Tag Archives: trolling

Quinn Norton Implodes – In The Interest Of Clarity


After the recent confusion caused by a statement heard on BBC Newsnight that “Men are raised to hate women” I decided to ask the journalist responsible for an explanation.

The outcome was unexpected and inspired me to pen this blog post, which in turn led to in my view, unfairly, hours of bizarre accusations from a tiny number of individuals

1Although the overwhelming majority of (I realise this is not indicative of being right) people seemed to agree that clarification was necessary, and the initial statement was too much of a generalisation to be helpful to say the least, the very small number who did take issue with me seemed to fall in to two camps.

Some argued that the statement was perfectly reasonable and not deserving of question.  And that it was actually my lack of understanding that was the real problem, or the manner in which I questioned.

Others seemingly fell afoul of a catastrophic inability to differentiate between the following two statements, (one genuine, one imagined):

“What exactly do you mean by that?  Please explain”


“Sexism and misogyny are not genuine problems in society”.

I could not attempt a defence of the second statement, even if I were stupid enough to actually believe it, or want to.

Obviously there are a lot of good people who feel incredibly passionate about sexism and misogyny for incredibly valid reasons (captain obvious) and may have felt I was somehow denying the importance or existence of these issues.  As explainable as this perception may be on some level, it is not even remotely accurate to anything I have said, implied or argued.

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Quinn Norton: Trolling, “Men Are Raised To Hate Women” and Other Confusing Statements.

They See Me Trollin'

Twitter has been big news of late, with reports that they plan to implement an abuse reporting function.  I’ve been asked a few times what my thoughts are on the matter, and I’m all for it.

Threatening and unlawful behaviour is completely unacceptable and those who engage in such a manner should be held accountable.  I displayed my willingness to side with this sentiment recently by reporting a clearly threatening tweet (not to me) to the police.

My only concern is: how will this be regulated?  Will Twitter have the manpower (or women!!!!!) to efficiently distinguish abusers and trollers from genuine disagreement or attempts to engage in meaningful discourse? Given the vast numbers of Twitter users and the seemingly unrealistic task of policing it, is it likely to be an unmanned,  automated process?  An algorithm simply reacting to multiple ‘abuse reports’? Only time will tell.

‘Troll’ seems the buzzword of late.  The problem is, that “troll” in the context of the internet has no unified definition.  I personally take trolling to mean the act of intentionally making insincere statements to an individual, or individuals in order to provoke a response, or as they would call it,  a “victory”. Others use it simply to describe an individual who seeks out arguments online.

I’m trolled daily in the former sense. People will tweet me en masse with clearly disingenuous statements in the hope that I may respond.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  It often depends on how dull my commute to work is that morning.

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