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What is a troll?

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by AlienBeing, Feb 3, 2012.

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  1. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    An article I read online somewhere:

    Why We Troll:

    At the end of this post there is a comment form, where you can weigh in and tell me I am wrong. If you do that, however—even if you have a great point—you're probably a troll.

    I know. You don't think you are a troll. You are simply assured of your righteousness. You're just demonstrating your case. And you're justifiably adamant about it.

    Which is exactly what makes you a troll. (Hi!)
    Look, there are two basic types of trolls. One is the person who says or does something simply to get a rise out of people, or to fulfill some horrible void in his or her soul. The kind of shithead who harasses women with breast cancer.

    But that kind of troll is thankfully pretty uncommon—like the comic book villain who actually wants to destroy Earth. More common is the guy who thinks he's flying the flag for truth and justice, and, in the process, becomes a complete asshole. A misguided villain. Like Magneto.

    Trolling is often no more than self-righteousness. It's something people do because they are convinced that everyone who disagrees with them is wrong; they feel so strongly about other people being wrong that they justify and justify and, in the process, transform into giant dicks.

    Full sizeTrolling is an inability to filter: an uncontrollable urge to say "you're wrong." You are wrong about Apple. You are wrong about Google. You are wrong about Microsoft, and HP and Android and Sony and everything else, too. And while we are at it, your grammar is atrocious.

    "While it is certainly likely that some people in the world are simply mean, I think that more often than not, mean things get said or written by people who have strong beliefs that they think represent the truth," says Dr. Simon Rego, Director of Psychology Training at Montefiore Medical Center. "And they expect others in the world to agree with them.

    "I'd bet the people you call ‘trolls' would have good intentions, and see themselves as good people who are simply trying to help the world see things the "correct" (i.e., their) way. I would also bet that they think that other people are the ones being trolls."

    Simply put: When you leave that comment down below, about how I'm wrong and Dr. Rego's a hack and by the way that sculpture's clearly an ogre, it's not that you're trying to be a troll. It's that sometimes we just can't come to bed because someone is wrong on the Internet. We stay up all night, seething. Tweeting. Calling in expert testimony from academics to bolster opinions, and writing missives about how everyone else is trolling us.

    Why does that sound so familiar?

  2. Lucano

    Lucano Well-Known Member

    So true and entertaining to read at the same time :)
  3. panoply

    panoply Banned Member

    So, according to this article, anyone who voices their opinion with any degree of sincerity is a troll; anyone who is not in line with a passive, "hey let's all hold hands and agree to disagree" mentality is a troll. I'm just saying, but that sounds kind of trollish to me.

    Ah, but wait, the guy has a "Dr." in front of his name. My statement is invalid.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 3, 2012
  4. Lucano

    Lucano Well-Known Member

    Well, actually you are right there too, there is people that hide behind a title to be able to troll others. I think that honestly voicing our thoughts and opinions is not bad, but trying to convince others that we are right no matter what and trying to pull senseless arguments in which you will ultimately upset others. That's trolling.
  5. Growing Pains

    Growing Pains Well-Known Member

    But people do that offline, too. It's human nature. Not everyone is going to agree, and often times, you're going to be so convinced that you're right that you'll want other people to see your side, even if you don't realize you're being annoying.

    I'd disagree with this article. Then I might be a "troll". The article falls flat once you realize a troll is someone who tries to get a rise out of people. They want the emotional response. That is a troll. Not everyone who posts their opinion and thus disagrees with another person is trying to get a rise out of the person/people. People aren't going to agree with each other. They're going to argue. That's true whether you're on the internet or in a bar.
  6. panoply

    panoply Banned Member

    As a decade-long denizen of the internet, I feel obligated to clear something up here.

    At the very least, the author of the article displays a sort of ignorance of internet culture that goes beyond a mere lack of knowledge. To "troll" someone is to lead him or her along with bait, and then either reveal yourself as a troll or sit back and enjoy the ensuing chaos. It requires both intent and premeditation. Just because a person is being a douchebag, intentionally or otherwise, does not make that person a troll. It just makes them a douchebag.

    Words are important, and we often get really lazy and jump to the absolute extreme to define what would otherwise be fairly mundane. Just like we might describe a meal we enjoyed as "amazing!" when in fact it was simply enjoyable, or a joke as "hilarious!" when it barely made us chuckle, we use the same extremes to describe people we are at odds with, accusing them of being trolls when in fact they are just being antagonistic.

    Tell Mister PhD over there to stick to Psychology and leave the definition of words to their rightful progenitors: the masses.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2012
  7. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    ^^^^ Obvious troll is obvious. That's all.
  8. lachrymose27

    lachrymose27 Well-Known Member

  9. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    I don't think a person who disagrees with others should be considered a troll. I think of a troll as someone out to hurt or annoy people. I've already encountered one on the site and it's a pain in my ass. lol
  10. Iain

    Iain Well-Known Member

    I thought that to troll was to trail a baited line behind a boat..... But what would I know huh?
  11. Underground

    Underground Well-Known Member

    A troll is someone who does something or presents their views with the sole intention of winding everybody up. Pretty simple, really.
    Someone can be articulate and respectful, and still be trolling.
  12. Pasta08

    Pasta08 Banned Member

    Hmmmmmm I have met one as well.....
  13. lightbeam

    lightbeam Antiquities Friend

  14. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    Maybe posting that article and waiting for the fun to begin makes me a troll? :zombie: He he. But then almost everything posted in the soapbox section would be trolling then. But I must say, the comments here are far better than the ones below the original article.
  15. Witty_Sarcasm

    Witty_Sarcasm Eccentric writer, general weirdo, heedless heathen

    Yeah I know. I am ugly like one :laugh:
  16. Iain

    Iain Well-Known Member

    I would love to go trolling but I cant afford a boat. Neither do I have a baited line.
  17. Crashland

    Crashland Well-Known Member

    Well, by this definition I'm a fully fledged TROLL; one of the superior kind that actually identifies as a crusaider! :Leiaha:

    In all seriousness, this article is pretty accurate. I have posted strong opinions on various sites - opinions that went against that of the majority and I did get suspended and banned. I always felt like a victim; being forcefully silenced because of my unpopular, yet RIGHT take on some sensitive matters. So yes, it took me an awful lot of time to realize that I am actually a troll. I never did it for fun or for the sake of being nasty - I am sensitive enough myself.

    My main aim has always been to shed light on conflicts and to shatter pretentious mannerisms that obscure the real problem and cushion people against the sharpness of responsibility.

    I am quite proud of it, to be honest. I do not deny that there is a thrill in turning things upside down but in all seriousness, I do feel that the truth has got to hurt. Well, maybe not hurt but at least disturb.

    I suppose, the next thing for me is to explore possibilities of conscious and ethical trolling as I have no wish to conform and be smooth where some roughness is desperately required. I have no wish to unnecessarily or unjustly hurt or in any way disturb anyone either.

    Yours truly:

    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2012
  18. AlienBeing

    AlienBeing Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I get worked up about an issue and post strong opinions but I see that as being the victim of a troll. I mean if someone, say on the blog, Shrink Rap, asks people how they feel about forced hospitalization and treatment, that's practically trolling their own blog! What do they expect will happen? People who have been forcibly treated are going to express how they were traumatized by it. They then called that trolling! Idiots. Think they're so smart sometimes just 'cause they're shrinks.
  19. Chargette

    Chargette Well-Known Member

    Good one. I can see where being a troll is "baiting" others.
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