The minute you put anything out onto the interwebs, especially personal information, opinions or stories, inevitably you run into keyboard warriors. Commonly, these proudly self-proclaimed ‘trolls’ are underaged, under-skilled, under-informed teenagers. Most times they are using mommy and daddy’s computer; often from the confines of a secret corner because, quite frankly, they are probably not even supposed to be ON the computer. Smart phones made that parental control a complete losing battle.
A troll’s sole purpose in life is to get a rise out of the target. Often times, what they say has no meaning, nor do they even have any personal skin in the game. They will choose a target, engage the target, attempt to bait the target in by taking an aggressive counter stance to whatever it is that they’re reading. Insults are usually included and often the fastest way to achieve their goal; the more outrageous and shocking, the better. They will often times solicit the help of their on-line ‘friends’, creating a virtual pile on.
For the younger generation, you can see how ‘trolling’ can be deadly. Literally.
Back in 2012, the famous case of 16 year old Florida resident Jessica Laney is a prime example. After expressing her depression on line, her social media account was bombarded with these keyboard warriors who called her things like ‘fat’ and ‘slut’. One idiot even commented, “Can you kill yourself already?” and “No one cares about you”.
In 2013, 14 year old Hannah Smith from England hanged herself after being attacked on line and told to “drink bleach”, “go get cancer” and “die”.
18 year old Rutgers (NJ) student Tyler Clementi jumped from the George Washington Bridge after having a secretly recorded webcam video of him kissing another man broadcast on Twitter. Prior to taking his own life, Tyler even posted on Facebook: “Jumping off the George Washington Bridge. Sorry.”
The reality is that this generation neither knows the weight of their words nor the meaning and impact behind them. The safety of being behind a computer screen and out of harms way as it pertains to having to answer for their words, has emboldened the stupid. They literally can SAY anything they want and can do so with little fear of repercussion. When one of your kids is ‘gaming’ on line, take their headset off and listen to the garbage being thrown around. Relentless, gutless, hollow, weak and arrogant shit-talking. Plain and simple.
One day they will learn about their ‘digital footprint’. Some young adults have. Hell. Some ADULTS have. Everything you put onto the internet or social media is there forever. ‘Delete’ is a farce. The list of personal and professional cautionary tales in that regard is too long to even dive into.
So why even bring all this up? Glad you asked.
Brothers Before Others is very heavily social media based. Many of our members are part of our closed Facebook group. In order to even be allowed access, each member has to answer select questions and be ‘vouched for’ by someone who is already in the group. While this has, by design, kept our numbers small in comparison to other similar groups and charities, it has kept our quality level high. BBO also maintains public forums on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. Our public forums require no vetting to follow or comment on. Our material, what we do, who we are and our feelings on a lot of topics are all on full display; and, not ironically, this makes us susceptible to the same trolling.
While no one from BBO is crying in a corner over the vitriol being hurled our way, it is an annoyance. More importantly, many users come to our public page as a way of showing support for law enforcement and keeping up with what we are doing as a charity. There are also families of the fallen that come to our page in order to remain part of what their lost loved one made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of. The last thing any of the aforementioned want to deal with is a herd of ignorant, pre-pubescent keyboard cowboys, er, cowPEOPLE (because I wouldn’t want to offend however they are choosing to identify today), bombarding their every comment with nonsense meant to do nothing but annoy.
BBO recently made a post on our public Facebook page about 15 year FDNY veteran and US Marine Christopher Slutman , who was killed by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan earlier this week. Specifically, we were highlighting the portrait done by our partner, Philadelphia Police Officer and forensic sketch artist Jonny Castro, which will be hand delivered by our members to Ladder 27 in New York for use by his family and his coworkers at Chris’ services.
Here’s what one coward was inspired to add in reaction the portrait of this hero:
“You know what they say about playing stupid games.”
No. No I don’t. Why don’t you enlighten all of us; and while you’re there, please explain to me WHICH stupid game this civil servant and hero was playing? Better yet, come out from behind the keyboard, have your parents drive you to Ladder 27 in New York, and explain to his coworkers exactly what the stupid game their lost brother was playing. Yeah. I didn’t think so.
I find it deliciously ironic that a teenage shit-talker who is likely engrossed, LITERALLY, in playing a ‘stupid game’ like Fortnite would accuse another hero individual of just that when, at the same age, young teens like Chris Slutman decided to eventually dedicate their lives to serving their country, ultimately sacrificing it for the same cause.
You keep using the word ‘stupid’. I really don’t think you know what that means.
Other posts, for example one recognizing US Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle’s heavenly birthday and one highlighting support for law enforcement from Candace Owens, seemed to draw even more attention. Apparently one user found it ‘funny’ that someone would wish that Chris ‘Rest in Peace Hero’. Others just took the opportunity to post nonsense meant to get under the skin of the reader.
Keep in mind, many of the kids saying this nonsense are ‘parroting’. That is, many of them haven’t been on the earth long enough to even have experienced the topics that they report themselves to be authorities on. None have served anything greater than themselves. They are simply regurgitating what they hear other adults saying. They are watching the news without having the ability to understand it nor make sense of what is happening around them. They just know that they heard they’re supposed to hate cops, so they hate cops. Everyone’s gangster until it’s time to do gangster shit.
Inevitably, reality hits these wannabe self-proclaimed “Antifa Super Soldiers”. I recently came into contact with one such individual. Hard as nails, or so he’d want you to believe. He even came equipped with a sticker warning on his gas tank:
As the handcuffs went on for his THREE warrants, he began to cry. When I asked him how he went from being so ‘hard’ to now crying, he advised me that, “I’m NOT crying. I’m emotional.”
So let this serve as our blanket response to those who choose to troll, not just our page but others as well:
- No, we are not deleting your comments because we are “scared of truths”. We simply don’t feel like families of the fallen need to be revictimized by having you ungratefully mock their loss and sacrifice. We don’t feel like our supporters need to waste time being harassed by spineless shit-talkers.
- No we are not ignorant nor happy about the epidemic of PTSD and subsequent inflated domestic violence abuse that effects the law enforcement and military professions. Perhaps when you grow up and experience real life stress, you’ll realize what that can do to a person and the detrimental ways that can effect their relationships, both in and outside of the home.
- No we are not deleting your comments because we’re ‘scared of a fight’ with a 12 year old. If there was a genuine debate to be had, we’d have it. Hell, we’ve TRIED to engage in one in regards to police use of force statistics on repeated occasions with Robert Wood Johnson/Barnabas Health Executive Vice President Michellene Davis on several occasions. Seems that, when the debate would involve facts and statistics that don’t fit the false narrative, it suddenly becomes easier to pretend we don’t exist. Besides, a page dedicated to supporting our families is not the forum for such a debate.
- ‘Fuck 12’ is STILL a much cooler cry than ‘#ACAB’.
- What the fuck would YOU know about NWA??? For real. I mean, didn’t Dre pose in a fucking leotard??? G’d up from the feet up.
- After arguing for seemingly ever that police officers wear body cameras, the same ACLU is now trending towards arguing that the recordings are a violation of the citizen’s rights. HAHAHA. Gee. I wonder why that is? Perhaps what the cameras are showing doesn’t exactly gel with the lies that they’ve sold. But, again, you’re 12. So what in he hell is the ACLU anyways, right?
- Millionaire capitalist Bernie Sanders would definitely know more about growing up as an African American than Candace Owens. You’re 100% correct. Subsequently, she is DEFINITELY being paid to get eggs and water thrown on her while she is attacked to the point of needing police to protect her while leaving a restaurant she was told she wasn’t welcome in because of her beliefs. Yeah. I can see that.
- The most beautiful thing about this country is that there is no wall keeping anyone in. No one is forced by threat or otherwise to stay here. Once you are old enough to drive or get permission to travel unaccompanied, you too can go to wherever your heart tells you is a better situation for YOU. That’s the beauty of it. Yet, at some point, you’ll grow up and realize that, regardless of what the United States gets right or wrong, we get it right way more than we get it wrong; and there are still people risking life and limb to make it to this country. Instead of sitting behind a keyboard and pretending to rage against the machine, be thankful that you are able to do so and be protected while you do.
- The deletion of your comments is not an infringement on your ‘speech’. You are free to create all the anti law-enforcement pages you’d like and fill them with as many bootlicking memes as your parents will allow you to post.
- No, the law enforcement profession is not perfect. In fact, no one is. Hopefully, one day, the critics of law enforcement will be willing to hold themselves to the same moral standard. But I wouldn’t be willing to hold my breath.
- Yes. We ARE just going to keep deleting your comments. It’s pretty much that simple.
So, to answer your own question for you, we DO know what they say about playing stupid games. The difference here is: not one civil servant or military member in the entire United States is playing a game when they sign their life away on behalf of people they neither know and often times will never meet.
I hope the American people are paying attention. As harmless as this kind of reckless behavior is, it is occurring during these kids’ formative years. The damage being done now is not even able to be calculated.
More importantly, when you see how stupidly these kids act while having little understanding of what they are saying, perhaps you get a better idea of why some want the voting age lowered to 16.
In closing, and in keeping with the everyone-gets-a-trophy generation, as a reward for reading this entire article, and in recognition of the fact that you are bravely standing against the same police officers you would be crying for if you needed help while having no concept of what the word service means, albeit from the safety of behind a computer screen in your closet, here’s your medal. Wear it proud.