In an article published by The Examiner, David W. Thornton, a self-described Libertarian who writes from a fundamentalist Christian perspective, accuses trolls who infiltrated a Facebook page celebrating the thought of lynching US President Barack Obama of being ‘con men’ and ‘anti-religious’ after they papered a conservative site with lots and lots of goats.
Those of us familiar with the internet know what a troll is. Trolls range from the occasional 12 year old shouting at his computer screen while typing outrageous and mostly untrue statements just for the sheer joy of making another person so angry they could spit, to the more involved and deliberate Anonymous, with their antics ranging to real life events such as “Agent Pubeit.” As always, the more people they can get to laugh along with them, the better. If you’ve ever read the comments on YouTube, you know what a troll is. The more stupid the comment, the more a beginning troll is revered. These guys are mostly considered beginners because they troll low hanging fruit – people new to and unfamiliar with the internet. If you’ve ever gotten angry over someone making an anti-Semitic comment involving your mom and human remains in an ashtray, you’ve been trolled.
While there are many kinds of troll, their goal is always the same: to stir up controversy and upset among the clueless, the uneducated, the dangerous, and the self-righteous. Trolls will come to the defense of a rape victim as quickly as they will let their freak flag fly at a Turkish soccer match. Microsoft trolls Apple, and Apple retaliates. Politicians troll one another daily.
There is no single agenda among trolls any more than there is among American voters. To group people all together and say they all have the same agenda is naive at best, and an outright lie at the worst. Such is the case of one David W. Thornton.
Thornton opines that the ‘attack’ was planned in concert on several pages simultaneously with the opening statement. Thornton said, “… a group of leftist con men launched a sneak attack on an undetermined number of conservative Facebook pages.” Then Thornton provides no proof that there was ever any such conspiracy unless of course you consider Thornton’s source: a troll.
The irony of calling a troll a “con man” and then regurgitating what the troll has said publicly as absolute truth is not lost on AATTP faithful.
Thornton then goes on to “out” one of the trolls who goes by the name “Busta Troll“, using what he believes to be his real name and real location. The pièce de résistance, however, is Thornton’s attempts to connect the graphics used in Busta’s trolling to Satanism.
Yes, you heard it here. The goats are here to eat your souls.
The connection is a tenuous one of scripture, connecting sheep to the right hand of God, and goats to the left hand. You see, because God is right-handed, and the Devil is left-handed and therefore evil, even when it’s God’s left hand. It is this kind of confusing, garbled thinking that allows “Miss Lilly”, one of Busta’s dupes, to connect goats and trolling to Satan. “We took the goats for what they are, symbols of Satanism,” said the anonymous former page admin for America the next Generation.
She went on to tell Thornton, “These were the nastiest, vilest [people].” Then she plays the I-don’t-know-what-racism-means card. “I have never encountered such utter hatred and contempt. This goes way beyond racism. They called us racists, but what they said and did to us was beyond the scope and definition of racism. They are truly sick people.”
It is sad to see someone who doesn’t know that racism is hatred or fear of someone based on racial/skin color/ethnic/genetic/cultural differences. What is even more sad is that there are still a few folks on the planet who don’t yet realize that no matter how “Lilly” white your backside might be, there’s sure to be some color in your genetics. Saddest of all is that there are still folks who feel free to picture a black man in a noose and deny it’s not an iconic symbol for racism in America. Billie Holiday even wrote a song about lynching, called, “Strange Fruit“, a practice still being used today.
Sure, Miss Lilly’s comparison of racism to covering a Facebook page with pictures of goats is comedy gold. But there’s a bigger issue at hand, or at hoof, here. How do we get from making fun of someone’s hatred by talking them into giving you control of their site and then covering it with pictures of adorable goats to sickness and Satanism?
Perhaps the generalizations, the leaps in reasoning are to blame. One has to assume the trolls even know what the goat symbolism means to a few fundamentalists who take the Bible literally. Even if the trolls did know, that would just make it funnier to them. Remember a troll’s first mission is to make you mad while making others laugh at you for being dumb enough to be mad.
Thornton continues his writing by trying to paint all trolls with a liberal brush. As amusing as this is, it’s also ridiculous, and worthy of note only because with this statement and no corroborating evidence, Thornton becomes a troll. His technique needs work, though, and I am sure Busta would love to teach him a thing or two. Perhaps liberal trolls like Busta Troll are more successful in their goals because they are more intelligent.