People have been trolling the internet since long before the term entered common parlance. Back then, we just called it "malicious pranks." Sometimes, however, a line is so blatantly crossed that those with even the slightest shred of empathy for their fellow man have to step away from the computer for a while to shake off how inhumane humans can be.
That is more or less what happened when I came across a video called "Twitch Raids: Cooking a Laptop." [You can click the link if you must. But we're not going to embed this video, because fuck those assholes.] Twitch, the behemoth video game streaming platform, exists to allow users to broadcast or view live-streams of kill-streaks, Zerg-rushes, or whatever buzzword exists in the gargantuan world of League of Legends. Naturally, 4chan has found a way to use this site for mischief. "Twitch Raids," a little game invented by the 4chan community, occur when someone on the forum links to a random target's Twitch channel, which is then flooded with harassers. Often the humerous chaos of the deluge is enough to satisfy the attacking horde, but occasionally, when less savvy marks are spotted, the sociopaths of the group begin to rear their heads.
In this video, the Twitch community singled out a 13-year-old boy for their cunning ruse of getting him to destroy his mom's laptop and his own Xbox One. It's unclear why exactly this kid was targeted, but it seems to be primarily because he has stunted social skills, and secondarily, based on comments at the end of the video, because he's chubby.
The first troll in the video, pretending to be a Twitch support staff member, gets to work on the teen by doing the perfunctory deletion of System32. This is an old trick, born from early 2000s internet forum trolls, which involves persuading inept computer users to essentially brick their machines by having them delete System32, an essential file for Windows PCs. "Cooking a laptop" is the natural conclusion of this mean-spirited fun, but instead of the hapless rube reporting on the calamity of their device via text, the whole internet gets to watch the mark embarrass himself in real time on the Twitch platform.
After deleting System32, a second troll, putting on a bad female voice, has the lad use his phone to Skype into the channel so they can watch him destroy his possessions even more. Troll 2 then advises the victim to "demagnetize the electrolytes" in his mom's computer by drizzling a saltwater mixture over the keyboard. He somehow then convinces the kid to slather butter all over the keyboard. But now, the laptop needs to be dried. Too large for the microwave, the laptop is cooked on the oven range for some time until "all the bad central processing units" are smoked out. For good measure (or overkill), the PC's battery was then removed from the smoking embers and wrapped in foil and microwaved to the point of catching fire.
The tormentor drops a pithy 'you just got trolled!' and tells the kid to go eat his toasted computer.
By this point, it's impossible not to cringe at what's happening in this video. Most of us are just hoping it will be over soon. But then, unsatisfied with ruining this kid's mom's laptop, these monsters walk the kid through bricking his Xbox One as well, before asking him to switch the Skype camera to see his "sad face." Then, of course, the tormentor drops a pithy "you just got trolled!" and tells the kid to go eat his toasted computer.
The worst part of this is that the kid might be somewhere on the autism spectrum—or, at the very least, he's far too trusting. Throughout the video, he thanks the "Twitch support's" willingness to help him out "just for the heart of love," cracks jokes that fall flat, makes awkward small talk, and lays out his future career goals to some neckbeards who just want him to suffer. He comes off as a lonely kid looking for a friend, and a sizable group from a large gaming platform pissed their Doritos stained shorts watching him make a fool of himself.
The account that originally posted the video has since been "suspended due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy against spam, gaming, misleading content, or other Terms of Service violations." But the video is preserved on another user's account, and the comments—mostly people calling the kid a "retard"—will disgust you.
I know I'm breaking a cardinal rule here by feeding the trolls with this article, but this video chipped away a bit more of my faith in humanity and needed to be addressed. Bullies will always bully, and there will always be a group of toadies there to goad them on. The most one can do is not participate in the menacing mockery, and express disdain at those who do. Hopefully, as this video gets more and more views, some of the kinder souls on the web can track this kid down and not just hook him up with new tech, but more importantly show him that not everyone online is this evil.
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