Troll Hunting with Ginger Gorman
Ginger Gorman is a Canberra journalist with a multimedia career spanning over 16 years. After years of verbal abuse online in relation to her work, Ginger aimed to discover the truth about cyber hate and the people behind it.
Her latest project Troll Hunting has dived into the world of online abuse. Ginger interviews and analyses those that consider themselves keyboard warriors and technological revolutionists.
After relentless torment from online trolls, Ginger saw the impact it had on her reputation and career. As a journalist, she was aware that criticism was a factor of having a public voice however the abuse from anonymous online trolls severely impacted her mental health, family safety and career. Ginger decided to spend the following five years researching and navigating her way through the subculture of online trolling, the psychology behind online abuse, the effects and legal law enforcement across the globe tackling this new age crime.
My trolling investigation, published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Canberra Times and Stuff.co.nz on June…
The term trolling has been around for a number of decades but used more colloquially within the 21st century to describe a person who uses online platforms to produce hateful, inflammatory and disturbing abuse on social media in order create chaos for the sake of entertainment.
Over the course of the social media revolution and through research from the Australian institute, ‘more than a third of respondents – equivalent to 8.8 million Australians – said they had experienced more than one form of online harassment, with women most likely to be targeted’.
Troll Hunting follows Ginger’s research over five years and most importantly highlights the conversations and relationships she builds with the online trolls in order to gain a better understanding of the faces behind the hate. The sometimes brutally honest and undeniably sociopath insight into the trolling world will shock many readers.
Ginger’s hunt to understand the men who troll and specifically the large demographic of young white men that troll online has lead her into researching the mental health issues related with such dissociative hate. In addition, she looks into the large file of cases that show online trolling as a gateway to real-life crime and the lack of awareness, reporting and help being offered to combat the issue. She compared people from small cities across the world to the most well-known troll that sits in the highest seat of power, Donald Trump.
Troll Hunting was an exhilarating read from the very first page. Ginger looks at trolling online and the connection to a mass school shooting in New Mexico, and to white women being called cancerous. The book also delved into how domestic violence had led to a tirade of online hate for one victim. Each chapter was an exciting page turning experience I personally could not put down. I wanted to dive in and ask more questions, I wanted more information and I found a passion from within to fight for human rights.
The insight into the personal world of those that consider themselves trolls was a compelling look at the human experience and the faults we have created along the way. I was intrigued to look at the personal experiences of trolls, where such hate came from and what authorities were doing to combat and support the victims. Troll Hunting questions whether society has made trolling prominent by not giving help to those hurting within and in turn, hurting others to find comfort.
Without giving away too much, Ginger sums up her book by stating ‘its time to reach our hands back across the cold water – not just to predator – trolling victims, but to the perpetrators themselves. Because we all live in the society that made them’.
I recommend Troll Hunting to anyone interested in the human mind, the advances of technology or overall failure of humanity and the path to understanding and uniting as one.