There is something about the Internet that brings out the worst in people. A quick scan of this “Brave New World” shows some of the monstrous sides of human nature.
Web-rage is similar in some ways to road-rage. It is easy to take anger out on a machine and forget that there is a real person inside. The same thing happens on the Internet. Forums and blogs seemed to be plagued with hostile types that live to pick a fight. They are so common, they have a name: “troll.”
Trolls have plagued the forum world since before the World Wide Web existed, and first appeared back in the 1980s on Usenet groups. Another type of troll has shown up in the Blogosphere, and it is a problem. Perhaps it is the anonymity; maybe it is the stilted nature of one-sided communication. But it seems people read things into a piece that are not there and then attack those very ideas. They belittle and condemn writers and thoughts never asking for clarification, never entering into a true dialogue, never truly communicating.
Some blogs may have set themselves up for this. By bloging in front of the whole world things that might better be discussed in house or airing questions that come across as complaints from an anonymous position; a couple of Baptist missions blogs have brought a lot of heated “trolling” lately. It is a pity that on the web interactions are very heated and hateful; when in person they would possibly be normal constructive conversations.