Say No to Troll

Over at Slate, Farhad Manjoo — in between trying on awesome sweatshirtsargues against the reflexive labeling of anything and everything one happens to disagree with as “trolling.” This is something I’ve noticed more and more of recently too. It’s time to squash it. Things have really started to get out of hand. Heck, there’s even a term for people wanting to tar arguments they agree with: “concern trolling.”

But, Manjoo asks, “What if all these people aren’t trolls? What if they’re just, you know, disagreeable or stupid or merely wrong? What if, despite holding opinions that you don’t like, and despite expressing those opinions in a manner that seems a tad impolite, they came by their views honestly?”

He continues: “I think it’s time we took back troll. Let’s reserve the term to refer to people who are being actual nuisances. To apply it to punditry is to dilute it of all meaning — and, in an odd way, it also ascribes unnecessary genius to people who might just be misguided.”

Hear, hear.

Help me, would you?

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