Tuesday, 20 January 2015

I was a teenage "lolcow"

This article from boing boing on the continuing development of GG and 8chan is very scary and interesting. 


One of the things that interests me is the critical framework that these bullies are building around their behaviour. For example:

A "lolcow" is who I was between the ages of 12 and when I finally got into the moderate safety of the 6th Form (I didn't fully shake it till I left school). Walking around the school for most other kids I was just a way to generate lulz, and responding with retreat, fear or defiance were all adequate responses. I always gave them what they wanted: a reaction. 

At the height of my bullying experiences an actual in person suicide threat was met with more goading for lulz. So I can't begin to imagine how a awful it can get online where bullies are removed and abstracted from the people they are attacking. Especially as online becomes offline too with this horrible practice of doxxing. I am so glad I was bullied before Facebook existed as it meant I could escape it for some of the time. 

Bullying is never offline though. It is always at it's worse inside the  "lolcows" head. Where it can't be turned off.