Internet warriors: Humans inside the dark world of online ‘trolls’


Norwegian filmmaker Kyrre Lien started gaining knowledge of online commenters on Christmas Day, 2014. “I have become fascinated by how much hate and lack of information human beings have been writing within the feedback segment of a news site,” he says, “so I started looking at people’s profiles, trying to work out which they have been. Many seemed pretty reasonable. They had households and looked like social human beings, but the feedback they had been writing in a public space has been so extreme. There was a disconnect.” And so began Lien’s 3-year journey into the lives of humans, the web’s most prolific online commenters, now the situation of a documentary, The Internet Warriors. Work Reveal


Lien’s research took him the world over – from the fjords of Norway to the United States wasteland – an assembly of people of severe, “frequently illogical” beliefs: the racists, the homophobes, the slut- shamers. Lien, to begin with, researched two hundred ability topics. 1/2 said no while he approached them. It becomes a manner of elimination: “To discover what their reasons had been, who they have been, and why they held the views they did. In a way,” he says, “I became an investigator.”

Of all the ‘haters’ he observed online, one kind eluded him. “I contacted many misogynists, as I desired to try to understand,” Lien says, “however none might talk publicly, which is thrilling.”

What did Lien analyze via the making of the documentary? “That many, many people are lonely – they feel society has left them in the back of – and that a whole lot of the ones I met are former victims of bullying themselves,” says Lien, “but in the long run, I found out that people can trade, that we are working in motion. We can’t see near our eyes and fear that they don’t exist if we need to alternate how we debate and communicate online. It’s critical to pay attention to these voices now.”

To watch Kyrie Lien’s documentary The Net Warriors, visit theguardian.Com/Net-warriors.

‘I oppose all immigration: Robert Jackson, 50, steelworker, England.

Robert Jackson spends hours every day commenting online. Lately, he wrote that Tony Blair has to be changed. “I stand by way of that,” he says. “I’d gladly put the rope around his neck. He’s a traitor to his humans.”

Jackson’s primary problem is immigration: he believes Britain will “fall apart” under a load of refugees. “I sincerely don’t care where they’re from or what war they’re fleeing.” What makes it worse, he says, and the cause he’s especially irritated with the government is that it greatly values him to bring over his Thai spouse. “I had to pay lots to get my spouse right here from Thailand. Her visa best lasts six months, after which she has to move her lower back. And then we need to do the same thing all once more.”

‘I slut-shame celebrities’: Ashleigh Jones, 21, pupil, Wales

Ashleigh Jones would not describe herself as a troll. “A troll is a person ruining the dialogue, and that’s no longer me.”

Jones’s commenting style is “sincere and brutal. I don’t sugarcoat something,” she says. She uses Twitter as a type of daily diary, an area wherein she will be able to express how she feels each day. “Like after I tweeted to Amy Schumer: ‘I might say Amy Schumer is a cunt however you have to be smart to be a cunt.'”

She is used to receiving abuse in return for her inflammatory comments. “But that doesn’t trouble me,” she says. “I have quite a few sexes, so I will be that ugly.”

‘I agree with Israel was behind September 11’: Scott Munson, 49, activist, California.

Scott Munson describes himself as “a fact teller.” He considers this his complete-time activity, particularly when sharing “information about 9/11 and gun management”.

Munson says he is “satisfied that the USA authorities are attempting to manipulate us all.” It’s additionally clear to him that “Israel benefitted from September 11. We had more than 3,000 Israelis now not displaying up for work, after which Israelis were dancing after the assault – it’s obvious that it changed into a nation that won from that occasion.”

He is no stranger to abuse himself: “Once I write online that Israel was at the back of 9-11, people call me horrific names, like stupid, dummy, moron and Neanderthal.” but he believes that’s because he’s telling human beings truths that are hard to pay attention. “That’s the technique – many are in denial; then I help them see. It’s uncomfortable for them to discover that our government is killing its humans.”

humans connected to the internet

Every day, Munson shares his “reality” with his 5,000 Facebook buddies and his different e-mail list of 23,000 people. “I’m also on LinkedIn,” he adds.

‘I want to be unfastened to hold a gun’: Nick Haynes, forty-two, the truck motive force, Pennsylvania

. While Nick Haynes becomes more youthful, he gets into frequent “arguments” with the authorities. At sixteen, he ran far from home and said he hadn’t regarded his lower back because. He’s now lost touch with his circle of relatives altogether. “It’s been four or five years since I last even talked to my father,” he says.

Haynes keeps along with his arguments today, but this time, it’s on social media. He says he tweets: “about fifty-seven times an afternoon.” He provides: “I debate because if I don’t say something, folks that oppose the Second Amendment and people who spread lies will win the arguments. If I don’t fight back while somebody claims something, they’ll win whenever.”

He watched the USA election along with his three daughters and son. “I told them I agree with that Clinton has raped this u. S… I am hoping they arrest her.” Now Trump’s received, he says: “It’s the first time in view that 9/11 that I feel our US of a is again on target, again to which it belongs.” His children trust him.

‘I assume homosexuals will destroy Russia’: Alexandra Velichkevich, fifty-one, scholar, Russia.

Velichkevich believes she is fighting for Russia from her rental near St. Petersburg. Her fear is that her you. S. It might be taken over by “Gay Europe.” Her seventy-five-12 months-vintage mum debates online alongside her. “We’re apprehensive that our beloved Russia may be inspired by way of the homosexuals in Europe and us” and ruin it with their “crap homosexual way of life.”

She wants to make it clear that she doesn’t see LGBT humans as her enemy but that they’ve “a defect.” Moreover, she says: “They should stop showing off constantly. They’ve ruined that flag for me. I preferred the rainbow before, but I don’t have any extra.”


‘I need to deliver back colonialism’: Kjell Frode Tislevoll, forty-two, retail clerk, Norway.

Kjell Frode Tislevoll used to spend hours debating online. “Once, I commented on a piece of writing: ‘What we want in Oslo is a sidewalk for people with darkish skin and a path for those with white skin. That way, we gained be attacked or mugged.” He got 20 likes. Eventually, he decided to apply for a clear-out on Facebook so he would not see posts about immigration.

But matters are changing for Tislevoll. In the last 12 months, a refugee reception center was built in his home city, and he slowly discovered he became “much less skeptical of immigrants.” It coincided with the appearance of a Muslim guy in paintings. “He’s OK,” he says, “so my immigration issues are going away. If I met my former self in a discussion board now, I’d probably get into an argument with him.”

Today marks 28 years since I submitted my original concept for the worldwide web.


I imagined the net as an open platform that would permit all and sundry, anywhere, to share facts, get entry to opportunities, and collaborate throughout geographic and cultural obstacles. In many methods, the internet has lived as much as this imaginative and prescient, though it’s been ordinary warfare to preserve it open. But during the last twelve months, I’ve become increasingly concerned about three new developments, which I consider we must tackle so as for the web to fulfill its authentic capability as a device that serves all of humanity.

1) We’ve lost control of our non-public facts

The current enterprise version for plenty of websites offers free content in trade for private events. Many of us comply with this – albeit regularly by accepting long and perplexing terms and situations files – but we no longer extend thoughts about a few statistics being gathered in alternate for free services. But we’re missing a trick. As our data is held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the blessings we may want to understand if we had directly manipulated these statistics and selected when and with whom to percentage it. What’s more, we regularly do not have any manner of feeding returned to companies what information we’d alternatively not proportion – specifically with 0.33 parties – the T&Cs are all or nothing.

Aly Jones
Twitter evangelist. Web fanatic. Lifelong travel nerd. Passionate zombie scholar. Extreme coffee fan. Amateur entrepreneur. Avid beer lover. Had moderate success lecturing about wieners in the UK. Won several awards for short selling clip-on ties in Hanford, CA. Uniquely-equipped for creating marketing channels for cod in Bethesda, MD. Spent a weekend buying and selling Easter candy in Phoenix, AZ. Was quite successful at analyzing tar in the government sector. Have a strong interest in getting to know barbie dolls for fun and profit.