Internet Troll Racism

Today’s conversation piece: http://slatestarscratchpad.tumblr.com/post/137913762821/my-impression-is-that-weird-internet-troll-racism

This is an interesting topic, because this was definitely a noticeable process. I disagree with the respondants saying it affects the whole site, at least it part – it’s clear that /pol/ is far worse, and say /tg/ is far better. But it’s true, overall, that there’s not really any board left on 4chan where calling someone left-wing (albeit not in so many words, aha) is anything other than an insult.

The question is, what’s the difference between everyone “ironically” hating the poor, the blacks and the mexicans, voting for Trump, and calling anyone who asks for less than total thermonuclear annihilation of everything between the Red Sea and the Himalayas a bunch of unpleasant names, and people just being a bunch of ultra-right wing pondbathers? Well. The presumed difference is that they don’t actually take any action: they don’t actually vote for Trump, they just say they will on polls. Unfortunately, this has the effect of making stupid ideas seem like they have popular support, letting the genuine (genuinely stupid) supporters of those ideas continue to do so.

In terms purely of community-building, though, what people actually do on election day is irrelevant. Only what people say in the community matters, and on an almost-strictly-anonymous site like 4chan, there’s simply no way to tell ironic internet racism from genuine internet racism.

The upshot of this is that I think I have good reason to be concerned if the SSC comments are, as is frequently suggested, growing more right-wing. It’s sometimes said – suggested – hinted at in ways that are entirely plausibly deniable – that the whole taking-over-a-comunity-and-driving-out-all-opposition thing is something for left-wing SJWs only, and the right wing is good and tolerant and Not Like That. Well, no, not in my experience. It’s far simpler: tolerant people are tolerant. So long as Scott continues to enforce civility standards, of course, things won’t get as bad as /pol/, but it could certainly become the case that “left-wing” becomes an insult while “right-wing”…

Oh, wait, that already happened? People already use “leftist” like a derogatory term in the SSC comments, don’t they.

No one’s being ironically terrible, though, and I’m pretty sure they’re not about to start, so it’s all good.

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Internet Troll Racism

2 thoughts on “Internet Troll Racism

  1. Whatever Happened to Anonymous says:

    Sorry for replying to a months old post with a nitpick, but (also, how do these gravatar things even work)

    >But it’s true, overall, that there’s not really any board left on 4chan where calling someone left-wing (albeit not in so many words, aha) is anything other than an insult.

    There’s /lit/, /co/, /mu/ and arguably /his/.

    I think people are still making a big deal out of things. “Board Culture” in 4chan is super overrated, /pol/(‘s public face, who knows what each person thinks) went from broadly libertarian, to nazi, to christian to Trumpist within 3 years. The only consistent trend is contrarianism, specifically, “what offends relatively adjacent people the most”. As it happens, nowadays that is supporting Trump, because it has the great quality of offending both “liberals” and “conservatives” alike (with the added bonus of being a great meme source). If Moldbug is wrong, and general opinion turns towards the right in a not too distant future, you might see 4chan embracing a more left-wing (but still as deliberately offensive as possible) position.

    In any case, great blog.

    Like

    1. Thank-you for the kind comment – I think you make a great point overall, that it’s more about being weird and different and offensive than anything else.

      Like

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