[update at the end]
For the last week or so I have been 'engaged' in what is loosely described as a troll war. Simply put, a group of people hurl vulgar and profane comments at any and all passerby's like primates in cage hurling their feces and screaming at the onlookers.
Some may say that is a harsh comment, but it is not just others, they will debase themselves in equally vulgar and profane ways. When I realized there was no disrespect possible that would ever approach the level of disrespect they have for themselves, my scorn became pity. There is no virtue in them, no respect. If you watch long enough, you will even question whether there is much that can be called humanity.
There are those that continually engage them, to try and put them off, or to distract them from some unsuspecting wanderer. It is a losing battle because there are two fundamental issues that can not be resolved. The first is the easy one: there is nothing to respect in them. We work with people daily under the premise that if they are willing to improve themselves, we can help. I called them 'children' because their maturity level was that of 4 or 5 at best. They would verbally spar until you hit some point where they would just react: verbally spitting and screaming; putting together visual phrases that no self respecting gutter snipe would utter. Regardless of their actual age, their actions resemble a toddler throwing a tantrum. There is no rational way to discuss anything with them. It is all invective and slurs. When they have no one to abuse, they abuse each other and themselves. In the end, I couldn't even muster much pity. I don't pity a dog licking itself no matter how disgusting I find it. It is natural for the dog to do so. And, that is the second issue:
They have engaged in this for long enough to twist their minds into nothing resembling rational. In Christianity it is called a reprobate mind. But such a claim used by a Christian is meant as a rebuke, an attempt to reach the person in their bad behavior. In these people, it means a mind so twisted and lost, there is no humanity left to cradle or help. They are intelligent animals. Capable of speech, such that it is; capable of reacting to their environment, probably even capable of generally acceptable behavior in public. But they will seldom be involved in social behavior except in small, well vetted groups that will resemble nothing much more than rutting.
If you were out in a field and came upon animals acting like these, you would think them rabid and put them out of their misery. But these are humans, even if marginally so, and therefore have to be given some protection. A hundred years ago, we would have put them in an institution and forgotten about them - letting the orderlies and medical profession attempt some basic control on them. But, we don't do that anymore either. So, they are left to fester on the edges of our society, hurling their feces at whomever passes in front of them. Laughing and cackling at the disgust we show.
Only way to deal with them is to isolate them as much as possible. Set guardians to warn passerbys to avoid them and lock them behind a wall of their own creation.
After eight or nine days of wandering in their swamp, I realize I had more respect for myself and there was no value to my continuing. I will put them outside a wall of the community I share with others and stand my turn at the watch. It is the only humane thing to do.
A couple people have asked how to deal with them when you come across them. For most people, just block them and move on. Really, there is no redeeming value in engaging with them. If you must engage, don't use their vocabulary. They are used to doing so and you are not so it will come across weakly. Also, they will use it against you. They will think nothing of applying a double standard - even their response to this post has been to suggest I am trying to 'dehumanize' them. Their own debasement of themselves accomplishes that much better than any outsider can. Finally, they lie. About who they are, where they are, what they do. They take pictures from the web and claim it is them; they claim to be in locations safe from retribution or legal actions; One day they are in slums of our making, the next in a gated community safe from whatever (minority) group they are slurring today. They will claim to be educated although their very words belie such. They will claim to be 'real' people they find on the web.
These trolls are examples of a world gone off the rails. Part of the problem is the internet - it gives them access and anonymity. The probability of any of them acting in public as they do online is almost zero.