My reply to a ScienceBasedMedicine.org contributor, wondering about the wisdom or indulging in some serious snark:
Sometimes we persuade by extending olive branches, and sometimes we make friends with scathing sarcasm (just not the people it’s aimed at). Certainly I think it’s wise to take the high road more often, but the occasional snark attack is a relief from the tedium of trying to reason politely with people who probably have personality disorders.
I’ve always believed trolls were not just relatively normal people corrupted by anonymity and an audience (the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory (GIFT)1). Mentally ill people exist and they have keyboards. I was going to continue this post by elaborating on this pet theory of mine, but there’s no need: just read this here Guardian article, Internet trolls are also real-life trolls.
“The Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory (GIFT) is a postulate which asserts that normal, well-adjusted people may display psychopathic or antisocial behaviors when given both anonymity and a captive audience on the Internet.” ↩