'Many Teenagers are Self-Trolling'

There’s an interesting passage in an article titled “The Truth About Trolls,” by Vicky Allan of the Herald Scotland, as quoted yesterday by Kathy Shaidle:


Burchill’s column points to something we should pay attention to. It is the question of security: of what makes us strong enough to deal with the hate, to resist the need to constantly find validation online. It seems to me that if we focus solely on the cyber-bullies, we miss something rather important: that what happens on social media may be more of a symptom than a source of the problem.

Cyber-bullying, after all, isn’t a simple phenomenon. Last week, it was revealed that many teenagers are self-trolling – sending abusive messages to their own accounts.

Research in the United States found that out of 600 students, 9% had posted toxic remarks about themselves. When, last year, Hannah Smith, 14, hanged herself after messages were posted on Ask FM telling her to “go die”, “get cancer” and “drink bleach”, at first cyber-bullies were blamed. But later her father revealed that detectives believed she had been sending the messages to herself.

On Thursday, the London Daily Mail ran a story on Smith and other teenagers with the following headline and opening bullet points highlighting the article below:

The teens who troll themselves: In a shocking new form of self-harming, some young people have become their own vile online bullies

  • Cyber-bullies were blamed when Hannah Smith, 14, hanged herself
  • But detectives believe she had been sending vicious messages to herself
  • Growing number of British teens indulging in sinister habit of self-trolling
  • Find strange comfort in being own harshest critic
  • Often it’s a desperate cry for attention
  • Fears it could lead to physical self-harm

As Michelle Malkin has illustrated over the years, an enormous amount of “hate crimes” reported on college campuses have been attention and victimhood-seaking hoaxes. But is at all surprising? This is the era in which a network such as CNN obsesses over “bullying,” ranging from Saturday’s headline asking “Putin Bullying Obama?” to Anderson Cooper running show after show devoted to “bullies” on the high school level.

From the left’s point of view, we’re all victims now — to the point where millionaire pop culture superstars wallow in their victimhood, as well. In March of 2008, Billy Joel inducted John Cougar Mellencamp into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During his induction speech for Mellencamp, Joel said:

“Don’t let this club membership change you, John. Stay ornery, stay mean. We need you to be pissed off, and restless, because no matter what they tell us – we know, this country is going to hell in a handcart. This country’s been hijacked. You know it and I know it. People are worried. People are scared, and people are angry. People need to hear a voice like yours that’s out there to echo the discontent that’s out there in the heartland. They need to hear stories about it. [Audience applauds] They need to hear stories about frustration, alienation and desperation. They need to know that somewhere out there somebody feels the way that they do, in the small towns and in the big cities. They need to hear it. And it doesn’t matter if they hear it on a jukebox, in the local gin mill, or in a goddamn truck commercial, because they ain’t gonna hear it on the radio anymore. They don’t care how they hear it, as long as they hear it good and loud and clear the way you’ve always been saying it all along. You’re right, John, this is still our country and we’ll always be victims of powerful people.”


If being “bullied” makes one special and unique, why wouldn’t teenagers want to experience the “joys” of victimhood firsthand as well?


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