Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. While the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, media attention in recent years has made such labels subjective, with trolling describing intentionally provocative actions and harassment outside of an online context. -Wikipedia.comIn
In fairy tales trolls were normally found in a miserable state residing under a bridge, cave or in the mountains. In modern times they can be discovered on the Internet. Modern trolls spend countless hours behind a computer banging on their keyboards and using the world wide web to spread their hatred and misery. The ultimate bully, trolls start arguments, write mean comments about others and harass people with name calling, sexual comments and even death threats.
These guys are real winners.
I've noticed a surge in Trolls and hateful people on cosplay pages via Facebook. They pick apart cosplayers and criticize everything from their costume to their weight and even their skin color. Apparently labeling yourself a fan boy and hiding behind their computer (while typing things they would never dare say to a cosplayers face) makes them an authority on costuming. The most hilarious part to me, is when I click on that person's Facebook and look at their profile photo. Believe me when I say that none of them are winning any beauty contests. Funny enough, I have fired back at people and criticized their photo which usually results in the conversation immediately ending. It's always amazing to see that someone can't take a dose of their own medicine. Trolls will never go away but there is a way for them to be stopped and it involves slaying one troll at a time. The strategy is simple. Delete and ban.
A few months ago someone left a sex toy comment on one of my photos. Tired of my constant posts that this type of behavior would not be tolerated, I decided to make an example of this person. After banning him, I screen capped his comment for everyone to see. To my surprise, it lead to even more vulgar and sexual comments mostly coming from men HOLDING CHILDREN in their profile photos. To make matters more bizarre, people were threatening they were going to report my Fan Page for violating the members rights. I literally laughed. I am a woman who was saying you cannot talk to me in a sexual matter and people (both men and women) were saying that I deserved it and I was not a victim. What lunacy. I lost count with how many people I deleted and banned that day and in a strange way it made me very happy. I was getting rid of the filth; taking out the trash. I would rather have ten people on my page who appreciate my art than thousands of dirtballs. And the threats of getting my page removed proved empty (as I knew it would being that I did not violate TOS) and I have gained two thousand more members since then.
I have a policy on my Fanpage: if I find anything to be offensive towards me or my cosplayer friends, your comment is deleted and you are banned. End of story. Sadly, there are hundreds of pages dedicated to cosplayers (which often don't credit the cosplayer or photographer) run by men whose goal is to get as many likes as possible. Many of them don't even care about the art of cosplay or photography; they just want to collect pictures of hot girls and run a popular page. The crude and hateful comments grow rampant and are not moderated because they would rather have a high number of traffic rather than moderate the page and risk loosing numbers. If you see a photo of yourself on one of these pages, you can report it to Facebook for Stolen Intellectual Property. If you run your own page, you can indeed make it a safe and happy place to share your work but don't encourage the trolls. Immediately delete their comment and ban them from your page. I know it's hard and I have certainly slipped up and threw someones criticism back at them.
Deleting and banning trolls is an action every moderator should take. The reason why the hatred spreads like wild fire is because people allow it to happen. You have the power to make it stop and that especially goes for people who create Cosplay Fan Pages just to be popular. If you're spending dozens of hours downloading pictures of cosplay artists, take the time to actually moderate your comments.