What’s the Opposite of a Troll?

An Open Project Spotlight

Meghan Lazier (@meglaz) is a digital product designer who is interested in civic innovation and design for inclusion. Meghan was selected to join our current round of Mozilla Open Leaders with her project, “What’s the Opposite of a Troll?” where she’s tackling some difficult and important problems around online life today.

I interviewed Meghan to learn more about “What’s the Opposite of a Troll?” and how you can help!

What is “What’s the Opposite of a Troll?”?

It’s a collaborative digital project that is attempting to name, recognize and celebrate the behavior online that’s at the opposite end of the spectrum of how a troll behaves. We’re on a mission to do two things:

1. Crowdsource names for the opposite of a troll. What is one word that we can use to identify the opposite of a troll?

2. Curate and share online content and interactions that exemplifies the type of behavior, interactions and spirit of we want to see online.

It can be difficult to only advocate against something. What do we want to see online? What types of content and connection do we want to encourage online? It’s much easier to rally around a positive vision of what’s possible online rather than always referring to its opposite.

Why did you start “What’s the Opposite of a Troll?”?

Just hearing one person’s idea of the opposite of a troll is interesting, but it’s not captivating. The larger the conversation around this question, the more dialogue there is, the more interesting the question itself becomes. I’m interested in curating a digital space where people can create a vision for the future of the internet.

Has your understanding of trolling changed since you started this project?

What’s definitely changed is my awareness of the incredible resources that are available if you or someone you know has been trolled. I’m a huge fan of SquadBox, another Open Leadership Project, that lets family and friends help monitor suspicious messages in your inbox so you only see messages you want to see.

I heard Emily May of Hollaback! speak at MozFest this year. She also came to my session. It’s been fantastic to connect with people who are looking at the issue of trolling and harassment from different angles.

What are you most proud of accomplishing at MozFest?

MozFest was a fantastic space to start the conversation, gauge interest and see if the initial question was broad yet focused enough to have a conversation around. It was fun to connect with the first contributors to the project and get their feedback. It was also great to leave MozFest with a list of 100+ participants that want to keep updated on the progress of the project!

How are you keeping this work alive post-MozFest?

MozFest was really a testing ground for the project. Post-MozFest is when the work really begins! Our next steps including building out a site where anyone on the internet can contribute and help name the opposite of a troll.

How can others help you continue the work on “What’s the Opposite of a Troll?”?

Anyone who wants to share their ideas about What’s the Opposite of a Troll? is welcome to participate. Since the project is just launching, we’re looking for people who can help build a platform — whether front or backend developing, content creation or potential partnerships.

If you want to share your vision for the opposite of a troll and the future of the internet, subscribe to our email list email list. We’ll update you as soon as it’s possible to submit and curate.

What meme or gif best represents your project?

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