I’m Miss Lucy and I have a Juris Doctor degree! I’m ready to bring it on!
Internet Troll Defined: in internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, and by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
Two studies published in 2013 and 2014 have found that people who are identified as trolls tend to have dark personality traits and show signs of sadism, antisocial behavior, psychopathy, and machiavellianism (the employment of cunning and duplicity in statecraft or general conduct).
My recent Huffington Post article about how ECT saved my life brought out all kinds of nasties, which I fully expected. Their mission is to find people like me who write online about positive ECT experiences, and then they spew lots of heinous comments.
Enter a person with a lot of free time on her hands. She hails from the remote Australian outback. I’ll call her “Olivia Newton”.
G’day, mate! Olivia Newton’s my name and trolling’s my game!
I proclaim Olivia Newton as the winner of the “Most HuffPost Comments Written Award” (20+) and “Most Bizarre HuffPost Comments, Many of Which Have ALL-CAPS” Award.
Olivia Newton’s remarks had the flavor of Dr. Evil’s introductory speech in the film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
During a father-son therapy group brilliantly led by actress Carrie Fisher, Dr. Evil reveals his bizarre childhood in his group introduction. Dr. Evil depicts his father vividly and says, “He’d make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark.”
That line particularly reminded me of Olivia Newton’s comment which asserted that “Bipolar disorder was invented in 1995!”
If you’ve never seen Dr. Evil in group therapy, it’s worth watching!
Ever since my article was published, I was handling the negative comments fairly well. After reading the first two lines of a comment, I could tell which way it was going. If the comment seemed respectful, I’d read the whole thing and sometimes reply. If not, well, buh-bye!
The day I read Olivia Newton’s first three Huffington Post comments, I tried to be compassionate and give her a chance.
At first I replied to her, although it was obvious that something was way off in her noggin. (I shouldn’t talk, but you know what I mean…) She left more comments the next day, and more after that, and more!!! One of Olivia Newton’s comments falsely claimed I was paid by the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) to lead my free support group. (I wish!)
Then I got an email notifying me that someone replied in response to a three-year-old Amazon book review I wrote about Dr. Liz Miller’s Mood Mapping.
It was Olivia Newton! She found my review, that wily Aussie, and wrote that I was a liar because my book review mentioned I didn’t take medications.
After I wrote the Mood Mapping review, like many people with bipolar disorder, I attempted the no-medication route and I relapsed so badly I asked for ECT and meds to save my life.
But Olivia didn’t put two and two together, although one of my chickens could do it in her sleep. Her comment calling me other names that I’ll leave to your imagination crossed a line. Of course it was no surprise that she used ALL-CAPS.
I consulted with my lawyer Miss Lucy, J.D. She barked that she’d work with me pro bono, I mean pro doggie bone!
I briefly replied to Olivia Newton on Amazon. I explained I was off meds when I wrote my review, and that her comments had become defamatory. I told her I hired a lawyer and if she wrote any further comments about me on the internet, she’d be hearing from the lawyer.
I didn’t expect that to do a thing, but it hurt so good to write it!
I wouldn’t have written it if she lived down the street – just sayin’. If she lived here I’d set her up with The Kraken Lady!
After that hullabaloo was over, I let it go. Then, yesterday I visited my Huffington Post ECT article to check if there were any new comments.
I noticed that half the comments I saw a few days ago were missing. Why could that be?
Olivia Newton had erased all her comments!
I visited my Amazon Mood Mapping book review. Her comment? Gone!
Miss Lucy saved the day!
I know that hiring a canine lawyer won’t always work in these situations, but for a fleeting moment I savored a feeling of justice.
Have a great weekend, my friends!
Lucy also moonlights as a therapist – this collie is multitalented!
Dyane’s memoir Birth of a New Brain – Healing from Postpartum Bipolar Disorder will be published by Post Hill Press in 2017.