Some times we have no choice but to feed a troll

A DEAD child. A devastated family. A shell-shocked community. A poisonous post. A Twitter storm. A brace of outraged headlines.

If it seems too jaw-droppingly awful to be true, that’s kind of the point – jaw-droppingly awful is the new bar that must be met to ensure wall-to-wall media coverage, to guarantee the distinction of “trending”, and to grab a share of the attention that’s being focused on an unthinkable crime.

With a tug of the puppet strings, outrage erupts. Behaviour that would put anyone else at risk of disciplinary action at work can now be the basis of an entire career, and every one of us who has ever uttered a name that sounds like Hatie Plopkins – even if it’s accompanied by a string of expletives – is partly responsible.

Read the rest of this column at

Published in The National on July 6 2018.

Published by Shona Craven

Writer, editor, talking head

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