OPINION: Don’t give in to Milo’s trolling

(Adam Gilles/Lariat)

(Adam Gilles/Lariat)


Controversial conservative media figure Milo Yiannopoulos paid a visit to California State University, Fullerton as part of his Troll Academy Tour on Halloween night. Yiannopoulos spoke to a sold out crowd of 819 individuals, not all too happy about his presence.

Yiannopoulos should not have been invited to CSUF because he is a political antagonist with the goal of trolling people who are passionate about modern day civil rights movements.

Students protested the event while other students created a Unity Block Party on the same day as Yiannopoulos’ visit. Police arrested eight participants, according to the Daily Titan Twitter page. Students were upset because they were not able to get into classes due to several facilities being  closed down for the event. Some classes were canceled as well.

Yiannopoulos does not directly attack people, but the way he speaks upsets those who strive to be politically correct. He is known for denouncing Black Lives Matter, Feminists and religious groups.

Yiannopoulos uses a sardonic yet blunt approach as his niche for sharing his political ideas. I often suspect that he is just a performance artist and that the real message he wants to get across is that people can’t express their thoughts without offending someone.

October 31 is the only day when 14 year-olds willingly go to Kevin Spacey’s house,” Yiannopoulos said.

His YouTube channel, MILO, features a video where he claims that his function in society is to speak inconvenient truths and “to instigate debate.” He is upset with how easily people can get offended.

I’ve been watching interviews of him with other news outlets and I find myself disagreeing with his attitude and ideas but agreeing with him on the subject of social justice warriors. People use this term with a negative connotation to refer to those who accuse others of being politically incorrect.

I often find social justice warriors on social media, like Tumblr and Twitter, who in the past few years have built up vocabulary such as manspreading, mansplain, cisgender, cishet, heteronormative, polyromantic andasexual. It would take a good 2-3 hours on Urban Dictionary to get familiar with all the new terms made these past few years.

From my perspective, some of these words have started to become antagonizing over time. For example, the word mansplaining is used to describe an instance when a guy is obnoxiously explaining something to the point that it sounds condescending. Yet, the word is very accusatory. I remember people mistreating this word to insult people who have no intentions of trying to sound superior.

That is where I agree with Yiannopoulos when he says people are afraid of upsetting others and their free speech is limited as a result. Now don’t get me wrong, free speech is not an excuse to spread hate to others. There are some disturbed people whose ideas promote hate to certain groups. These people are easy to find in the comment section of  YouTube videos, along with people who say stupid things to anger people just for giggles.

We call those people trolls. They purposefully leave controversial and false claims to incite people to argue. All they do next is watch as more people join the dispute and entangle themselves in illogical nonsense and despair.

This is how Milo Yiannopoulos works. The more people lash out against his arguments, the more power he gains in influence. For example, his earlier visits to other colleges brought protesters. This only means more police protection and brings more attention to his appearance.

I would prefer inviting a guest speaker who doesn’t have that controversial presence to him. Judging by the amount that others colleges paid for security for this guy, one can assume that hosting Yiannopoulos will cost thousands of dollars. It’s too much money for one speech and one visit.

CSUF event coordinators did not invite Yiannopoulos, rather it was the Young Republican’s Club. CSUF as a college, protects the free speech of their students. Refusing the visit would have been a limitation of the students’ right to the first amendment.

This is a main factor as to why the Yiannopoulos visit was made possible. Although, I am curious as to where the money to fund this event came from. There is no way that one club would have that kind of money.

A CSUF student shared a graphic to me explaining Yiannopoulos’ method of getting attention. The graphic says “CSUF’s reaction is exactly what gives him powers. We could ignore him go back to class, and stop collectively making his voice stronger.”

The fact that I am writing an article about him may be against my point, since I am giving him attention. Yet, I still think it is important to point out that getting upset over his arguments will only give him entertainment.