milo yiannopoulos, the gay conservative activist and editor of Breitbart has a caused a stir at UC berkeley. There was a major protest that turned into a riot. Some people are blaming left-wing activists. Others say a group of masked people unaffiliated with them (and may have been there to make them look bad) started the whole thing. Regardless, the protesters played into Yiannopoulos' hands by ignoring a key rule of the Internet: Don't feed the troll

Yiannopoulos, like all trolls, thrives on attention

The big thing about Internet trolls like Yiannopoulos is that they thrive on attention.

I know because I was one. I was a more casual member of certain sites that won't be named back when they did fun things rather than just act as forums for men who are angry they got sent to sensitivity training for telling racist jokes in the office. The people there at the time were trolls through and through. We pulled all kinds of pranks. We hi-jacked Internet product naming contests and flooded them with votes for the stupidest options possible (which companies, having learned absolutely nothing in the past decade, still put on for some reason). We made stuff viral that perhaps should not have been. The thing we loved most was when we got the News cameras pointed at the prank. It was like completing a master work of art.

Yiannopoulos is a lot like us in this respect. He even goes as far as to call himself one.

Where the students of UC Berkeley screw up is that they pay attention to the troll. They give him free publicity. The guy was invited by the college's Young Republicans club. I don't imagine that there is a large built-in audience for Yiannopoulos at a place like UC Berkeley.

However, when people tried to shut it down, it brought the cameras and expanded his reach.

The best way to deal with Milo is to ignore him

If there is one thing about trolls like Milo, is that they get bored easily. If their method of action isn't causing a stir of some sort, they're not happy. The only reason Milo goes to places like UC Berkeley rather than Liberty University or something is because it will cause a stir.

Trying to get him outright banned only feeds into the persecution complex that many right-wingers have. Keep in mind, these are the same people who have spent upwards of two decades excusing a cop killing cult in Waco.

Instead of going to a Yiannopoulos event for any reason, do something productive. Call your Senator. Get to know your local representatives. Actually join the party opposing Donald Trump instead of whining about a lack of ideological purity. Go to your city council or school board meeting. Get to know some activists outside of your issue so you can be a better ally. Go patronize a minority-owned business. Doing literally anything else would be more productive than feeding an Internet troll. And for the love of God, leave the pyrotechnics at home.