Comment Trolls

Shane Koyczan's viral video "To This Day" is an inspiration. On the tech side, it was make collaboratively with media spliced together from many people. The message is that the effects of bullying can be felt long after they're committed-hence the title. I showed the video to a number of my classes and we collectively drafted comments up which we posted to youtube.

What really caught me attention were the comments. There are roughly 50,000 at the time of writing and the comments were particularly interesting. Most of them were favorable, but some were very entrenched commenters who told the author that he should "suck it up", and "toughen up".

There are no shortage of such people like "Scrounger01". Comment trolls like him are now a new group on the internet. Faceless, negative, and always willing to share their disapproval; they swoop in and always have an opinion on work they they themselves could not possible make on their own. I decided to look into Scrounger 01's profile and see his comment history, and videos made.
Scrounger01 has made no videos, not surprisingly. Most of his comments are negative as well.

For some strange reason, I have been thinking about this person a lot. They don't choose to make videos but are compelled to tear the work of others down. Nor do they appreciate and give creedence to others for the good work that they do. Where did this person go so wrong?

Some people are disabling comments altogether because the healthy discussion has been replaced by this dogmatic psychobabble. Although we as teachers cannot control what students say in their free time, we can point out such abuses, make good examples, and model good digital citizenry.

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