#339: Trolls Will Always Take Their Toll

A Kangaroo Court of Public Opinion

Day in and day out, people around the world take to the internet to spew their opinions for all to see.

Some of these people are worth your attention.

Some of these people employ tactics that'll grab your attention despite your best efforts.

And some of these people aren't actually people at all – they're bot accounts.

So, what happens when these accounts, real or otherwise, start to coordinate their efforts with the aim of manufacturing a little good old-fashioned targeted online hate?

Scrolling Never Ending GIF by Paul Trillo

These types of coordinated efforts can sway public opinion and discourse so heavily that you'll be hard-pressed to have any original thoughts of your own.

With takes like this, you're probably thinking we're here to recommend some political podcast involving mind control or something, but this week we're here for Who Trolled Amber?, an incredible case study in a coordinated cyber campaign that affected the sentiment and opinion surrounding Depp v. Heard in the summer of 2022.

You might think that the legal proceedings of a failing Hollywood relationship are the last place you'd find a narrative as intellectually stimulating as this one, but Who Trolled Amber? definitely delivers.

Alexi Mostrous, the reporter behind Sweet Bobby and Hoaxed (Podcast Delivery #264), investigates what happened to Amber Heard and who might be responsible. He unravels the real story worthy of your attention: your thoughts can be swayed without you ever realizing it.

In the end, there's a good chance you're wasting your time and your attention because the boundless content and continuous stream of social media are just that – a rampant commoditization of your attention.

It’s not all bad, though. Sometimes there's utility behind what is being shared online. Overall, it’s a good idea to up your social media literacy and critical thinking however you can, and Who Trolled Amber? might help kickstart that new way of thinking.

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