For my first Digital Dialog badge, I submitted a combination of two artifacts around one topic: Internet trolling. I see this as falling under the “online and offline identities” category. The first artifact is an episode of the Zeugma podcast. I was the lead producer of the episode, which was released in the wake of a 2012 controversy surrounding Reddit troll “Violentacrez.” For that episode, I interviewed Dr. Whitney Phillips, a lecturer at New York University whose dissertation was on trolling. Dr. Phillips also published an op-ed in the Atlantic about the Violentacrez controversy. The episode, which has been downloaded 274 times as of July 2015, also includes interviews with a Reddit user who’s experienced trolling and an online gamer who practices it. The second artifact is my contribution to a HASTAC conversation about establishing trolling policies for a massive open online course (MOOC) entitled The Future of (Mostly) Higher Education, which I participated in throughout January and February 2014.
I position this submission under “online and offline identities” because a lot of the debates around trolling are about how much one’s “online” and “offline” identity can be separated. For instance, can/should a troll’s inflammatory posts have repercussions IRL (i.e., in real life)? Is it ethically defensible, for instance, for a person to be fired or prosecuted for trolling? What about the borders and limits of anonymity, etc.?