A Redditor discovered her husband was viciously trolling people online and refuses to stop.
In a post called "I just discovered my husband of six years is a Reddit troll. I'm pregnant," posted to Reddit's r/relationship forum, user whatanasssss posted a troubling story about how she stumbled onto her husband's secret life online.
He left the browser open on our laptop after he went to work this morning. I go to work after, so I usually hop on and do my own things on my real account....I was disgusted at what I found. My husband is a troll. A really fucking nasty troll. He leaves horribly mean comments to all kinds of people. They're filled with racist slurs, awful insults, he tears into fat people, ugly people, etc. He loves to troll around places like /r/progresspics to discourage people, etc. He's sent PMs to people to call them names, calls women who post on /r/gonewild sluts and whores and cunts, etc. I was horrified. Completely horrified.
She does not give his user name on Reddit, but according to her, his behavior doesn't stop with Reddit. He apparently trolls Tumblr telling young women to kill themselves.
It made me wonder what else he did on the internet, so I looked at the browser history to find him also harassing teenagers on tumblr. Telling them to kill themselves, calling cute girls ugly and fat and stupid, etc. It horrified me to think this was the man who could be raising our daughter with me in a few months.
She posted an update later, after she confronted him about what she discovered.
I asked him, flat out, if he was harassing and bullying people online. He said yes, and immediately withdrew. After telling him that I needed to know why — really why, not just "I don't know", he said he needed time to think about it.
When he finally gave me his answer, I was disappointed. He said he trolled/bullied people because it was an outlet for him to relieve stress. He said he didn't view the people as real, or what he was doing as anything other than a joke, and if it hurt feelings, "those people have bigger problems and it's not my fault."
We all know that we're living in an age where it's easy to post something online and have a lot of well-meaning people assume that it's real. I know this could very well be an elaborate hoax. But for the sake of argument, let's assume this is real.
Here's the thing—this Reddit post might be fake, but I guarantee you that there are tons and tons of trolls doing exactly what she described her husband doing, who probably have wives, girlfriends and children who have no idea they're sitting online in the middle of the night stalking people on social media and telling them to commit suicide. She's pregnant and she just discovered her husband aka the father-to-be of her child is telling women online to kill themselves. Holy shit. His comments to her are extremely telling about the kind of person who engages in the trolling many of us have come to know in these parts. He dehumanizes women and the other people he trolls online to the point that he doesn't even see them as "real."
We often picture trolls as isolated shut-ins who lack the social skills to form meaningful bonds with other people, hence the need to attack others anonymously online. But what if that's not the case? What if our image of trolling is completely wrong? If we're being real here, it's far more likely that the angry troll who threatens to rape and kill you for tweeting about issues that impact women is someone's boyfriend or husband or father.
In the update, the Redditor said she told him they needed to go to counseling or try a separation. He apparently chose leaving his wife over curtailing his online harassment, which is nothing short of depressing. "He told me that he wouldn't be going to counseling," she wrote. "Because there's nothing wrong with what he's doing, and he deserved to have his 'me time' and release his emotions."
The whole thing is just incredibly sad. I read this story to a friend of mine who was fascinated by the man's obsession with building a "secret" life online. "Is being a gross Internet troll the new 'having a mistress'?" he asked.
"My husband is a nice, gentle man who is supportive and kind. In our 9-year relationship, we've fought three times total. I never thought this is a behavior he would take part in," Redittor whatanasssss wrote. "I'm not afraid of him, but I am disgusted with his behavior."
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