Once again, we find ourselves confronted by what I'll call the “Hogg Dilemma." The scenario runs something like this: Parkland student David Hogg uses his platform on mainstream media outlets to make an incendiary, often downright false claim about gun control.
Guns rights advocates respond, thereby legitimizing Hogg and strengthening his tirade. Ignoring them would appear to be the more surefire way to shut him down, in the long run—but, given his confrontational, accusatory, and patently false approach, that is, admittedly, easier said than done.
Making matters worse, Hogg and his classmates have proven impervious to criticisms. They actually thrive on criticisms—affixing themselves as victims of guns rights advocates has become part of their foundation.
Remember, don't feed the trolls. Don't give them attention. Attention is what they want more than anything.
And just when we thought we could browse the internet or the TV without seeing that angry face scowling at us, the Hogg dilemma struck again—on CNN, if you can believe it. Hogg, this time accompanied by Cameron Kasky, spewed some provably wrong nonsense about gun laws, mid-terms, mental health spending bills—and all the other nervy talking-points. Naturally, the points went, not just unchecked, but quickly were lauded as further proof in CNN's gun control campaign.
Remember, don't feed the trolls. Don't give them attention. Attention is what they want more than anything. Hatred, vitriol, disrepute—all prove to them that they've won. The most powerful thing you can do when confronted by a troll is just nod and smile, then go on with your life.