Just a couple of weeks ago, we reported that Josh McDermitt had deleted all his social media accounts after receiving death threats and harassing messages from Internet trolls who were upset over what his CHARACTER was doing on THE WALKING DEAD. (Probably this was just an excuse for some of them to troll, attributable to the “pile-on effect” wherein trolls congregate online like flies drawn to raw sewage. Others really are dense enough to not be able to tell the difference between scripted television and real life.) Now his TWD costar Alanna Masterson has also removed herself from cyberspace, at least in part, after being fat-shamed by trolls upon the birth of her child. She responded eloquently to those doing the harassment, but, sadly, by doing so she gave the trolls the attention they desired and the harassment only increased. Trolls are never mollified by logic or impassioned responses. There is only one response guaranteed to be effective to them: delete their comments and ignore them completely.
It’s an interesting social phenomenon, how some people feel freed by online anonymity to engage in behavior they’d never in a million years be brave enough to engage in otherwise. The Internet isn’t quite as anonymous as such people think it is, though, not if one is determined enough. I know a guy who is a professional Internet troll. It’s something of a game to him to harass people online. Often he doesn’t even believe the things he states. He only wants to push buttons. Recently, when he stopped at a bar, someone recognized him from his online profile, and he promptly got his ass kicked. Nobody stepped in to help him, as by then everyone present knew who he was. The owner of the establishment even refused to call the police. He paid the price that night for his trolling. He also had to pay a hospital bill.
Life is short. Be nice. Don’t be a troll.