Earlier this month our friends over at Peng! Collective released the magnificent project, Zero Trollerance, to reform sexist internet trolls. If you’re like me, you’ve long ago retired from reading comment sections and avoid the dark corners of the internet where misogynists feel comfortable releasing their poorly thought out views through the protection of their computer screens. But sometimes there is just no way to get away from these attacks. Luckily, there is now some help to keep misogynist trollers at bay!
Since we last worked with Peng!, they’ve been busy developing more elaborate and hilarious projects. including No Christmas for Angela Merkel, helping the Yes Men “Kanye West” Natalie Portman at Cinema for Peace and Vattenfall’s Responsiblity Campaign. The project Zero Trollerance is made up of 6 videos which guide misogynist twitter trolls through a reform project so they can emerge less offensive. They’ve once again captured their audience with humor while sending a serious and important political message.
Zero Trollerance works by targeting Twitter users through bots Peng! Collective has set up which search for a multitude of key terms such as “die stupid bitch” and “#feministsareugly”. Once these key terms are spotted, a swarm of other bots descends on the Twitter users with the six self help guides to help the users eliminate their inner troll. Twitter bans trolling bots but Peng! was able to get around this impediment by creating bots which send thousands of misogynist trolls messages and then disappear.
The six videos feature a creepy (but fun) old British man speaking calmly and knowingly to the misogynists in front of peaceful backgrounds such as clouds, waves and fields. He offers useful tips such as GBT (grunt before typing), a trick to help trollers find an outlet for their frustration.
The funny videos bring a lighter side to the severity of online harassment. Last year Pew Research Center revealed that 1/4 of female internet users between ages 18-24 have been stalked or sexually harassed online. Ada Stolz, the lead programer behind Zero Trollerance told The Telegraph that she was inspired to create the program because of conversations she’s had with transgender and feminists activists and journalists who told her about the non-stop attacks they receive from trolls online.
Zero Trollerance has gotten great reviews from the likes of the Telegraph and IT Pro. It seems to be unanimous that these misogynist trollers must be stopped, and if it can be done with a bit of humor, that’s even better.
If you want to support Zero Trollerance, become a coach! By creating twitter accounts Peng! can use as bots to find misogynists, you can help them keep Zero Trollerance going.