The power people have on the Internet is astounding. There are doctors giving advice on how to clean a wound, or engineers offering tips on how to repair an AC unit.
But the reason they have such power is due to the lack of identification. Most forums online don’t require you to use your real name, but instead allow you to create a profile with any information you choose. While there are people who truly know their trade and offer quality advice, there are others who seek only to cause pain to others.
I’m sure many of you have heard of, or even conversed with, an Internet troll. Since trolls can remain anonymous they believe their actions don’t have consequences — to them directly at least. Reasoning with them is impossible, and making any comments toward them just feeds their drive to make others miserable. If you do continue the conversation all that is to come is irritation and anger.
Trolling goes hand-in-hand with cyber bullying. Cyberbullying is something that most who use the Internet have come into contact with at least once, and it is much worse than your typical troll can cause. While most trolls are there to play mind games, a cyber-bully only wishes to cause harm.
It’s reported that children as young as 2 years old have been victims of cyberbullying. While that troublesome schoolyard bully can be taught a lesson by the proper authority, getting to a cyberbully is much more difficult. Some highly-skilled people are able to isolate someone’s IP address, but taking it any further is illegal without the proper documentation. As a result, trolls and cyber bullies can remain relatively safe while causing serious psychological pain to many other people.
League of Legends, the biggest E-Sport with 32 million active players monthly, is the epitome of this abuse. People create a summoner name that represents them as they play the game. During your first hundred games or so many people are still learning how to play the game and are unsure of exactly what to do. But some do a lot more research into the game and know exactly what they need to do. Since players with little knowledge don’t play as well as informed players, some of the better players figure that warrants a small amount of abuse.
A usual quote from the game is “Quit feeding NOOB.” Instead of taking into account that the player just started, the person immediately flips on the aggression and verbally attacks the player. Now that player feels bad for not being as educated or skilled as the bully, and they will play worse than they were previously. This only causes the player to become more aggravated and continue lashing out toward the “bad” player.
The toxicity rate of players in this game is extremely high. This past weekend I played about 10 games and in six of them there was at least one person bashing my friend, new to the game, for not being “good.”
Trolls and bullies cause plenty of problems that tend to lose their teams the game, but at the end of the game there are some things the individual player can do to help with the problem.
You can report a player and leave a comment on their offense or you can honor them because they helped you get through the game. League of Legends has a tribunal system that punishes those who cause problems within the game’s massive community. If enough people report a single player, that player is typically banned from the game anywhere from seven days to permanently.
The best way to deal with a cyberbully is to shrug it off — they don’t know you and have no right to insult you — and report them to a moderator.