Writing comments is not easy, or so it appears when I go through some of the wonderful outpourings various websites and news media allow to infest their pages. We all know that spammers don’t write comments themselves, they have a special template which constructs some form of something which might pass as a real comment, but which the expert eye can spot rather further than a million miles away. These templates, as we have seen all too often, simply don’t work: they tend to spew out random rubbish fit only as examples of how not to write, how not to express yourself.
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I dread to think what it would be like if someone actually spoke in such a manner. There are, though, some who make their own comment sup on the spur of the moment, perhaps to gain a link to their own site or, equally likely, to hide themselves behind some sort of protective wall and prevent attack for their trash.
Not that this works, the web is full of replies to trolls, to idiots, to those who have uttered something so unbelievable that even the most experienced surfer feels their fingers itching to post a reply. This is how trolls work: they bring out something controversial, something bound to raise a few hackles, and sit back to enjoy the following food-fight across the Internet.
Sometimes their comment fits in with the subject being discussed, with the news story or the general direction of what has been written before. Often, though, it is merely bait to catch the unwary, to rile them and challenge them in one form or another. Illegal poaching on a story about something completely different? Someone has a lot of time on their hands. Someone needs to find a hobby, one which takes them out into the fresh air, the world, and away from the Internet.
Sometimes these comments are packed with buzzwords, keywords which the search engines are picking up. A good example of SEO, if there is a link to an external site which needs visitors to get their ranking up, to get their message across to a susceptible audience. At least the above example references a book, even if the contents of their comment have nothing whatsoever to do with the title being discussed. Still, they have had their moment of fame, achieved four Likes against one Dislike, and can search for further endorsements elsewhere, happy in the knowledge that someone has fallen for their drivel.
And then there are the real trolls, those who bait and rile and reel their victims in with hate messages, with abuse and a special breed of foulness we would never condone in polite society. The trouble with such comments is that so many people believe them, so many people share these opinions, even if they are not brave enough to get out there and voice them. The Internet allows it, this freedom to spout, to abuse, to vilify. It is rare that anyone gets called to book for such an opinion, for such an unacceptable rant.
The freedom of the Internet is such a wonderful thing but, as with all good things, there are those who are only too happy to abuse it for their own ends, and cause havoc and bitterness, pain and suffering along the way.
Love & Kisses, Viki.