Trolling is wrong and trolls themselves are horrific beings. But is there a genuine business consequence to this most despicable of pastimes?
Yes, according to Nintendo boss Satoru Iwata.
Speaking to investors, the exec claimed: There have recently been negative campaigns on the internet in which false opinions are deliberately posted to ruin the reputation of a product. Such vicious rumours are a big problem and could be considered business interference.”
That's not the only problem trolls pose, either. They also make it hard for the company to distinguish between genuine criticism and online noise.
It is very difficult to tell consumers' real complaints from those that are posted as part of a negative campaign,” he bemoaned.
If we were to delete anything negative about our games, it could constitute a suppression of free speech and you would not able to believe in even a good reputation. Luckily, those who are engaged just to be engaged in negative campaigns are in fact just a fraction of all users.”