Avoid the Egg Salad

If other people have to read your ignorant or hate-filled tweets, then you need to come out from behind the curtain.

Photo credit: Visual Content via VisualHunt / CC BY

Since the beginning of the Trump campaign, it seems like the anonymous spam, people who hide behind egg avatars with fake names/no name at all, on Twitter has gotten worse. And with his ongoing feud with the Khan family, it’s hit rotten levels.

When I expressed disgust over Trump’s treatment of Mr. & Mrs. Khan, I was inundated with tweets from “eggs” — not just one or two overall, but several. Any time that I would respond to one, within moments there would be another. At times, I felt paranoid because I thought that this had to be a reason it was all happening at one time. I’m not a stranger to criticizing Donald Trump, but the only time I’ve ever gotten any real “hate” from his followers was when I would respond to a tweet within a minute or so of him posting it. Now, users who criticize him get hate for responses posted hours later. The initial responses don’t even have to be mean or completely anti-Trump. If it’s not a ringing endorsement, somehow it becomes fuel for abuse from fans of his.

The eggs defending Trump don’t even make sense when they start spewing their hate. I’ve seen one argue that unless Trump used ‘the N word’ he couldn’t be a racist, while simultaneously suggesting that any white woman who didn’t marry a black man was a racist. I don’t know if the anonymous defenders just don’t understand how certain social issues work or if they’re trying to rile up or confuse opponents. Whatever is inspiring them or whatever their goal is, it’s gone past the point of being annoying.

And it’s time for it to stop.

I understand when people strongly support a particular candidate. I’ve been there. I loved me some Don Siegelman when he ran for Governor of Alabama, despite it being unpopular amongst family and friends, and I nearly annoyed my own then-Republican father to death. I’ve been a fan of Obama’s since mid-2008 despite having just joined the Mormon Church during his campaign; being a Mormon Democrat is something that could take years and a lot of therapy to describe. I even supported Bernie in the primaries of the 2016 campaign, though I’ve switched to Hillary for the general; and I’ve received grief from conservatives and liberals for both. I’ve seen support of opposition candidates in real life and online. And I’ve seen it get extremely heated.

But I don’t understand the need for anonymous support of a candidate or the need to turn that support into an abuse-fest against people of other political persuasions.

I know most are just trolls or even, as tinfoil-y as it sounds, Russian spambots. Either way, what’s the point? Does being an anonymous asshole actually encourage other people to vote for a particular candidate? Or is it all about the lulz?

You know, I can somewhat understand when a really conservative person is adamant about their position on social issues, even though I have the exact opposite beliefs than them on that issue. When it’s someone pretending or being paid to act a certain way, then that’s just gross.

I know that supposedly spam does work in some cases, or so I’ve seen in the news, but it just seems like it would be such a despicable thing to even attempt.

If it’s paid for the by the candidate, I have to wonder: Why do you need to annoy the hell out of people just to get a vote or two? Are you really that horrible of a candidate? Don’t you have advisers who could teach you how not to suck? Why do people who are running for office need someone to tell potential constituents that they’re ugly, stupid, or fat? Why do they need people telling voters that there’s something wrong with them if they aren’t straight or cisgender, especially when the candidate made it a point to say that they support the LGBTQ community in their convention speech?

Since it’s pretty obvious who I’m talking about, I guess I should ask him directly:

Photo credit: thetortmaster via Visualhunt / CC BY

Mr. Trump, why can’t you watch the History Channel or some other history/documentary channel that does regular specials on how not to be an early-to-mid-twentieth century dictator? Surely a “billionaire” can afford to take an hour or two to watch documentaries on these guys, or have someone summarize them with puppets and flash cards — the preferred method of teaching elementary school students things of a troubling nature like child abuse. Having people out on social media acting as your propaganda ministers is really disturbing — and that’s before one thinks about the isolationist stuff you’re promoting.

There has to be a way to get across your point without using spam.

If it’s not Trump, but people doing it to get a little attention or to annoy people, why not get a better hobby? Or have the guts to do it under your own name and image. Be proud of your hatefulness and lack of manners. Celebrate it like assholes before you would have been proud to do. Let everyone know who that raging jerk who is hiding behind an egg avatar is. Why do you always have a handful of followers or none at all? Why can’t you buy some? Professional assholes, I mean, pundits do it all the time. Be a part of that proud tradition of assholery. Stop being an anonymous egg and leave anonymity for the people who need anonymous outlets for reasons like safety and other legitimate issues.

If you need to get your rant on, get a blog or a diary, don’t take it out on a total stranger. They don’t deserve that. You don’t deserve to turn yourself into a jerk either. I know that most people who act like jerks aren’t going to do anything to change their behavior, but maybe this can encourage one person to stop.