Essentially, don't feed it or it will keep coming back...
This is really tangential to my confession that I have, in the past, engaged in infuriating exchanges with strangers online. It's not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but it's stupid, the spiritual equivalent of eating styrofoam peanuts. There are few greater wastes of time... one would think.
I did happen upon this particular gem today though, a prime example of pseudo-intellectual roadkill:
Trolling in asynchronous computer-mediated communication: From user discussions to academic definitions
Seriously... Someone was paid to slog through 9 years worth of messages on a horseback riding forum, trawling for data and examples of internet trolls. As strange as it seems...
A) That a horseback riding forum can carry on for 9 years
B) that people troll and flame on a horseback riding forum
C) that horseback riders respond and get upset... etc.
Someone was actually paid to study it, only to come up with this (and attach a ludicrous title to it and publish it):
"Whilst computer-mediated communication (CMC) can benefit users by providing quick and easy communication between those separated by time and space, it can also provide varying degrees of anonymity that may encourage a sense of impunity and freedom from being held accountable for inappropriate online behaviour."
And the solution... ignore it and it will go away.
Look, it's not that it's not easy to get caught up in it. It's probably not any better to argue endlessly over socio-political issues or assorted philosophical bullshit.
Well, I guess what I'm saying is that I want to get paid to write about bullshit.