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I agree that “troll” is used too often to shut down discourse. However, that doesn’t mean that trolls don’t exist.

I reserve “troll” for people who make personal attacks and threats, continually use disparaging language, and especially those who use online tactics to harass, such as jumping platforms and flooding inboxes with hatemail.

If these things have never happened to you, consider yourself lucky.

There are, of course, other people who are like broken records, repeating the same arguments over and over ad infinitum. I don’t think they are trolls. I think they are boring, and I have no interest in going round and round the rosemary bush with them. I find it sad this is how they choose to spend their time, but that’s no reason for me to waste my time engaging with them.

This particular piece you responded to was about the (in my view) ridiculous free speech arguments that go on online. Freedom of speech does not equal freedom from criticism, an obligation to listen, or the right to use someone else’s stage. All it does is prevent governmental action against the speaker.

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