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ShareVision Blog

Conversations on technology for community service providers

Interview with a Hacker


In the relatively early days of the Internet (I’m dating myself here) I had a colleague who made it clear over a period of time that she understood and truly believed that a computer virus literally meant that her desktop machine had caught a cold. I eventually had to explain to her as gently as I could, that computer viruses were in fact man made and created with the intention to cause mischief or harm and were not biological in nature. Her disbelief of this revelation was so huge, that all she could muster to say was “But why?... Why indeed?

Where are all the hacker interviews in magazines or online? Have you ever read one? Don’t we all want to know what is behind the creation of a “worm” or why and how you become a troll? What drives you to get into this line of “work”?

Hackers seem to only be depicted as either assisting in some mad, steal-all-the-money crime plot, or as contrite ex cons, now helping to stop terrorists. However there must be hundreds, no thousands of them and they can’t all be working for Dr. Evil or the FBI. What makes them tick?

A great read on this topic is by Jamie Bartlett, the director of the Centre for the Analysis of Social Media, who wrote the following very interesting piece for BBC Magazine called “Who are the people in the dark corners?"

He meets with hackers and trolls and interviews them and asks why they do what they do, and one admitted troll named Zack answers the following:

"Trolling is not about bullying people," he explained. "It's about unlocking situations, creating new scenarios, pushing boundaries, trying ideas out, calculating the best way to provoke a reaction."

Zack may have a lot of cyber company, as recent studies say that over 30% of millennials have admitted to trolling someone online. http://mic.com/articles/101908/one-statistic-reveals-the-sad-truth-about-online-misogyny

Are we getting trolled at work? Have you had your social media topics going sideways due to trolling? Social topics are big online and often first to see dissent. Just look to some of the outspoken women who have gone offline after speaking out. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soraya-chemaly/women-online-harassment_b_2567898.html

When does trolling become harassment? How do we keep ourselves and our clients safe? Maybe the answer is to keep talking to them, so we better understand the motivation, which can help us ignore or respond in a safer way to the bait we are fed.

Topics: Social Media