Thursday, February 4th, 2010...3:25 pm
Great Internet Trolls of Our Time
There is such a thing in life as schadenfreude; a German loan-word which is used to describe the pleasure a person may gain from observing the misfortune of others. Essentially, deep down, we as a people love to see others fall by the wayside of life: we get off on misery; not to ourselves of course, because that would be bad. But the misery of others provides a sweet nectar indeed.
In these times, we are very much living in an Internet Age, where most people have at least some method of getting online. So, technology may have changed, but human nature remains the same and with our adaptive capabilities, we have transformed the internet into a mere tool via which we cause people misery, all the while revelling in it and crying out for “moar”.
Ladies and gentlemen, I am of course talking about internet trolls. Whilst they may bear a striking physical resemblance to their fabled bridge-dwelling cousins that populate the nightmares of goats the planets over; in actuality, they’re an entirely different kettle of fish. The essence of a troll is to simply go out on the internet and cause as much misery as humanly possible and Man’s capacity for cruelty is nigh-on infinite. However, on occasion it does cause a whole bunch of lulz.
Trolls themselves are a disease, a virus whose component parts are too numerous to count and document. Many of them will fade into obscurity and rightly so. However, sometimes a troll will gain some diminutive amount of publicity for whatever reason, before schadenfreude kicks in and before you know it, a snowball effect propels the troll into the proverbial limelight of the internet. This article documents a mere handful of some of the more publicised trolls, a mere drop of what is no doubt several oceans of raw sewage and nightmares.
Bloodninja is usually a body’s first experience of trolling; it’s that old and well-travelled. Typically referred to as the “Saga of Bloodninja”, his legendary utterance of “I put on my robe and wizard hat” and its effects can still be seen and felt to this very day, no doubt adorning a tshirt from some obnoxiously-named generic tshirt company.
The eponymous Bloodninja took basic internet chat trolling to all-new heights, turning it into an art form and creating results that are genuinely hilarious to read, unlike the numerous subsequent imitators and failures. If chat trolling was black and white TV, then Bloodninja was the guy that made gave it colour and made it awesome all over again.
Serenity Now Trolls a Funeral
This is probably a troll that everyone has heard of, simply because pretty much everyone plays World of Warcraft, the game in which it took place. In fact, even YOU probably play it, right?
What happened was that a user who had played WoW died in real life, with the friends she had made in the game hosting an in-game funeral for her. Serenity Now, an in-game guild (or a number of players that form a special group, with some numbering in the 100s), perhaps feeling a bit aggravated by this crossing over of real-world issues into what is essentially “a game for fun”, decided to crash the funeral and kill everyone there, diving the community by causing as much mental anguish as it did hilarity.
While on the one side, you have people mourning the passing of a friend in combination with how they all met, i.e. the game, but then on the other hand, a computer game in which people pretend to be elves and hideous gnomes doesn’t need to have actual and genuine real life misery brought into it. Thusly, Serenity Now decided to inflict misery on the funeral-goers by trolling the whole damn thing.
Their numerous videos actively chronicle their immense ability to come up with increasingly inventive ways in which to cause grief to other players of the game. They are a team of geniuses, whose sole purpose is to make people cry with rage. Although it does look like awesome fun.
Perhaps a prime example of what our friends across The Pond commonly refer to as a “douche”, Mr. Fortuny took it upon himself to ruin the lives of many desperate men when he posted an advert on Craigslist posing as a woman looking for casual sex of some description. After receiving over 9000 applicants, he then proceeded to post each response (complete with graphic pictures) on Encyclopedia Dramatica (NSFW) for all to see, dubbing it his “Craigslist Experiment”.
Naturally, when this came out, it caused a furore of gargantuan proportions, not least of all for those stupid enough to send in incredibly personal details (and pictures) over the internet to someone they’re never met before. The identities of the men were ousted for all to see, with some of them holding respectable jobs (but not for much longer) and some even being married (also not for much longer). With the subsequent repercussions of Fortuny’s Craigslist Experiment being that there were potentially a whole bunch of freshly unemployed and divorced men out there, it was safe to say that Fortuny was a Ruiner of Lives.
Some modicum amount of justice was dispensed in Fortuny’s direction in 2009 though, as – after bragging that he couldn’t be sued and other similar arrogance – he lost a court case related to the matter, which resulted in him having “to pay $74,252.56 in damages, attorneys fees, and costs”. Gutted.