Maki illustrated two great truths about trolls:
They’re all about making sure only people like them get to be part of a community.
They’re so busy policing purity, they don’t bother to contribute productively.
His commentary is also spot on.
In a field where people work day and night to make sure every kid has a chance to become excited about science, the thought that there are old white dudes publicly sneering at a teenager because he wasn’t ingenious enough is sickening. Seeing people who identify as skeptics entertain wild conspiracy theories about a sinister muslim boy and his plot to get arrested for attention would be hilarious if it weren’t so toxic.
It’s a good thing to keep in mind: trolls aren’t necessarily simply frivolous haters who are out to destroy everyone’s fun for laughs. Sometimes they’re so very committed to the goals of a group that they dedicate themselves to non-stop hatred of the perceived enemies of that group, internal and external.