The exchange, in combination with a number of other unpleasant exchanges I've had in the past couple of years since venturing into Internet writing, made me think again about the purpose of public discourse.
One rule of thumb is that trolls pretend to be sincerely interested in a topic at hand -- that's how they rope you in -- but their real motive is to push your neural buttons and elicit some sort of reaction.
One of the questions that comes up when discussing the subject of trolls is how best to deal with people who misuse social networks -- which are, in my opinion, an incredible force for good -- to spread vile abuse.
A new Facebook commenting add-on puts even more power in the hands of Facebook which not only has 600 million people visiting its own site, but now has its tentacles into perhaps millions of other websites.
Neil Swidley's article gives a behind-the-scenes look at who some of these aggressive and often verbose rabble rousers are, and what they take away from participating in the comment section below stories.
Trolling is a growing problem online and especially in social media spaces. It clogs up our email boxes, confuses the follower/following counts and throws monkey wrenches into people actively building engaged online communities. I have created my own types based on behavior I have seen.