Nuggets of Wisdom

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

When Trolling Crosses The Line

Adalia Rose was a six-year-old girl with progeria. Despite her condition and less than appealing appearance, she loved to play dress-up and dance to music like any other girl her age. Her mother would take pictures and videos of her and post them on Facebook and YouTube.

While her videos often attracted the awe of sympathetic souls, it also attracted the ire of internet trolls. And I warn you, the hate she received would make even the thickest of skins cringe:
Facebook groups popped up with names like, "Adalia Rose should have been aborted," "Adalia Rose is responsible for 9/11," "Adalia Rose is a veiny testicle head." An arbitrary selection of archived comments: "I can't take Adalia Rose seriously, she looks like dobby the house elf" ... "Whats the difference between Adalia and a watermelon... One is fun to hit with a sledge hammer, and ones a watermelon" ... "If Adalia Rose is beautiful then my ballsack must be a model."
Her entire story is extremely heart-wrenching, and I wouldn't suggest reading it without a box of Kleenex nearby. Still I suggest reading it in its entirety in order to feel the complete severity of her situation. For this post, I'll highlight the most relevant--if not revolting--portion of the article:
Sometime in June, Carl Ludwig Sherburne noticed a new "bandwagon," his term for the Internet’s ephemeral obsessions, cluttering his Facebook timeline. The notoriously disruptive 4chan board /b/ had seized upon some evidently sick girl’s Facebook page, and with the Miami Cannibal Zombie meme dying down, the rage among his online peers had shifted to PhotoShopping this child’s veiny, hairless head onto the bodies of famous monsters and extraterrestrials. People pasted her face on E.T., Roger from American Dad, Teletubbies, Land of the Lost Sleestaks, Gollum, Mini Me. There were so many different juxtapositions of this Progeria Girl, as Sherburne would come to call her, that he would start collecting them, like virtual trading cards, and eventually amass more than 500.

After Adalia’s passing, he said, the only online trace of her existence would be these cruel images. “You know whose fault it’s gonna be? It’s not gonna be the millions of people on the Internet who looked at them. It’s gonna be yours for letting these pictures escape,” he stammered, as if Adalia’s baby photos were leaked documents. “You are a sick woman. You are more disgusting and horrible than my fat disgusting ass could ever be.” He was nearly spitting. “You are one stupid bitch.”
When it comes to trolling, I can understand targets like Chris Chan or CopperCab. At least they're grown men whose behavior partially incited it, who are mature enough (or at least should be mature enough) to handle internet drama, and who are old enough to defend themselves. But when it involves a defenseless, terminally-ill six-year-old girl, then it crosses the line. This is sick. Just sick!

The only bright side is that Adalia is in a much better place now and no longer has to endure her physical suffering, much less the emotional suffering she received from heartless bastards like Sherburne, who defend their repugnant actions under the guise of "trolling." There's a special spot in Hell for these cretins, and it's frozen in the ninth circle getting corn-holed in the eye sockets by pineapple-dicked demons from now until the end of effing time. (Or is that the punishment for creating Ultima 9? I get that confused sometimes.)