Is the internet only home to trolls these days? Luke Sullivan weighs in again.

Luke Sullivan has made a post about trolls, who are internet bullies and cowards after our recent email-chat on the topic. I posted what Luke told me here in The ad hominem attacks on the ad critics: who is allowed an opinion? and went on to ask more people for their thoughts. Johnny called trolls uncreative, Dave Trott called them little children who should be ignored, and in the post where Simon White weighed in a few people posted their non-trolling 2¢ in the comments. Kudos.

Luke says: If you want to post an unpopular opinion, have at it. Sign your name and we’ll give you our attention. While I am a strong defender of nyms like most of us have here (those of us who log in). I don't need to know your full given name to listen to your opinion, but if you stray from the topic at hand - the ads - and start yapping about how the writer of the post needs to win more awards or similar, you're no longer worth listening to.

Another thing that tends to come up when we write opinions about the ads that are submitted to us, is that old "what do you know about ads" card. Everyone who steps up on Adland's soap box works in advertising, which means we do know a thing or two about creating ads, but more relevant than that we are consumers. Asking us to STFU with our opinions about ads, is asking the consumer to STFU and just buy shit already. Your job, dear creative, when you made any ad was to convince consumers to get stuff™ and if the ad is rubbing people the wrong way, you missed the mark.

Advertising is almost like art in that it is subjective - when we talk about tone, and execution and even the jokes that are the vehicle for the sell. They are meant to sell something, however, and every target market is different. You can agree, or disagree to your hearts content - if you stick to the topic at hand. The work.

On the topic of vitriol, and noticing that we seem to have so much more of it now, Scott Monty made a good post here: "When did we get so nasty".

And lately, if you've had even a passing glance at any number of topics on the web - Chick-fil-A and their CEO's unfortunate statements, the Olympics (particularly the two athletes who now find themselves banned because of hateful tweets directed against their competitors), or of course anything related to politics that involves two or more political parties - you'll get the sense that rational and emotionally detached debate has completely gone out the window.
Earlier this political season, I remarked on Facebook that instead of levying a constant barrage of attacks, negative commentary and invective at the other candidate, people should try posting something positive about their own candidate

That didn't last long. That was five months ago. And look where we are now.

Just what is it today that makes people think they can get away with being so downright abusive to fellow humans online?

Abusive ad hominem attacks on the people here who share their opinion isn't trolling as per the old-school usenet definition of the word, but is is tiresome. Being abusive twits is all the rage these days, isn't it? Everything needs to be spat out in a 140 char quip, nothing is elaborated upon, and nobody reads past the headline. All my facebook feed ever shows me is partisan jokes with less than 140 chars taking something someone said somewhere out of context and slapping it on a Google-made meme-image. This is how you discuss politics these days? Is that helping you make a choice or are you just digging yourself into a foxhole of LALALALALAIACAN'THEARYOU? We've stopped listening. We'll stop talking. We'll stop learning from each other.

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