Concern trolls: Go concern somewhere else

Concern trolls exhaust me.

If you are unsure what a concern troll is, here’s a definition from Urban Dictionary:

“A person who posts on a blog thread, in the guise of “concern,” to disrupt dialogue or undermine morale by pointing out that posters and/or the site may be getting themselves in trouble, usually with an authority or power. They point out problems that don’t really exist. The intent is to derail, stifle, control, the dialogue. It is viewed as insincere and condescending.”

There are a few variations on that definition which you can read over here.

Concern trolls are legion. They express concern, they may have questions about something that has already been answered, or they want to know whether the writer has considered an alternate perspective.

Usually, their underlying motive is to disagree, derail, and argue. Because they start by expressing concern, they seem to think that people won’t realise what they’re really doing.

They’re wrong though because concern trolls are generally really obvious.

One wandered into my space yesterday on a meme related to ABA. This person asked about about the apparent silence from within the autistic community with regards to the validity of Facilitated Communication (FC). More specifically, they were concerned about “the abuse of disabled people by FC.” The autistic community has not been silent about FC. For other people who may have concerns about FC, please read this from Amy Sequenzia.

Of course, when I and another commenter countered her concerns, she attempted to play oppression olympics and claimed that it was “obvious” that we didn’t know what it was like to systematically manipulated and misinterpreted. She did of course because she was a member of “more than one minority” (she mentioned two). It went downhill from there, and she earned herself a ban.

She wasn’t the only concern troll who I’ve encountered this week. They’re everywhere. They concern about marriage equality. They concern about the way people of colour fight for their civil rights. They’re just so concerned.

Each encounter with a concern troll is exhausting. They aren’t genuinely concerned. They have already made their minds up, and nothing anyone writes will change their minds.

What is the point, concern trolls? What are you trying to achieve here? Do you think that by concerning all over people that we would be more inclined to listen to you? Do think that by concerning all over people that we will think that you have good intentions?

You’re wrong. You’re so obviously disingenuous. Your points, your questions, your have you considereds are all things that have been countered, answered and considered several times before.

So, to future concern trolls, I would like to say:

Go concern somewhere else. If you really have to be concerned, be concerned that I do not want you in my (virtual) home.

Really, just go away.

1 thought on “Concern trolls: Go concern somewhere else”

  1. CW: Language that may seem apologetic of the anti-FC crowd at first glance but isn’t really and more or less argues against the main pro-ABA anti-FC points.
    You know, it’s funny that that concern troll expressed “concern” about the validity of FC on an ABA ethics meme, because the reason that FC opponents find FC so “concerning” is because there are instances in which it has been found that the facilitator is the one giving the answers unconsciously via the idiomotor effect. This, of course, does not mean that that happens during every FC session, and apparently the research on that is complicated and does not imply a complete absence of authorship on the part of those communicating. Also, there are cases in which it is highly unlikely the facilitator is doing that; whoever heard of being able to influence every individual letter someone types just by pushing their shoulders. If anything, that could interfere with it if the user did not understand that they were being facilitated. Not to mention that even the way Amy Sequenzia is facilitated, it looks like all Amy would have to do if she did not understand what she was doing is drop her arm and that facilitation would be over in a heartbeat.
    Furthermore, ABA methods do the kind of guiding that is so criticized in the anti-FC research and discourse ON PURPOSE, CONSCIOUSLY, and get praised for it. Also, training people to say certain words on command is no more effective in fostering genuine understanding of language than false facilitated communication is. Not to mention, the criticism they give of RPM is “prompt dependency”. Hmm, sounds like that is something operant conditioning does in spades.
    Why is it that when non-human animals communicate as a result of operant conditioning, they claim the communication is fake, but they then say ABA (which is operant conditioning) is the only real way to teach nonverbal autistics to talk? Maybe it is because they have a personal stake in promoting ABA, so they gloss over these inconsistencies that they themselves are all too happy to perpetuate. Personally, I believe that one is no worse off with truly fake FC than they are with being conditioned to give answers that they weren’t really meaning to say (i.e. “I was upset” instead of “Apples and bananas”, which translates to “Thinking apples and doing bananas”, which in turn translates to “I tried to make my body do X, but it didn’t cooperate and did Y instead”) via ABA. Also, how can FC “steal” the voices of disabled people who are not being given or allowed an “official” voice in the first place? Disabled people in those positions were not listened to in the first place, their nonverbal communications were considered illegitimate, and parents often speak as them the way people do with pets and people listen to that as if it really were them, ergo they were given nothing of communicative value and so not only has FC stolen nothing, there is a chance that it has given them something genuine in the way of communication, even if it is just the facilitator correctly interpreting their emotions when no one else will, and something good is always better than nothing.

Comments are closed.