Of trolls, hate, and tolerance

Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.

—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

You’d do best to set an alarm on your phone to remind you to re-read Erin Kissane’s How to Kill a Troll every couple of weeks.In her post, she outlines the plight of female, online innovators who face endless threats, hate mail and harassment (from almost exclusively men) by simply putting themselves out there . Anita Sarkeesian, the subject, of the post is just one example.

My key take-away was what to do as a ‘bystander’. As Kissane says,

The majority of gamers are neither participating in the attacks on Anita Sarkeesian nor commenting in her support. They are standing idly by.

In short, she suggests that we not simply stand by,

When people in your community express disagreement via threats and harassment, they make your entire group look like whiny, pathetic losers. You don’t have to write a big squishy essay to draw the line. All you have to do is take 30 seconds to note that harassment and stalking is wrong and doesn’t represent your community—and then let the idiot fringe drown itself in its own impotent squealing.

The anonymity of the internet is no excuse for being the bully nor the by-stander.