Internet trolls have been around for a long time. Whether it was in the chatroom days or now on the 50 million social networks you choose to be on. The only difference is, it’s more public now. Whenever a troll gains traction, I tend to roll my eyes and ignore it, but since this is all up in my face this weekend, I feel like I have to talk about trolls in the cosplay world.
Twitter user @Ms_Meepysheep (and some others) have been saying that they are at Akon this weekend with the intention of groping as many people as they can (#gropecrew) and possibly using ether (if inhaled you can lose basic motor function and things become blurry) on people. Now, of course this is serious. But why would someone be announcing this to the world if they were truly going to be doing this? This stinks of troll. Trolls want to get a rise out of you. Trolls want to get the word passed around (I’m even posting about it). Trolls eat attention. Do not feed them.
People did the right thing and alerted Akon staff to be on the lookout. “But Holly..” You say, “What about alerting the Akon cosplayers about these awful people?” Listen. You need to be aware of things 24/7. Not just at conventions, in LIFE. If someone ever touches you in a way that you don’t like, tell said touchy person and tell someone else. Have a drink? Keep an eye on it. Don’t feel safe going somewhere alone? Ask someone to go with you. See something weird? Inform someone. Look at your surroundings, assess and react.