The Grand Social Media Experiment. We learn by doing.

Lesson Learned from Facebook Trolls

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Facebook Trolls

A few years ago I learned quite a bit about how the Facebook system of reporting posts worked. I say worked, because they frequently change how things work. If you’re an active user you of course remember the change into “timelines” and other almost-forgotten variations as it grew and mutated.

About five years ago now, I was involved in what turned out to be rather heated discussions regarding politics in Wisconsin. Typically political discussions, or arguments, escalate rapidly into ad-hominem attacks and inflammatory language when anonymity is involved. And Facebook certainly allows one to create fake pages, fake profiles and spurious “organizations”. Trolls joined a few pages I was on that were anti-Walker (Corrupt Republican Governor of WI), and started in with the insults. They used racist and sexist language, and eventually went so far as to post names, addresses, phone numbers and work information about several women, they created fake pages about these women with obscene photos etc. No matter how many reports we filed about posts and the pages, they remained up.

Eventually, these right-wing nutcases ganged up and reported my and others’ benign posts enough times where my account was actually suspended for a few weeks. You cannot easily find out where or how to talk to any Facebook representatives, but I somehow did and eventually talked to a couple on the phone, they scheduled the time they would call to talk and I did tell them what was happening. Unfortunately, these creeps are still active and doing the same thing. One of them, a very pro-military veteran who killed several “enemies” in battle in the Mideast (so he claimed), was found out to be a boot-camp dropout who never served a day, who repaired lawnmowers out of his garage. I had to create another Facebook page, which I still have but do not use anymore.

I have blocked these people, I recently looked at the list and there were about 30 of them. And again, they are still doing what they were doing, though a web-savvy person found out all of their information and there is a blog available that details their names, phone numbers, jobs etc. I don’t encourage this sort of internet vigilantism, but they did get the tables turned on them.

In short, stay out of heated politics and religion online, just like in the meat-world. GJB


Author: 5oci4lm3di4101

We're a class learning about the ins and outs of social media. We learn by doing.

One thought on “Lesson Learned from Facebook Trolls

  1. Very enjoyable to read. Thanks for the advice I will stay away from heated political discussions. CRJ

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