Rolling With the Trolling by Warren Bull
Image from Pixabay
I’ve written before about my Facebook page, “I Love Abe Lincoln,” https://www.facebook.com/rwb10/ which I use to build a platform for my upcoming book Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories. At that time I had received my first, “I hate Lincoln” post. Oddly enough I found that reassuring.
See, throughout my life, I have found that success attracts criticism. At the very peak of my athletic career, I became an average high school cross-country runner. Scores in cross-country meets were based on the finishing order of the top five runners on each team with the lowest score winning. A sweep was 5+4+3+2+1 = 15. After years of practice, I sometimes added to the opposing team’s total by beating a runner among their top five finishers. For that feat, a friend who said he could have been on the team informed me that I was “a natural” runner. Who knew? Here I thought years of sweating and plodding along had something to do with it.
So when the hate post appeared, I decided I had become prominent enough to gain a troll’s attention. With cultivation, learning through mistakes and keeping on keeping on (more plodding) the number of followers has grown. The number and variety of haters have grown too. Although Lincoln continues to attract the great majority of the flak, I have become a secondary target. I find it amusing that some accusations are the direct opposite of other accusations, which make it impossible for me to fulfill both. I’ve learned that the phrase, “You sound like an educated person” is not a compliment. Requests for personal information are usually veiled ways of asking,
“Won’t you please give me a reason that I can use to totally discount what you write on the basis that you are A or you are not B.”
In addition to the trolls, the page is starting to attract posts from people who want to use my platform to benefit themselves. I call them barnacles. “Earn money from home,” vies with “Find out more about the TRUTH on my site.” I had a number of posts from a man who espoused a very different understanding of Lincoln. I didn’t mind until he started answering many posts with nearly identical information. I politely asked him to stop and his formerly friendly response style changed to a rant. Like the other barnacles, I blocked him from the page. My favorite barnacle so far is the “World Renown Psychic” who warned me about the chaos surrounding me and informed me he could help reconnect with various loved ones including my daughter. I don’t have a daughter.
I am interested in what will rise to the surface next. I will let you know.