CLBR #225: Online Trolls with Fusion’s Kristen V. Brown

Online Trolls with Fusion’s Kristen V. Brown

Click Here to Listen

img_6924-2-300x300Kristen Brown returns, now with Fusion, to discuss her recent work on online trolls. Brown writes about how technology is impacting the future of our bodies, our brains and our culture.  Before that, she covered tech for The San Francisco Chronicle also been a Hearst Fellow, a founding editor and writer at the politics and culture magazine The Caravan in India, a contributing writer for Adweek and a New York City breaking news reporter.

Her favorite stories are: profiling the Internet’s biggest troll, freaking out my boss with some tech-enabled cyberstalking, going to Internet addiction camp and this random story about a landfill in Upstate New York.


Brown has written a number of recent stories on trolls, must notably stories dealing with trolls and the history of trolls.

Instead of just turning off Twitter or logging out of Facebook when being trolled, I’ve found that it’s better to fight back. Here are the strategies that have worked best for me in shutting down different kinds of trolls:

  • The Angry Troll
  • The Joker Troll
  • The Just-Plain-Mean Troll
  • The Scary Violent Troll

Trolling evolved from humorous to cutting, said troll researcher Jonathan Bishop. “At one point in time all trolling was ‘trolling for the lolz’, [Ed note: laughter] but then Anonymous used it for ‘trolling for the lulz.’ [Ed note: laughter at someone else’s expense]. In other words, they called themselves trolls to justify their abuse of other people for their own personal sick enjoyment,” Bishop told me.

Twitter still hasn’t figured out where to draw the line when considering what kinds of non-violent speech constitutes harassment. But it also does not have mechanisms in place to ensure that behavior that’s clearly in violation of its policies gets dealt with.

This increasing use of harassing techniques will subject more and more scientists to pressure, and many of them will bow out of public discourse.

Carland has been donating $1 to Unicef for every troll-y tweet for a few months now and has so far raised more than $1,000. Her strategy has taken off—others have pledged to donate, or even match her donations.

Some other articles include:

Recent CLBR Episodes with Fusion:

CLBR #178: Ellen Pao Aftermath with Kristen V. Brown

CLBR #203: Battling Mexico’s Cartels Online with Rafa Fernandez De Castro

Commemorations and Shout Outs

Past Guests in the News 


Shouts Outs


Don’t Forget
CitizenLab featured in New York Times article
Governments Turn to Commercial Spyware to Intimidate Dissidents
Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers for ending the city’s 52-year streak of heartaches by winning the NBA Finals. Friday June 24th
is take your dog to work day.
pizap-com13764710455221 Unfortunately, their parade falls on the 46th anniversary of the day the Cuyahoga River caught fire. 598881_10151039097302854_692038557_n
Benet Wilson featured in New York Times article

Air Travel’s Golden Age Was Fine If You Had Enough Gold



  June 29 July 13   July 27
 hacked  balto goog  amy z
Charlie Mitchell author of Hacked: The Inside Story of America’s Struggle to Secure Cyberspace  Antitrust Lawyer David Balto returns to discuss the EU v. Google  Amy Ziering, Producer of The Hunting Ground and The Invisible War