One of the most obnoxious defenses tossed out by people acting like vicious online jerks is that “they’re just trolling.” When you get pissed off at someone leaving racist droppings all over the Internet, well, the anger is your fault. You’re just failing to fully grasp the fine art of being a shithead.
Reddit is full of places that operate on this notion, places loaded with images and language that will make your skin crawl. People call them “troll” subreddits, homes for privileged white kids to get their jollies off being racist and sexists jerks, all the while believing they’re serving some higher cultural purpose—they’re stretching the limits of free speech or fighting back against political correctness or some other intellectually lazy nonsense.
Thanks to Reddit’s pseudonymous nature, there’s not usually any consequence for taking part in r/n*****s or r/ImGoingToHellForThis or r/BeatingWomen. But occasionally wires cross in the troll’s brain; he moves to some other subreddit and becomes an earnest participant. And occasionally, this gets him in delicious trouble. Take IHackDota, who really wanted a job posted in Reddit’s jobs subreddit, r/forhire.
If only the comment history of more online jerks could follow them into the job application process. After the thread got picked up elsewhere on Reddit, IHackDota deleted his account, perhaps finally painfully aware that what you post on the Internet can have serious consequences.
Photo by Arenamontanus/Flickr