WHAT deserves trolling range from something that is “harmlessly funny” to being “outright disgusting”?

In her study, University of the Philippines-based sociologist  Maria Corinna Pricila D. Escartin  pointed that online posts  that are bound to swarmed by critical and mocking comments  are  those that do  not meet desired expectations and  and   perceived as absurd or a “fail.”

She said that in her interviews, the Jejemon culture often came out with open criticism.

Jejemons were typically identified as individuals who linguistically tinker with the spelling of English and Filipino words in texting and sending SMS or posting online. It was a buzzword around 2010 where Jejomon individuals were perceived to have low tolerance for capacity to correct punctuations and grammar and would have their own sub-culture and fashion.

Respondents in her study “Rogue Cops among Rogue Trolls and Trolling in Social Networking Sites” that was published in the Philippine Sociological Review (2015) believe inn “burning” – or discrediting–  was a “necessary evil” in social networking sites where Jejomon subculture were regularly brought up.

Such attitude reflects that trolling can be a form of social control, she said.

Yet Escartin also noted that her study showed that some people feel that the internet was a place “where you should not be too obnoxious.”

One respondents even said that she would troll a person if posts were deemed hypocritical and shallow,

There is also a sentiment to troll a person that used social media as a “drama drive,” or a place where they can project “overly-negative energy.”

She said her study showed that social media may not a place where one should be expressing negative sentiments unless it was a social issue or something significant to the people.

She said that respondents also feel that anything belonging to the private sphere of the persons should not be announced in public spaces such as social networking sites. Simply, put, follow the old adage “don’t wash your dirty linens in public.”



Escartin found that the “jeje-speak”– the disease that hounds social media sites needs to curtailed,

“Trolling as an activity brings balance to the established norms in the community by reprimanding what the community members perceive as opposing core values,” she said.

But those who counter such notion, believe that trolling does not lead to sensible discussion and would only lead to consequences.

It was suggested that trolls’ egos can be avoided by merely ignoring them.

Trolling, she said was unjustifiable especially to those who believe that was being “used to control or manipulate people.”

Escartin agreed that trolls, for their aggression can be considered as “rogues” who “test and flouts boundaries as well as ‘cops’ who establish and reinforce limits.”

She said that further understanding of the trilling behavior online can potentially reveal hidden dimensions of social networking.

Her conclusion: “Rogue cops among rogues inevitably rise to police these online social spaces where freedom of speech does not appear to be as infinite as initially imagined.”

Joel C. Paredes

Joel briefly served government as director-general of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA), although he has been a practicing journalist and writer for nearly 37 years. He led a team organized by the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB)  and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) that worked on the book entitled “Protecting our Natural Wealth, Enhancing our Natural Pride.”