Preface: I started on the internet back in the late 90's. My fellow forum members where all stile project whores and old school telnet vets who didn't fit into their real lives. It wasn't as simple as "they played video games in their mother's basement" they were truly different people who had no place outside the matrix. This leads to my following comments.
I just watched the “hunting for trolls” documentary. At the risk of sounding like a jaded misanthropic asshat, “Welcome to the internet. Show us your tits.”
To be more realistic the lady from the documentary makes a strong emotional point and sticks to it through the course of the film. She even confronts a troll at the end with what you might call a well edited conclusion.
Her argument is a purely emotional one. She continually says “I can’t believe anyone thinks it’s OK to say something like this.”
The revelation is in her hand the whole time she’s staring at her phone. Yes, some people think it’s OK. Most of them are just confused or temporarily trolling. They will wake up soon and say “Damn! I didn’t mean that. I feel bad for saying that.” But others mean it as much as they can mean anything. A handful of these people are truly that warped, twisted and unhealthy.
I’m the wrong person to give a pep-talk with a “people are inherently good” message but I’m the right guy to point out that all of us have our low moments and our bad ideas. We are all trolls at some point. I don't think she touched on this idea enough. (feel free to chide me for this) Yes, I just made an argument for redemption.
While people like this famous youtube lady from the documentary have taken the moralistic view that we should be heading for some ethical homogeny because we are one species capable of learning a common language I would argue that any successful species requires non-detrimental variation in all genetics and behaviors. Based on how successful the human race is, the worst among us are, by definition, non-detrimental. Serial killers, narcissists, religious zealots, rapists and bigots are all non-detrimental to the total evolution of the species. The same argument could be made for people with a different sexuality, radical religious leaning or favorite sports team. It's not moralistic behavior that wins out at the end of the day it's life or death. You can struggle to achieve your goals and I can damn you for your efforts. This is reality and the internet portrays it perfectly in cold binary.
I don’t want to drag this out too long, because admittedly I’ll dig myself a hole. No one wants to be trolled. But life is hard, people are mean and we’re all alone unless we’re a little bit stupid. Nothing you will ever do is good enough youtube lady, but please keep trying. You seem to care.