They are everywhere. They use the anonymity of the internet to sometimes hide who they really are offline. Or, they boldly announce their true identities and use the seemingly untouchable world within the internet to unleash their inner monster. Trolls.
They lie in wait for someone to post an opposing viewpoint and then they pounce. They attack the other person’s morals, values, belief system, and everything else about the other person to make themselves feel like the better person. They are insecure and believe they need this type of validation since they are apparently not getting it elsewhere.
What they do not do is present a well thought out statement on their position backed up with supporting facts. It is rare that the troll can answer a direct question without attacking the other person. It is so much easier for them to attack the other person on a personal level. They do not realize that they are in reality making themselves look like trolls.
Occasionally, the troll will actually know the person they are attacking. But, most of the time it is by chance that they meet in a forum that puts them on opposite sides of an issue. Either way, it turns out ugly and any spectator can just as easily be vilified by the troll for supporting the other person.
Election season brings the trolls out by the hundreds, if not thousands. So, I have seen many of them feasting on those unfortunate enough to be caught in their sights. It scares me. The vehemence that spews forth makes me cringe. And, it comes from both sides of an issue.
I try my best to not engage a troll when they make themselves known. It is safer to walk away and leave them hanging out there all by themselves. Most public sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, offer the option to block the troll from seeing you or anything you post. I never hesitate to use the block, even if it was not me they were trolling.
I am a proponent of free speech, for any and everybody. That does not mean I have to stick around to listen or even agree.