When encountering an internet troll or even internet hate, we have certain options: to either ignore it and hope the person goes away, or to address it directly and fight back. Unfortunately for a troll on politician Brian Sims' Facebook page, Sims is not one to back down.
Sims, an openly gay representative for the state of Pennsylvania, received a comment on his Facebook page from someone named David, containing racial and homophobic slurs, and decided that enough was enough. He went on David's Facebook page, and didn't find much in the way of motive for the comment — but he did find something interesting.
“What caught me about it was there wasn’t a reference to something I said or something I’d done or some policy,” Sims told Huffington Post. “And when I looked at his page there was very little there ― but he’d posted a telephone number a number of times.”
So Sims called the phone number, and ended up on the line with David's grandmother.
As Sims commented on the Facebook post, he and David's grandmother had a "very disappointing chat."
”I explained to her exactly who I was and what he had done,” Sims told HuffPost. “Like any grandma she was very embarrassed at having this kind of convo and very ashamed at the actions of her grandson. The conversation ended with me telling her that I wanted to hear from him.”
"Dear Bigots, posting your grandmother's telephone number all over the same page you use to post slurs on other people's pages is not going to end well for you," Sims wrote on a Facebook post of his own.
While Sims did actually end up talking to David after his conversation with his grandmother, he told HuffPo that their chat “didn’t resolve anything.”
“It is the ultimate calling card of a coward to ― under the guise of night and behind a keyboard ― use the kind of language that in person would cause most decent people to respond in anger and frustration,” Sims told HuffPo. “The reason people do things like this is they don’t have the courage, the education or gumption to do this kind of thing in person.”
While their conversation apparently didn't resolve much, hopefully this troll eventually learned his lesson.