New Report Shows Maine is Nearly Leading the Nation In Online Trolls
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
This world is filled with exceptional people. Explorers, scientists, world-class athletes, artists, me, teachers, innovators and others' influence and guile have helped shaped this nation and the world. Who knows where we would be as a civilization without them.
And then...there's the other side...internet trolls.
Internet trolls have certainly had their influence on society. However, it's not quite the same positive impact from our list above.
Quite honestly, internet trolls are pretty worthless. Even the definition paints them this way...
According to ipredator.org, internet trolling...
is a colloquial expression describing any person(s) who uses Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to instigate, tease, provoke or incite to anger other online users or groups of online users
Quite simply, internet trolls want the world to burn. Some more than others. I'm sure we could wax very philosophically about why trolls act the way they do, but the bottom-line is nobody like them. They are the Statler and Waldorff of the internet world. However, Statler and Woldorff were puppets making fun of other puppets.
I do think it's important to distinguish between trolling and just busting chops. It can be a fine line, but there certainly are plenty of folks who are doing it more out of fun than anything else. Sadly, it gets overshadowed by the spewing of hate and abuse.
So, what does this have to do with Maine? Quite a bit actually. Redact.dev, a social media software company, conducted a survey of over 3000 people nationwide about the trolling social media posts. According to the company's release, Maine had one of the highest incidents of admitted trolling in the nation.
That's right folks, Mainers love to troll.
Redact.dev says that 23% of Maine respondents admitted to "trolling" someone online. That is well over the national average of 17%. This ranks Maine as the 2nd most trolling state, only behind West Virginia (27%).
(infographic from redact.dev)
This is quite an admission from Mainers. Unless you have no soul, nobody likes to admit they are a troll, and perhaps the writing of the survey questions was vague. But, still, to finish as the 2nd-most brutal state online is really saying something.
Am I surprised that Maine is so trolly? The best way for me to answer this is question is with my experience.
For those who don't know, before coming to WBLM I spent the past 15 years in sports radio. The best way to describe the sports radio audience is like performing on stage in the movie Road House. People either love you or hate your guts. I certainly had my fair share of trolls. And, as much as they can be brutal, you can get used to it.
However, many can struggle with the constant hate, bullying and abuse. It can get tiring, and down right vicious. Quite honestly, online abuse is truly nothing to joke about.
It's important to allow proper discourse if there are disagreements in conversation. We will never have one unison voice. Quite honestly, we shouldn't. However, it would be nice to see an elevated level of compassion in this world. Stop hate, and just enjoy life.
We need to do better, Maine.