A small digression
Pardon my Finnish, but... tästä syystä minä rakastan tätä naista.
On the internet, ignoring trolls is usually the best way of handling them. However, when someone is being fuelled by their internal hatred towards someone, they will keep going and going and going until they have either driven that person into insanity, or stopped by someone. Personal attacks are a part of the job if you write publically, but a deliberate plan to drive someone else out of the blogosphere with hate blogging, hate comments, and hate email is very... sad.
I mean - what can possibly be gained from it? Squashing a voice simply because it speaks true to itself? The loss of a voice diminishes the blogosphere, and that person becomes disillusioned, bitter, and sad. The abuser only becomes more bitter, as any victory in a fight like this is hollow and void of meaning. Most people listening on this start hating the abuser - perhaps they are not saying anything, but they hate him more. Anything else he might say will be viewed with suspicion and distrust - no matter how intelligent or sane. Even the people who agree only on some points get their share of the dislike. The only people who gain something are the voyeurs, who get a brief moment of satisfaction watching the flames before they get back to watching car crashes. Those people, who believe that people on the internet are not real and can thus be treated like computer characters.
That kind of hate towards a single person is not constructive. It is completely and utterly destructive. Nothing good will come out of it - and nobody will gain anything from it, except for a brief feeling of hollow satisfaction (and I know this from personal, painful experience that I have regretted ever since). If you want to feel good in front of a computer abusing "virtual" people, buy Sims. Or jerk off. Hell, that's far more constructive than attacking someone...
Hate begets only more hate. Love begets more love.
You get out of the world what you put in it. It's as simple as that.
Update: No, I am not mentioning any names here. Those partial to this thing may feel a sting, and if they feel threatened by this, I'm sure they'll voice their opinion. Those who know what I'm talking about - good, and those who don't - even better. Blaming people and pointing fingers is exactly what has been done, so I'm trying not to do it. But I was compelled to say something, so I wouldn't appear as being in agreement. And there's a really difficult balancing point here - I've been debating for weeks whether I should open my mouth on the matter, and how. The whole thing just depresses the hell out of me.
Update (22.11.): Russell Beattie has his own personal troll called "Jacek Rutkowski" (aka jpzr) as well. Russ has another way of handling the whole thing, naming the guy, and asking him to stop. As he points out, there is little he can do because the guy is not in the US. Internet trolls are not usually a real problem, but a particularly twisted and determined troll *can* make your life difficult. And if you can handle it - can your loved ones? Your kids? Anyway, good luck to Russ - if words can hurt, words can also heal. We're here for you.
One more update: Russ asks that all posts link back to him using the above keywords. Soon, anyone searching Google for the name will find Russell's page first, and see that the man is a troll. It's quite an unusual punishment, but it's the only one the blogosphere has got.
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