the question, “what is a good comeback for guys who tell you to make them a sandwich?” someone responded with, “you better come back with a sandwich.” While I would not say that is technically a troll remark, it is an amusing comeback.
Divorce blogger Mikalee Byerman reported this troll remark:
“I dont relly like you…u think ur too cool. but ur not..i dont even see what is so interesting about ur blog. U cant even write for peanuts.”
Some advice for trolls like Mikalee’s: if you want your attack to carry the punch you intend, check your spelling and punctuation.
Christina Simon, creator of the Los Angeles private school admission blog, Beyond the Brochure, got into a “blog spat” with actress Mayim Bialick after she wrote about Bialick’s “Perfect Mommy” rules that few moms can live by. Christina stated that she was pelted by Mayim and her cronies from the Holistic Moms Network, some of whose comments were “too cruel to publish.”
Educational consultant Lori Day reported this sinister troll attack: “Lori, you c**t, wake up from your gynocentric stupor.”
But it is Adina Giannelli who wrote in the most heinous troll comment of all. After her 5-week-old daughter’s unexpected death, Adina started a heartbreakingly beautiful blog, Today for Talya. One troll apparently took issue with her choice to honor her daughter’s short life and called Adina a “dead baby whore.”
You can’t get more trolly than insulting a mother grieving her dead child.
Therefore, Adina wins the Internet Troll Personality Disorder mug! This caffeine receptacle may come in handy because Adina is probably exhausted. I am happy to report that she recently became a mother for the second time.
Congrats, Adina! And a huge raspberry to that troll, who needs about a hundred years of either solitude with no internet access or therapy.
Jennifer Prestholet says
Congratulations Adina! I didn’t get around to entering, but her entry would have blown mine (“I weep for the children of the politically correct”) out of the water. No toll for the troll!
Lori Day says
Oh, just oh, the “winner” is no winner. That is the most horrible comment I’ve ever heard. Mine does not even come close. My heart goes out to your friend who lost her child and then suffered that hateful remark. That commenter is clearly a very disturbed individual who needs help.
Denise Emanuel Clemen says
Cruelty always stuns me.
Oh my goodness. That comment, as horrible as it is, doesn’t scrape the surface of the worst troll comments I ever saw from someone, back in the old Usenet newsgroup days. In those days, I saw a troll who ridiculed another member of the group who had experienced a miscarriage and then, when a group member lost her husband in a car accident, rejoiced publicly about it. (She hated the woman in question in particular because she was envious of her for reasons I won’t go into here.) She actually went so far as to put into her signature file the date of the accident and label it “the day my prayers were answered!,” so every time she made a post, she signed it in a way that rejoiced yet again in the death of the husband of this stranger, this mother who lost the father of her children. A person she had never met, but hated enough to taunt over and over again with this tragedy.
Even worse, she had once gotten along with this woman well enough for them to exchange emails and as a result, the troll knew some of her life story and was able to use that against her, too, after their relationship “turned. ” For example, she knew the woman had been abandoned by her father as a child, so when they became enemies, she posted messages about that, and said the woman must have been such a horrible child that her father HAD to leave her.
And that’s not even getting into how much this troll hated me, and threatened to contact my employer and get me fired from my job. She had claimed to have just adopted a child, a story nobody believed (and we all felt sorry for the poor kid if it were true). When I expressed my own doubt about her story, she replied by giving the name and address of the HR director at my place of work, and saying she had informed him that I was making death threats to her baby daughter, and she was now waiting to see what his response would be to the news that one of his organization’s employees had done this. I got flooded with emails from people in the group offering to contact the man and explain the situation and tell him I never did any such thing–and I said “NO! Please! Don’t say a word! She probably hasn’t contacted him at all–she’s just hoping all of YOU will start contacting him and telling him not to believe all the terrible things he’s heard about me!” They all stayed silent, thank goodness.
All this happened in the late ’90s. By that time I had already learned: There are a lot of sickies out there enjoying the way the Internet allows them to lash out at people in the worst possible ways while hiding behind a cloak of anonymity. Don’t let anything shock you.
William Belle says
And the winner is… This reminds me of working late at the office and somebody who is also working late heads out before me while saying, “Okay, you win.” Hmmm, am I winning or am I losing?
Pauline, and to all of your participants, I am stunned by the vitriol spewing from some commentators. The level of uncivil discourse to me says more about the writer than the intended target. Normal people don’t say things like that and while I know the words sting if not hurt (and for that, I am sorry for all of you) I would add that anyone who is angry or hurtful usually has their own story of a personal hell to tell. After all, happy people spread joy not hate. Happy people are kind and caring not mean and spiteful. I know Pauline has suggested that some commentators, who seem to be desperate for a soapbox, should start their own blogs to enunciate to the world their own take on life. This would certainly provide me with an opportunity to comment with any one of a number of appropriate pseudonyms like Harry Balzac, Apoop Mapanz, Suq Madiq, and Munchma Quchi. **
All of the best to all of you in your worlds. Illegitimi non carborundum. wb
** Tip o’the hat to the donors of Stephen Colbert’s Super Pac.
Mikalee Byerman says
Wow. Just…WOW. There are no words to communicate my shock at that troll comment. No words at all…
What is wrong with people, anyhow?
Congrats to Adina, and may all of us relegate the trolls to the place they belong: under the Internet bridge, out of sight and mired in their own muck and misery.
Mrs. Odie says
Darn it, I forgot to enter your contest. I spend so much time on my old Blackberry which doesn’t let me do much, and I rarely get to the actual computer. And when I do, I have to pay bills. See how fast I made it about me? Maybe I could win your “most banal comment contest.” Right now my littlest one is in her high chair screaming at me that I’m not looking into her eyes and bonding with her soul.