Wednesday 14 January 2015

A Lesson In Manners.

Come in and sit down please.  Mister Furlow this is not the place for chewing gum; in my bin please then sit! Settle down at the back there, I know we are not long back from the holidays but it is straight into work mode. Now, I thought today we could talk about internet safety. There has been a lot in the news lately about how people behave online. Can anyone give me an example please? No shouting out, Fergus, and I do not expect to hear that kind of language! Yes, thank you Stefan, trolling. That is exactly what I wanted to look at today.

Let us start with the definition of an Internet Troll; I'll just pop it on the overhead projector here. Can you all see? Please do not make shadow rabbits with your hands Beki, thank you very much.

And we shall begin.

  1. 1.
    make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.
    "if people are obviously trolling then I'll delete your posts and do my best to ban you"
  2. 2.
    carefully and systematically search an area for something.
    "a group of companies trolling for partnership opportunities"
    • fish by trailing a baited line along behind a boat.
      verb: troll; 3rd person present: trolls; past tense: trolled; past participle:trolled; gerund or present participle: trolling
      "we trolled for mackerel"
  3. noun
noun: troll; plural noun: trolls
  1. 1.
    a person who makes a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting.
    "one solution is to make a troll's postings invisible to the rest of community once they've been recognized"
    • a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting.
  2. 2.
    a line or bait used in trolling for fish.

This is what we shall be talking about today; not those cute fluffy things from the 70's, Neil.

Are we all clear? On we go then.

As you can see, when we talk about internet trolls, we are talking about people who set out to deliberately upset and offend others. Provocative,  as is stated on the whiteboard. I shall tell you a story about a well known sports commentator who particularly liked rugby, but hated football. One day, he tweeted 'Football supporters are all morons and thugs #footy'. This is was not very nice and seemed quite out of the blue. The football supporters were happily ignoring said commentator until one happened to notice the tweet whilst searching the #footy hashtag. So what happened next?

No Joanne, they did NOT do that. Good grief girl, where do you get these things from?

Well, one football supporter told another football supporter. 'What?!' says supporter #2, 'That is ridiculous, I am going to tweet him and ask him why he said that.'

'Good idea' says supporter #1, 'I will too. I have never even spoken to him before and I'm a bit confused.'

So off they went, and tweeted their questions at the offending commentator. Now, this does not go down very well.The commentator (herein known as C) is very cross at being questioned. He says that football has a long history of hooliganism and violence.

'Yes, but that is nothing to do with me' says #1

'Quite,' retorts #2 'and football is changing; don't be so judgemental!'

'NO' says C 'Look at you, wearing your footy shirts, You look just like those who rioted throughout the 80's.'

C was starting to feel irked now.

'Hang on a minute mate, I think we have our wires crossed here. I like football, alright? But I'm not dangerous or violent,' a calm #1 replies.

'Yeah, how about we chat about this like adults?' says an increasingly irritated #2.

'No no NO! Look, a picture of a man in the street kicking another man. Wearing football shirts. It is quite clear!' C then blocked both supporters, before sending out another tweet about how vile and offensive Football supporters are and they are all ganging up on him. Poor him.

As you can imagine, #1 and #2 are more than a little put out at what just transpired, not to mention shocked. Football supporters have been making a real effort to change the image of the sport,  but guys like this were obviously hung up on the old days. Whilst #1 and #2 discuss the situation, supporter #3 notices C's last tweet; shocked, he retweets it so that his followers can see. Now, most of #3's followers are football fans. They are not very happy about this, so like #1 and #2, they try to address the situation. A few minutes later, C, after being the recipient of a number of tweets ranging from questioning and reasonable to outright anger and offence, blocks everyone that has said anything about football supporters being 'OK actually'. Not content with this, C then trawls through their feeds to find other people that need blocking.

To make sure that all his followers understand how positively horrible football supporters are, C sends out a tweet along the lines of 'My god! These footy fans are aggressive. I hope Blatter is paying them well! #AstroTurf' .

Things start to get a bit heated in the Supporters group. They've all been blocked, but don't really understand why. It was C that tweeted something unpleasant, they reacted. Yes it might not all have been perfect but yeesh, what is that guys problem? Then some of them notice other commentators retweeting and favouriting C's last tweet. #1 and #2 are furious! They have no idea who these ppl are and think it highly unlikely any of them have ever SPOKEN to a footy fan, yet now they are showering C with sympathy and support. And what the hell has Blatter to do with it? None of them particularly like him ANYway. They just want to watch football!

The supporters decided to keep an eye on C to see if they can figure out what the problem is. As time goes on, there are more and more tweets about them. Calling them all sorts of names. Screenshots of things they have said in conversation with one another. It is a bit frustrating, as the supporters cannot even contact C now, and hadn't been able to for ages. Then articles in the sports sections of news papers start to appear saying how awful supporters are - how vile and obviously paid for by Big Football.

'But we are not! We have nothing to do with  how football is run, we just love the sport! Why are you saying these things?'

But it is all falling on deaf ears I am afraid,  children. Well, kind of, C is still rooting through the supporters tweets; he then uses them to write more articles in papers, and then in secret sports magazines that  only commentators can access and respond to.

Oliver! Are you listening or are you passing notes to Neil? Face front!

I'm sorry to say that it just goes on and on like this. C continues to tweets inflammatory and dishonest things about football and it's supporters, calling them all sorts of names. Then C writes another article about how unreasonable football supporters (FS) are. The thing is, C is one of the old commentators; he has been around a long time and other commentators think he is just simply wonderful and is the reason they got into commentary themselves. Some of them ask who they need to block in case these football lunatics try to talk to them. Others start to tweet unpleasant things about FS and then are really really surprised when FS get rather cross with them. So they block them too. Even the ones that have never spoken a word about any of it. Well, you can't be too careful you see.

'How are they doing it? Why am I blocked by this person, I have never even heard of them before?' Say FS.
'There has to be a block list they are sharing!'
'Sounds a bit paranoid though. Doesn't it?'

It transpires that C had once been insulted by a footballer and had never quite gotten over it. Sorry what was that Sarah? What did he say? Well I am not sure it is important now as it wasn't a football supporter anyway. Speak up please Sarah...did he apologise for his mistake? Sadly no, no he didn't.

So we come to the end of the story to find that C and his friends are spending time and money on researching football supporters while FS point out that this money needs to be put into finding ways of making football an even better and fairer game. And worse, because of all the terrible things C and his friends have said, some commentators who ARE trying to improve The Beautiful Game, are being refused time and money to do so, and are coming under investigation themselves as they chose to speak with the supporters. C and his friends, though, are getting lots and lots of money to research just how awfully awful a game football actually is.

Unfortunately, in all of this, it was the modern football supporter than got labelled a troll. That really upset them, as I think it is clear to all of us who the troll was. Are you not sure? OK, one sec... we go, I've underlined the important bit...

 1. make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them.

So, DAVID PUT THAT AWAY, who do we think the title of troll actually belongs to?

Before you decide, I have a confession to make. That commentator did not really exist, of course he didn't. He would not have his job for very long if he did, and with good reason too.

Oh but what....what is this? A man in Australia has written a whole article about internet trolls. It was an article about another article about internet trolls also written by himself. These are written by a man called Simon Chapman TTT CD BBM JVC. Uh, well no Andy, they are not real qualifications, I am afraid I can't recall the real ones.

Now, can someone tell me anything that they spot in the comments? OK ok, not all at once but yes, a lot have been deleted haven't they. What else do you notice? Yes, Mr Chapman does indeed mention a block list, just like our football supporters thought their commentator had.

He is very upset isn't he boys and girls. Yes Meg, In fact it is quite like my story, isn't it. Shall we have a look at some tweets and see how MUCH it is like my story? 

This tweet you see here was in response to Ms Jollye asking that Mr Chapman talk to the people he was being unpleasant about. That video you see there? That is of a news report that has a lady in the background and this is who he calling a 'winner'. No, it is not very nice is it, I agree.

Do you think that Mr Chapman had already blocked these Vaper people? Yes, he had. For a long time before this. So just like our football supporters, these Vapers were unable to respond or discuss these tweets with Mr Chapman.

Now this is a particularly interesting one. What do you notice here in the tweet he is talking about? Yes, Sarah, his name is not in that tweet, so what does that mean? It means the only way he could have seen it was by watching these vapers whilst he had them blocked. I agree Joanne, it is very creepy. He did something very naughty here too. He took this tweet out of context, which if you remember, means he was deliberately trying to make it look like something else. In fact, @CaeruleanSea and @FergusMason1 were having a joke and Mr Mason was challenged to swear his anger out of his system. It was not directed at anyone in particular. In doing this, Mr Chapman was trying to discredit Ms Jollye so that people would not take the letter she had written seriously.

I would like it if you did not tell your parents about the language in this tweet, but I feel it is part of an important lesson for you.

Is Mr Chapman taking the micky out of ppl with mental health issues? Unfortunately I think he is and again he is trying to insult these vapers. I think this is a particularly nasty one and I feel it is best to move on to the next.

I think this is fairly self explanatory, here is trying to pretend that these Vapers are not real people so all their feelings are just pretend. Do you see how somebody responds to say something negative about vaping? Indeed, David, just like the commentators friends did.

These are some examples of other people insulting the Vapers, even though they have, too, blocked them with little to no interaction. You can see in the last tweet, they even start to attack their own, trying to shame them into not supporting vapers by calling them Astroturf, ie they are not real. A quick question; do you any of you think they have any evidence of these Vapers being fake? No? Ok, lets move on.

Here is a funny one, you see Mr Collard there says something mean to Mr Chapman? Well, Mr Chapman is trying to use this to justify how he has treated Vapers. Unfortunately, Mr Chapman failed to realise that Mr Collard was, and still is, a smoker, not a vaper at all. Vapers did try to tell him this, but of course, they have no way of doing so.

I have left this next tweet until last as I think it shows just how unpleasant Mr Chapman has become.

Can anyone tell me what a quisling is? I will give you a hint, but this is your homework. It is to do with Hitler.

So,what have we learned from all this? If this happened in this classroom, what would we call it? Bullying, yes. And if the bully refused to learn his behaviour was naughty? He would probably be taken out of school, yes Beki. No, Mr Chapman did not get told off. In fact, just like in our story, all his friends are joining in now. On second thoughts, I will let you see two more; these are very recent and they show perfectly that Mr Chapman has no intention of stopping his behaviour. Some might even say he is emboldened.

Who wants to tell me who the troll is here then? OK OK not all at once, but I get the message. Mr Chapman is the troll as per the definition.

So what should we do with Mr Chapman, David? Very wise, we should ignore him. Lorien, he might be a silly little man but I'd like you not to shout out. When we go onto the internet, we must behave as we would in this classroom, or in a job. It is sad that some adults do not understand this but then maybe they are just as mean and unpleasant in real life? I agree with you Peter, I would not like to be friends with them either. We all know about bullies and how easy it is for weak people to try and be their friend. Bullies want attention, it makes them feel special.

OK, well done class. Thank you for listening so well. Just remember these tweets as they might come in handy in the future. There is the bell, off to the playground with you all. CHRISTIE AND PUDDLECOTE! I can see what you have got there and we talked about the hamster and the slide last year didn't we. Oh I am sure he just loves it but back in the cage please. Out out out, all of you!


  1. Brilliant Lorien :) Spot on.

    1. Thank you :) Tis very cathartic indeed this blogging business.

    2. Bloody fantastic Lorien, you've described Chapman perfectly!!

  2. Yes you have nailed it on the head.The troll calling all dissenters trolls.
    He just refuses to discuss anything with vapers,we are all evil.
    But he is the evil one and unfortunately he always has his hand up to do interviews so he can spew forth his total bullshit.

    1. Thanks, I really got tired of ppl assuming he was some kind of benevolent angel & wanted his tweets seen.

  3. Brilliant Lorien, absolutely laugh out loud brilliant!

    1. Cheers! It's my new stance on this ridiculous situation.

  4. Lorien! You have out done yourself with this response! Much love to you and THANK YOU!

  5. Oh very well said! And you're right it's cathartic. ranting in a blog post you can say what you want and then go back to edit it to be respectable.

    (Not shadow pictures. Rude gestures; I know they look the same Miss. Yes, I'll go sit on the naughty step. No Miss I'm not sorry.)

  6. Brilliant stuff Lorien. That is all.

  7. Good onya girl from the land of Chapman )


  8. Brilliant description of the situation! Well done!

  9. What's funniest is just like forum trolls everything they are they claim others are to take the eyes off them. Trolls, obviously them. Astroturf, again who's making the money to do what they do? Even if their group isn't directly funded by Pharma the funds are more often than not indirectly traced back to them.
    Wow, they even go after Ruth? Yer either fer us or agin us.
    If any of them ever actually looked at my profile page or tweets they'd see I don't want to tweet about ecigs. It's their dumb ass trolling that forces me into it. I just want to talk to other IBD'ers and get sports news.
    "Quisling" is hilarious since they're the ones trying to dehumanize us so they don't feel bad trying to take away vaping and forcing us back to being gassed with cigarette smoke or pushing us outside with smokers which according to their cries that got smokers pushed out there they think of as a gas chamber.
    Chapman is worse than your average internet troll. The psychosis may be the same but the fact is he isn't limited to hiding in his mother's basement, he has taken it out in the real world. I disagree with ignoring trolls, I've never seen it work. They either need to be embarrassed until they leave or the attempts get them banned. For these trolls their embarrassment falls on their employer and instead of banned they end up fired. We can only hope it's an IP ban that makes a list shared with all forums.

  10. A wonderfully Pythonesque rant! The only thing missing are funny red costumes, a nun's habit and a ruler. Go Lorien!

  11. well done, dear!
    And I fully agree with Myk203. He said it very well indeed.

  12. Dreadful post, but who really gives a fuck.

    1. Obviously you do not...but I care that you do not and so I am responding. Please investigate the issues surrounding e cigarettes and the 'criminality' of certain public health advocates and if you do, and if you do have any sense of justice, you will start to think, and to care about the millions who can benefit from this new technology. if, as you say, you do not care - say nothing at all and prove it.

    2. Pa-Troll-er demonstrating the point of the post I think. In fact doing it so well that I nearly had the same reaction.

    3. Fuck, you're thick.

  13. Not speaking to you, and you are not getting an apple this year. I am just as naughty as the rest of the class.

  14. Bloody Fantastic (Do I get the cane now for swearing Miss? I do prefer the cat o' nine tails though) You truly are a brilliant writer, Thank you ever so much for sharing.

  15. Where is your next pathetic post Lorien?

  16. Lorien, you are a beautiful women. Good luck in the future.