Must-read: Ben Smith and Rebecca Elliot's "user's guide" to Twitter's political trolls

in Uncategorized by

Ben Smith and Rebecca Elliot have published a must-read  “user’s guide” to Twitter’s political trolls:

[B]ecause they are, at their core and like the 12-year-old boys who invented the form on 4chan, desperate for attention, any engagement is a reward. Twitter also allows users to block trolls; but blocking is a form of engagement, and serves as a kind of thrilling encouragement and subject of discussion in the fervid trollsphere. The trolls ultimately turned the comments sections of blogs into scorched earth. Jonathan and I abandoned our POLITICO comments sections during 2007, and our community managers here at BuzzFeed have been startled by the nastiness that comes with covering politics. The trolls destroyed comments sections; they could wind up rendering Twitter close to uninhabitable by the end of this intense election cycle.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.