Internet Trolling: A People’s Philosophy

Who gets to define and label ‘trolls’? Will there be redemption for the comment section?

Once touted as a hopeful platform for generative, democratic participation, many people now see online discussion as a cesspool of hatred and toxicity. Just how angry is the Internet?

Yimin Chen (@Shinypants0) is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Information and Media Studies at Western University, where he studies satire, clickbait, and other types of “fake news”. His research interests include online communication, internet culture, and memes. In his spare time, Yimin co-hosts Western’s Gradcast podcast and occasionally finds time to work on his dissertation on internet trolling.

Justina Díaz Legaspe is a professor and researcher in Philosophy of Language, with a PhD from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina). Her main focus is on evaluative and discriminatory language. She is currently a post-doctoral visitor in the Philosophy Department of Western University, where she is conducting research on the meaning and use of slurring expressions. One of her goals is to come up with guidelines for fruitful exchanges with users of these expressions.

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