In a former life many years ago I learned was taught a great lesson by a junior girl in another part of our work area who had to process some of our work outputs. She was obviously being driven mad by our failure to follow some simple procedures we’d no doubt been told to apply many times before, so she sent us all an email that began, “Naughty cataloguers, . . . ” That introduction was so disarming, it set us all in a positive frame of mind to meekly accept the “blasting” that came our way in a form of collegial correction.
We weren’t trolls or vicious jerks but that lesson came to mind again when I read the following news item: Twitch viewers harassed Aussie streamer PaladinAmber. She clapped back in the best way
The first time she called someone out happened by accident.
“Everyone just went crazy. They were like ‘this is exactly what we want on the news’. And I was like, we can absolutely do this every time,” she said.
“Comedy is the best way to deal with this because people will really prefer a slap on the wrist better if it comes with a giggle.”
There’s proof in the pudding too. Wadham says some of the trolls have even apologised after being called out.
. . . .
“I didn’t think people would appreciate somebody being so outspoken and obnoxiously loud about it,” she said.
“It’s [trolling] such a common occurrence. To have so many people going ‘oh yeah me too, but I wouldn’t say anything so thank you’, it’s just a little bit humbling.”
While it’s worked for her, Wadham is adamant no-one should have to confront online harassment like this if they don’t feel equipped to do so.
Dr Raynes-Goldie agreed, and highlighted how tricky it can be to push back.
“How do you make change in the world but also take care of yourself? Because it’s quite exhausting,” she said.
For Wadham, it’s by shining a light on the worst behaviour on the internet, one fake infomercial or breaking news segment at a time.
And all of that leads to this: