“This page wasn’t removed. We reviewed the page you reported for harassment. Since it did not violate our community standards, we did not remove it. Thanks for your report.”
This is the message I received after reporting a hate page on Facebook. Near the top of the hate page was a statement that encouraged the extermination of all Jews. Along with that statement was a photo of my face and the name Ben Garrison. Trolls had stolen my artwork and photos from my blog, my cartoon site as well as my fine art site and had concocted an entire page devoted to spewing libelous hate. The troll entity called the page ‘Ben Garrison Cartoons—the Official Site.’ The trolls had stamped the name ‘Ben Garrison’ onto as many hateful images as possible throughout the page. How does one stop such blatant libel? Where do these trolls come from? Is it even possible to track them down? Why do they do such terrible things? Why me?
As I found out, it’s not just me. Many others have suffered the same outrageous indignity. It appears that trolls are no longer content just to talk to each other on sordid sites such as ‘4chan’ or ‘Stormfront.’ They want to go mainstream. Therefore, social media are a natural target for them. Do they really believe the vitriolic memes they are shoveling or are they merely playing an elaborate prank? It doesn’t matter. Their memes of hate must not go mainstream. Facebook must wake up and block the hate before it gets established. Hate speech is not free speech. Hate speech is blind, one-dimensional blackness. It is not reasoned debate. It loudly shouts for the murder of human beings and Facebook is providing them a megaphone for that purpose.
When the big banks were bailed out in 2008, I was outraged. I had written both senators and my congressman and asked them to vote ‘no’ on the bailout bill. It passed anyway. I had read G. Edward’s Griffin’s landmark book, “The Creature from Jekyll Island,” and I knew this was yet another step toward a corrupt system run by an oligarchy that is replacing our Constitutional government. I figured it was time to speak out against the growing police state and since I was an artist, editorial cartoons seemed the best way of doing something. It almost seemed like my patriotic duty. I had to help my country. My dad was a WWII veteran who fought against tyranny and fascism. Now it was my turn to do something about it. I drew anti-Federal Reserve and anti-banker bailout cartoons as well as pro-Constitution cartoons. I began posting them on my blog and various stock message boards. Some became viral. “The March of Tyranny” was seen around the world by millions. I drew it in only three hours. It is also the most trolled cartoon
I decided to set up a specific web site for Ben Garrison cartoons and in 2010, www.grrrgraphics was born. I added a disclaimer that explained that my work was being altered by nefarious trolls and left it at that. I had read it’s best to ignore the trolls. That was the way to go. Don’t give the sadists what they craved the most—attention.
One day I received an email from Christopher Poole. I didn’t know this person, but he wrote, “Why so racist, bro?” I searched the name and discovered he had started a site known as 4chan. On this site he allowed posters complete anonymity. They could post whatever they liked without consequence. I wrote Christopher Poole a very polite email and requested that he remove the thread. I was ignored.
I’ve found I’m not alone in the battle against trolls. It is a daily, on-going occurrence on social media that affects many lives.