First let me set the scene for you. I had been watching countless documentaries about the dark web, Wiki Leaks, Anonymous, etc. I was in a real docu-phase. I had just recently watched The Islamic State by VICE News on Youtube, and was interested in finding counter sources to how they covered the events in Syria before and after the takeover by ISIS.
So I tweeted this:
Now, I didn’t see the reply from @virgiltexasthat until 8am the next morning. But something odd had happened next. That user had taken a screen grab of our conversation, and tweeted it to his 10,000 followers.
I was just straight up confused as to what he was referring to. Who is this guy? What is he saying to me? What’s updog? More importantly, why did our conversation get over 1,000 retweets? Did I say something wrong? Should I be embarrassed? I was truly perplexed.
To add to the confusion, friends and family were seeing my face all over 4 Chan, Cheezburger and FAIL blog – sites that were instrumental in bringing internet memes mainstream.
At first I was confused, and then I became paranoid. What if this internet troll harasses me for life? How should I respond to him? How should I act?
It wasn’t until I watched a documentary about Anonymous called We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists – that I truly came to understand this guy’s trolling behaviour. He was trying to trap me into responding a certain way, for entertainment value.
Luckily other FAIL blog followers didn’t see the humour in him trying to trip me up, either.
So the lesson to this story is this: Never, ever feed the trolls. They thrive on your reaction. And when anyone says updog to you, never, ever say, “What’s updog?” Unless of course you want a “Nothing, what’s up dog with you?” back.