[-empyre-] FW: [-empyre] trolling again

Jonathan Marshall Jonathan.Marshall at uts.edu.au
Tue Oct 16 11:29:35 EST 2012

Thinking about causing pain not just receiving pain, this news article is kind of interesting, as are the comments on it, which you will have to go the the website for-

Trolling as performance art, trolling is not flaming, trolling (left wingers) is activism, being hurt is the fault of the victim, the internet is not really real, don't like it then leave.... 

Here the idea of the virtual does seem to function as an excuse and distancer.


Confessions of a troll: 'Trolling is an art'

Date October 16, 2012 - 2:00AM 658 reading now Comments 252 Read later
Katherine Feeney

Jaime Cochran is a 20-something professional living in Chicago. She works all day on a computer, but her real labour, the one she loves, is hated around the world.
Cochran is a self-identified troll. She trawls the internet day and night, looking for “victims” — emotional strangers Cochran deems ripe and right for a ripping.
When she's spied one — in a chat-room, forum or social media group — she casts out “lines with trivial bait” and reels them in, hurling insults, inciting their rage and taking great pleasure in their mounting fury.
"I try my best to always be facetious, but not malicious" ... self-confessed troll Jaime Cochran.
It sounds cruel. Trolling in the eyes of many is a deeply disturbing and sinister occupation. But Cochran insists there's method to her meanness. She declares herself a performance artist, compares herself to Andy Kaufman, and describes her trolling as “more cerebral than abrasive”. According to this young troll, she's out for scalps, not souls.
“First and foremost, to me, trolling is an art,” Cochran begins to explain. “It's a way of evoking a reaction.”
Young, employed and articulate, in many ways Cochran debunks popular stereotypes about trolls. She is no teenage boy, fuelled by foul energy drinks and hormones pushing bile into the cyberspace from the darkness of his bedroom. But she is gleeful when her trolling incites rage. She feels good when being bad.
“[Trolling] might be something as banal as insisting men who drink their coffee black aren't real men, because they can't handle the cream and sugar,” she says.
“I waged a massive rhetorical campaign against Chicago's 'jamband' scene, lampooning its tepidity and lack of originality.
"The blow-back got around to my friends almost instantly, since they are Chicago musicians. I started getting text messages about how mad everyone was getting. I even had a guy who I went on one date with texting me saying he works with a member of one of the bands I was bashing and that he was pissed.
"I laugh just thinking about it now. Some people need to learn how to take criticism, especially on the internet.
“[It's] stupid, but hilarious.”
But who's laughing really? The many who believe trolling is a threat to civilisation are not. Those who trolls have chewed up and spat out aren't either.
Charlotte Dawson wasn't laughing when she landed in hospital. The father, grieving for his dead 15-year-old girl, was not laughing when he confronted Cochran and other trolls face-to-face last week with the story of how his daughter's online tribute page was defaced by an anonymous troll-gang.
Steven Deguara said there was nothing funny about trolling as he addressed Cochran during a live recording for an Insight trolls special, to air on SBS tonight.
Though not responsible for his child's posthumous humiliation, Cochran was one of three self-proclaimed trolls who watched Deguara fight back tears while sharing his story.
“It was heartbreaking, absolutely heart-breaking,” Deguara said afterwards.
“These people – trolls – need to know that this isn't funny. Something has to be done. It's not jokes, this is people's lives.”
Yet the Insight trolls were quick to disassociate themselves from the mourning father's experience. Such behaviour – vicious jokes about deceased teenagers, or targeted campaigns of hate against the weak – doesn't really count as 'trolling', they claimed.
Cochran says what the Deguaras and many others term trolling was little more as “vitriolic bullying” – a form of online abuse distinct and distracting from trolling's “good name”.
At the very least, Cochran concedes “evil trolling” exists, but that the label does not apply to her.
“I try my best to always be facetious, but not malicious,” Cochran says.
“Most of what I do, I do with great jest and playfulness. I'm not trying to hurt anyone's feelings, I just want to make people think and laugh along the way.
“I also look at [trolling] as a form of culture jamming, in the sense that it can disrupt the status quo to hopefully stop and make people think for a moment. I'm an activist as well and absolutely have no problem trolling people that are activists too, even if we're on the same side.
"I troll Anonymous, I troll Occupy, I troll Wikileaks. I do it because I'd like them to see the hypocrisies of their and our ways and as a reminder that the emperor wears no clothing.”

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