In the last few years the professional troll has arisen, not designed to anger you about a subject, but at the person saying it. We now have celebrities designed just for you to venomously despise, not because you disagree with them, but because they’re simply horrible people.
It’s clear that people are getting harder to shock, meaning that celebrities have had to resort to even more daring ploys for attention. In the last few years, we have seen sex tapes, meat dresses, award ceremony invasions, all deliberate attempts to raise awareness of a product or person. Shock PR tactics are evolving to ludicrous and downright offensive levels. We are seeing a generation of celebrities who are not only controversial but downright horrible, who are famous for making you hate them.
The media is now plagued by commentators who spew offensive comments just to get a reaction from the public, behaving in essence, like a troll.
For those living in a cave (or more suitably, under a bridge), a troll is a nickname for those who roam social media, upsetting people to evoke a reaction. This can include sexism, racism and even threats of sexual abuse or death. Thankfully this is being cracked down on but the scale of the problems means very few have faced convictions thus far.
The professional troll is successful due to their simple strategy. Nasty comments by celebs (usually on Twitter) get picked up by the media which are then shared countless times across social media like the online equivalent of cholera. The celebrity’s reputation can’t be harmed because it is built on these principles. Anyone voicing their disgust further spreads the celebrity in question’s name so you can’t really win, by responding you are merely fuelling the fire.
Vine video host Dapper Laughs is a great example. For those that missed his fortnight of fame, the alleged ‘comedian’ revels in making crude, sexists jokes at their expense. A real gent. Another famous member of this new generation is the Scottish ghoul Frankie Boyle, famed for making comments about Jimmy Saville and Princess Diana.
Thankfully, it seems that these people do have expiry dates.
They say there is no such thing as bad PR, but it does often have repercussions. Dapper Laughs, for example, has pretty much been killed off after the horror show that was his TV show and general national condemnation. Frankie Boyle’s antics, while initially making the headlines have faded away and now is so despised by the media, he’s unlikely to ever work on terrestrial television again.
It’s evident that eventually these celebrities will go away if they are starved of the media attention that they need to thrive.
The message is clear, DON’T FEED THE TROLLS!