These are Criado-Perez examples of the worst that she got.
There’s difficulty in following up many of these as accounts have been suspended or deleted but there are some telltale signs that things are harmless trolling and working these out are basic online survival skills:
- An egg is almost certainly a harmless troll using a throwaway account.
- Anime avatars are another giveaway.
- Is there a troll-face in the avatar? Guess what, it’s almost certainly a troll.
- Check the person’s timeline and image library. Is it full of outrageous comments to other people and image macros with crude messages and offensive memes/pictures? It’s likely a troll.
Ignore the trolls. Do not give them attention, that’s what they want. The more attention, the better. Press attention all the better.
If you want to know precisely how seriously Perez’ threats should have been taken, just look at the pair who were arrested and jailed, pointlessly, at great expense for a grand total of eight weeks each.
Criado-Perez’ example messages from the link above in order:
- 1-12. Trolls – Block, ignore, move on with your life.
- 13-16. Disposable accounts used to dox drop. Dox dropping is more serious and it’s becoming a worrying trend, not only in online abuse but in activism as well. TERFs and SWERFs have been using it. This genuinely IS straight up abuse and exposes you to genuine potential harm. Go to the rozzers.
- 15-21. Obvious trolls.
- 22. A bomb threat is pretty obviously spurious, but this is different in character to the ridiculous case of the Twitter Joke Trial and probably worth a follow up.
- 23. Obviously hyperbolic troll. Ignore.
So, out of 23 instances chosen as examples, presumably of the worst she suffered, 4 were worth taking remotely seriously and another 1 worth following up on to be on the safe side.
Recognising trolls is a pretty basic internet survival skill.
If you’re being abused on Twitter, engage these steps before you panic.
- Check their avatar for telltale signs of trolling (meme, troll face, egg, anime character).
- Check their timeline. Is it full of other outrageous messages to other people on various topics? If so, they’re likely just a troll.
- Check their image gallery. Is it full of memes, shock images (Goatse etc) and so on? Then they’re likely just a troll.
- Have they doxxed you? – Then take it seriously.
- Is their threat against you credible? It almost certainly isn’t.
Attacks on people following internet spats are incredibly rare, despite the ubiquity of the internet. As ever, the best advice is simply DON’T FEED THE TROLL.
Where, I think, we’re running into a problem these days is with what I call Synergistic Trolling, or what might also be called Symbiotic Trolling.
This is a situation, such as we find with Suey Park, Criado-Perez and Anita Sarkeesian where both the troll and the target gets something out of being trolled. The troll gets the attention, the reaction and the drama – often amplified to the point of mainstream media, the trollee gets to point at the trolling as proof of their claim that racism/sexism/whatever else they’re claiming is real, true and a big problem. Both sides benefit.
I’m afraid, given Criado-Perez’ conduct since the incident, on Twitter, it is my opinion that she is pretty much a troll herself. She is frequently abusive, dismissive and will not brook dissent – however polite or considered. Unfortunately that is the case with a lot of these sorts of claims and by pointing at trolls and calling any opposing view sexist, misogynistic or trolling it can be effectively silenced.