How Lonely, Powerless Isolation Can Lead Online Bullies to Exert Control Through Mean Comments

Comments Section

A rather forthright, but very insightful animation by The School of Life attempts to make sense of the increasing amount of vitriolic comments that show up online. Much of this hateful behaviour can be explained by a very lonely mindset. Many of these type of commenters are stuck in place by their own sense of isolation and lack of power, so they choose to exert their control in a safe, anonymous place where they might feel supported or even welcome a fight. And while it’s hard not to be hurt or scared by what these nasty trolls say, the reality is that this is only a small subset of bullies and that the much of society is actually good.

After spending a while in the comments sections, it can be easy to to form the belief that humans have grown into monsters. The good news is that even though comments claim to reflect how the world is, they in fact represent only the fringe views of a tiny percentage. They induct us to forget the vast invisible army of moderate, reasonable, kind not terribly opinionated individuals who are just standing by in silence, as appalled as we are. The world is much saner than it appears.

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.