Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the biggest troll of them all? According to a UK study, not only are women just as abusive as men on social media, they're misogynistic, too.
After analyzing 10K tweets over a period of three weeks, researchers found that women were responsible for half of all slurs hurled behind screens. A special algorithm specifically honed in on the words "slut" and "whore" used in "an explicitly aggressive way."
So while women tend to be subjected to more online abuse, the assumption would naturally be that such trolling is perpetrated by men. Not so.
Often, women target other women, and they're doing so using the very language that demeans and degrades women.
I'd go one further and surmise that most body- and slut-shaming that happens online happens at the hands of other women. Right, Amy Schumer?
All it took was a photo of Schumer in a black bathing suit to bring out the ugly in total strangers.
I meant to write "good morning trolls!" I hope you find some joy in your lives today in a human interaction and not just in writing unkind things to a stranger you've never met who triggers something in you that makes you feel powerless and alone. This is how I look. I feel happy. I think I look strong and healthy and also like miss trunchbull from Matilda. Kisses!
Her response was on point. But the fact remains, social media is still the easiest place for women to go dark and bitchy without recourse. The same women who are no doubt sweetie pies during the day are free to lash out at other women online.
Some news sites now insist that all profiles are created using a person's actual data (real name, email, phone number), adding an element of accountability.
Lifting the veil from trolls may be the only way to expose them and make them thing twice about spewing hate so freely. One hopes so.
Candace Payne got more than her five minutes of internet infamy - and all from wearing a Star Wars Chewbacca mask.
The mom made social history after her live Facebook video went viral, racking up more than 3 million shares almost overnight. The calls came swift and fast, invites to hang in James Corden's famous car and Facebook's HQ. All for one ordinary mom who took a video of herself wearing a Chewie mask.
The internet webs are indeed a strange phenomenon. You just never know what will grab the public by the heart strings, and pull hard. A mom and her mask.
"That's not me making the noise; it's the mask," says Payne, cackling for the camera at the Wookie sounds.
Not surprisingly, the mask - which is not even new - is flying off the shelves at Kohl’s. Other retailers like Walmart and Disney have jumped on board, trying to cash in.
But the truth is, the kind of joy Candace Payne has cannot be bought or sold. The kind of joy doesn't come in a cardboard box. It has to do with Candace herself. It has to do with her infectious laugh, her lighthearted attitude to life.
That kind of joy cannot be replicated, though many will try.
Maybe the internet isn't such a mystery, after all. People naturally love happy, and continue to seek out happy whenever and wherever they can find it. Yes, even when it's just a mom sitting in a car with her Chewie mask.
It may have been your birthday, Candace, but you're the one who gave all the gifts. Your infectious laughter. Your huge smile. Your simple appreciation for the little things. Your honouring the big kid inside you.
"It's the simple joys," she says, wiping the happy tears from her eyes.
The internet loves nothing better than a smug 'Told You So' after something bad happens. This was never more apparent following the death of a vegan climber who perished while to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
Maria Strydom and her husband set out to scale seven mountains in seven countries - to prove that you can achieve great feats of athleticism without scarfing BLTs.
Cue the backlash with headlines equating the tragedy with Stardom's diet. Strydom brought her lifestyle to the fore in the hopes of dispelling myths and misinformation about veganism, only to have those assumptions held against her.
To be clear, Strydom died of altitude sickness, not malnutrition or any form of nutritional deficiency. Everest claims casualties every single year. And Strydom by all accounts was an experienced climber, who had previously trained and conquered other difficult ascents. So the word 'vegan' shouldn't have even figured. At all.
Yet every single headline reporting the tragedy that befell three climbers chose to hone in on 'Vegan Maria,' falsely attributing her diet to her demise. In setting out to prove what vegans can achieve, had Strydom somehow brought on her own fate?
Of course not. However, as headlines go, the vegan angle generates more interest than a straight-up reporting of the facts as they are.
Yes, the facts... In this case the fact is, altitude sickness - caused by a lack of oxygen at high altitude - can affect anyone, "and surprisingly can’t be prevented by someone including bacon or butter in their diet."
Disclaimer: I'm not a vegan, or even a vegetarian. It's not my chosen lifestyle, yet I don't feel the need to judge those for whom it works. And I humbly acknowledge that the vast majority of vegans - Strydom included - are healthier and fitter than I'll ever be.
I'm quite happy to own that, without feeling the constant urge to force feed every vegan out there a Big Mac.