Charlotte Hannah
February 06, 2013

Author Makes Donation to Civil Rights Charities for Every Mention by Online Troll

Photo credit: John Scalzi

If you’ve ever posted an opinion on the Internet – even something as simple and seemingly non-inflammatory as “I don’t really like hot sauce” – you’ve no doubt been subjected to a string of disproportionately vile nonsense spewed by someone with some seriously misplaced anger issues.

It’s easy to laugh off when it happens once or twice, the same way it’s easy to laugh off another driver who flips you off in traffic. It’s more difficult when one angry bigot decides to target you, picking apart everything you write on the Web and calling you every offensive name in the book.

Sci-fi writer and noted reasonable person John Scalzi knows all about this. He’s had his own online nemesis since 2005, when he insulted another sci-fi writer (whose name shall not be published here) over a sexist statement he made. From there, it was all-out war, with Scalzi’s nemesis (and his group of loyal sympathizers) writing insulting missive after insulting missive about him, including the charmingly titled article, “John Scalzi is a Rapist.” He also relentlessly referred to Scalzi as “McRapey.”

Beyond proving himself to be incredibly sexist, Scalzi’s nemesis also admitted to being an anti-Semite (in a blog post titled “The Merits of Anti-Semitism”) and an all-around sad person. No wonder Scalzi refers to him as “the Racist Sexist Homophobic Dipshit.”

Instead of trying to ignore his harasser or make him stop, Scalzi decided to awesomely turn the tables on him. So, he announced on his website that every time his tormenter wrote an article or comment about him, or used one of the many colorful nicknames he’d given to the writer, Scalzi would donate $5 to either the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP or Emily’s List (a foundation dedicated to helping pro-choice Democratic women win seats in public office), up to a total of $1,000.

Scalzi’s donations were matched by a number of his fans and famous friends. In the end, over $50,000 was raised for the charities. Take that, trolls.