I have a confession. I love one kind of trolls. The kind that live in dark, dank places, like under footbridges, and jump out to grab unsuspecting passersby. This little guy on my post nearly blends into my kitchen counter top. As trolls go, he’s actually friendly. He’s kept me company at times by sitting on my desk and daring me not to write. I’ve never taken his dare.
The trolls I don’t like are the ones who steal pictures of someone they aren’t, pose as nice people who want to be Facebook friends, and then who ask inappropriate personal questions. All you women out there on Facebook know who I’m talking about.
I’ve have a cluster of such trolls in the past few months. I have no idea what they want other than my street address, phone number and cell number. Yeah, like I’m going to give up that information. Email addresses are more public because FB, LinkedIn, Goodreads, Twitter, personal websites, Pinterest and other social media platforms require them. Many of these trolls start with calling me “dear.” I’m not your “dear.” I’m not your “deer.” You have no right to know what color my underwear is. If you pose as my friend and then ask if I’m married, earth to troll, my marital status is on my Facebook profile. And I don’t care if you widowed or divorced.
What makes me so angry is the co-opting of pictures on military men who are actively serving or who have served our country honorably. Yes, many military men have FB presences. It’s their right to do so. But to have someone steal your picture, add a different name and then pretend to be someone they aren’t — shame on the trolls.
Take two examples, one concerning names, the other concerning s picture.
Have you noticed how many of these trolls make up names? I mean, really, Hasam Judge? Gen. Markus Laubenthal? Heinz Winter? Sounds like cold ketchup. I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
The other icky type co-opts pictures. My two favorites here are the man who posed as a 4-star general of the Navy. Um, Navy flag officers are admirals, not generals. Some have gone to Army University. Um, it’s West Point. But back to the pictures. My very most favorite was a troll who stole a picture of a real Marine colonel, said he was in the Air Force (never say that to a Marine), and claimed to be a general. The colonel’s insignia were clear in the picture. What was even clearer was the picture: it was the husband of one of my real-life friends. We had a great laugh, although her husband hinted he’d like to see this troll in the cross-hairs of his sniper rifle. I think he was kidding. No, wait, Marines don’t joke about things like this.
So, FB gal pals. When you see one of these very handsome men in uniform sending you a friend request, deny it. Mark it as spam. If you do the latter, FB will remove the image. If we all do this, we protect the sisterhood.
One last question for the trolls: Does your mother know what you’re doing?