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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

When haters hate... silence them with sweetness

Since 'Eurotart' is the least of the misogynistic slurs which have been directed at me recently - I decided to have some fun with this troll...

Using what I learned in our MA teaching session on AI prompting, I asked Leonardo AI to generate an image of a 'Eurotart' - the images I got weren't particularly interesting or European. I was also curious as to why there were blurry tomatoes in the background.

I decided to add some additional prompts; 'Eurotart', 'blueberry', 'pie', 'EU' & 'stars' and got the following image - which was a decent attempt but I was hoping for something which looked more like the EU Emblem (which is definitely not a flag even though everyone calls it a flag).

I used the same prompts; 'Eurotart', 'blueberry', 'pie', 'EU' & 'stars' but also added 'flag' this time and got a pretty decent version of what I was after. But I realised that blueberries when cooked turn a sort of plumy purple colour and if I wanted EU blue I was going to have to ask for something else.

So I used the same prompts, but swapped the 'blueberry' for 'blue and got this image - the perfect "Eurotart" - oozing with sweetness to silence the troll who used the term as an insult.

The response to my tweet about this troll from my Twitter followers has been quite endearing and supportive for once! A reminder that there are decent people on the platform...

A general reflection on trolling: Most of the "official" advice given by charities such as the Centre for Countering Digital Hate - is to "block and ignore" trolls. However, I have always been of the opinion that this is disempowering to the victim and also unrealistic. If you are being deluged with comments from hundreds if not thousands of accounts, you can't avoid reading them in your notifications and are you realistically going to go through every single one of their accounts and block them individually? Instead, I prefer to empower myself by ridiculing them and encouraging my supportive followers to report abuse or dispute with them on my behalf; this has two benefits, firstly, it takes the focus away from the victim as an individual and makes the attack seem less personal and secondly, it drives engagement on the victim's content.

Obviously trolling is horrible, but it is also unavoidable if you use social media - for anything that is criminal abuse (hate speech, rape and death threats, etc.), I would absolutely recommend reporting and blocking. Nevertheless, you still have to develop a thick skin and coping mechanisms, especially for the tirades of trivial trolling, I often seem to experience. In this instance, collectively having a laugh at the troll's expense, has made me feel a lot better - and is a great way to deal with it!

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