I completely agree with you, I’m just concerned that…

Oh concern, concern, concern.  Oh trolls, trolls, trolls.

I read a lot of news articles and blogs and such, but even more than reading the articles I love to read the comments section.  I love/hate reading concern trolls.  Their logic is pathetic at best, cultish and grossly misinformed at the worst.  It makes me feel more validated in my opinion when I read concern trolls because I see how desperately they have to stretch research, how poorly read they are in research, how generally misinformed they are, etc.  Unfortunately, I eventually realize, that these thoughts come not only from this one lost soul whose comment I happen to be reading at the moment, but permeate most of the comment section and the rest of the world in general. Then I get sad and need Manhattan.

If you’re not familiar with the term, here is Wiktionary’s definition (I know, super legit right?  Unfortunately the term hasn’t quite made it into Merriam-Webster’s):  “Someone who posts to an internet forum or newsgroup, claiming to share its goals while deliberately working against those goals, typically, by claiming “concern” about group plans to engage in productive activity, urging members instead to attempt some activity that would damage the group’s credibility, or alternatively to give up on group projects entirely.” (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/concern_troll)

So essentially, what happens is on a forum about let’s say weight, pro-weight, everyone is different, size  0 is as legit as size 20 so long as you’re happy and healthy, your general commentor is all like “Fuck yeah!  Fuck diets!  I’m happy and healthy at 16!  Go me!  Go everyone!”  And I read this and smile and feel happy that people are starting to accept their bodies and not unrealistic standards.  Then, I continue to read and I find a bunch of concern trolls being all like “Well, yeah happy and healthy is good, but I really worry about their actual health.  Like, there’s not possible way to be healthy at that weight and I can’t imagine these women are actually happy with the way they look.”  The subtext being “anyone over size 4 is gross and they’re going to die and they’re never going to have sex.  We should just put them out of their misery.”  This can be used to justify beliefs about denying employment, blocking healthcare benefits to people, simple exploitation, and more.   My favorite is this full length article that is nothing but concern trolling about little girls eating chocolate: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1336960/Why-mustnt-afraid-tell-daughters-fat.html.  I have also read some really great concern trolls about the Trayvon Martin case, apparently people are worried that Zimmerman “just won’t get a fair shake with all this media attention.”  Another favorite?  “I agree that no woman deserves to be raped, but they really should be more careful going out looking like that.  They know what could happen.”

(<<–How cute is this guy?)

I often can’t tell is the person knows they are a concern troll.  I think some people honestly are “worried” and others are just being dicks.  The ultimate goal of these people is to make you change your mind by making you think that they are so worried about you.  It is no longer appropriate to openly disagree with people, we have to “express concern” and “politely disagree with some minor points.”  Fuck this.  I’m making it my job to start calling out concern trolls.  If you have a dissenting opinion, be fucking honest with it.  Admit it. Don’t be a dick by trying to show how “concerned” you are and how much you “just want to help.”

Okay, have a nice life, and avoid the trolls!

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