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(Slate)   "Anytime you don't like something someone else is saying, or even if you do like what he's saying but think he might be saying it the wrong way, there's a very good chance you're dealing with a troll"   (slate.com) divider line 38
    More: Stupid, William Saletan, Tina Brown, trolls  
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4308 clicks; posted to Main » on 06 Dec 2012 at 9:14 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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Archived thread
2012-12-06 09:17:34 AM
5 votes:
I was under the impression that trolling was simply the deliberate stating of a position contrary to or derogatory to that of your target, regardless of one's personal position, in order to create an emotional response rather than a rational one.

Just calling someone an asshole does not a troll make.
2012-12-06 12:28:06 PM
3 votes:
The classic definition (from the Jargon File, which goes back to at least 1991) was as follows:

troll

1. v.,n. [From the Usenet group alt.folklore.urban] To utter a posting on Usenet designed to attract predictable responses or flames; or, the post itself. Derives from the phrase "trolling for newbies" which in turn comes from mainstream "trolling", a style of fishing in which one trails bait through a likely spot hoping for a bite. The well-constructed troll is a post that induces lots of newbies and flamers to make themselves look even more clueless than they already do, while subtly conveying to the more savvy and experienced that it is in fact a deliberate troll. If you don't fall for the joke, you get to be in on it.


In Slashdot and other nerd-mecca websites, trolling became a art where people would intentionally take a position with which they disagreed and push the argument that much further until the idiocy of their position could easily be detected (a.k.a. satire). For example, there are many reasons one might use an iMac, but nobody would ever say they used an iMac because they had a ton of files on 3.5" floppy in some Apple format. Or that they used Linux because they could never find working drivers in Windows. These are the arguments made by a fan of Microsoft to point out the flaws in other options.

Now, as the internet grew, the alternate definition of "someone who posts flamebait just to get a response" grew correspondingly, as internet commenting moved away from the discussion-based model of trolling and into general one-liners at the bottom of someone else's work. Trolling a message board, which has rules, moderators, logins, reputation, whatever, requires dedication, commitment, and at least a modicum of intelligence. Trolling the comments below a blog post requires a basic knowledge of vulgarity and about five seconds. And trolling then became all about the emotional response - not about winning an argument.

Trolls these days (and /b/ was at the forefront of this shift) don't have an opinion or an agenda they're trying to push. They're simply after that kneejerk emotional response - they'll say whatever they think will get that reaction from the target. If your dog just died, it'll be about how all pitbulls should be put down before they eat children. If you're angry about teen pregnancy and abstinence-only sex ed in Mississippi, it'll be about black people having welfare babies. They don't particularly think pitbulls are dangerous, and probably aren't particularly racist, but they know that those topics will elicit an emotional response, so that's the basis of their comments.

Of course, because of the general fragmentation of the electorate, there are plenty of people these days who actually do have those opinions and now, in ever-growing numbers, can make those opinions known to others. So what was once the racist drivel spewed over a beer at the corner tap in Chucklefark, TN while watching Fox News, is instead a comment on Yahoo or Youtube that anyone can see. Which is why Poe's Law came into being - nobody can just troll racist or homophobic or otherwise backwards opinions any more without actually being taken seriously by somebody on the internet. There is no way of knowing if the guy talking about Muslim Sharia law coming to kill your daughter is actually that stupid, or just a 15 year old taking advantage of internet anonymity. And it's the second type of idiot that has become the new definition of troll - posting things not because of belief, or to advance an argument, or even as hyperbole not meant to be taken seriously, but with the goal and intention of causing someone else to flip out.

So the old art form of trolling is slowly dying away as nobody takes the time anymore to craft really elegant troll arguments. About the only one I can currently think of in operation is Stephen Colbert, whose pitch-perfect Republicanism is routinely taken to its ludicrous extreme to make a point. He's not after the emotional response (besides humor), he's actually making an argument against the Republican platform by showing its ridiculous underpinnings. What's left are a combination of true-believer idiots who are horribly misguided, and the trolls who parrot them to get a reaction.
2012-12-06 09:32:32 AM
3 votes:
One of my favorite trolls who I haven't seen for a while (sounds like Erection) had this awesome technique where he would take your entire post and disagree factually with one single sentence of it. This would require the victim to post a three paragraph post complete with links to prove that one fact.

Then, the troll would disagree with one fact in that post using only a few sentences. And on and on. It was awesome. Farkers fell for it every time. He's got to be someone else now.

There are also a few alts who gang up in threads here that y'all always miss. Whenever someone posts a dumb zinger and someone else posts "ohsnap.jpg", that's an alt.
2012-12-06 10:19:00 AM
2 votes:
Basically anyone who expresses an opinion in a Fark discussion that isn't a majority opinion is a Troll, I've been called on many times.
2012-12-06 09:33:37 AM
2 votes:
The overuse of the troll accusation in contemporary Internet culture comes from the same epistemological lock that the "my opposition doesn't think" meme does: the idea that one's own opinion is not merely correct, but the only sensible conclusion.

They branch only when it comes to the conclusion one makes about one's opponent. In the unthinking-opposition meme, the conclusion is that the opposition just hasn't thought things through enough, because obviously they'd agree with you if they were thinking deeply about these things the way you do. In the malicious-opposition meme, the conclusion is that the opposition doesn't really believe what they're saying: they actually think just as you do, but they're out to hurt people, and making these arguments is an effective way of doing that.

Needless to say, these are both ridiculous. Their spread is doing truly ludicrous levels of harm to national and international discourse. The problem lies in figuring out how to counteract it, particularly when political parties have found it so useful for motivating their own bases.
2012-12-06 09:29:51 AM
2 votes:
Has anyone actually proven trolls exist??? Sounds like a bunch of PC touchy-feely crap to me.
2012-12-06 09:28:41 AM
2 votes:

diaphoresis: Fark == Trolls


This, though I was thinking Fark ≅ Trolls
2012-12-06 09:27:57 AM
2 votes:
Dovetailing nicely with his assertion that the new definition of "troll" is "someone who says something you don't like," is Fark's longtime definition of "troll" as "anyone who dares express the conservative point of view, especially in stimulating, thought-provoking ways."
2012-12-06 09:26:45 AM
2 votes:
How most people read this:

Anyone saying anything I don't like is a troll.

At least, that's how many people use the term around here and on /.
2012-12-06 09:20:50 AM
2 votes:
memeorama.com
2012-12-06 01:01:11 PM
1 votes:

halfof33: lordjupiter: I'm sure that's how it seems in Red Glasses Land.

See this is how it starts, folks.

SIGH


"Look at me! I'm always the victim!"

LE SIGH
2012-12-06 01:00:22 PM
1 votes:
1 trolling became a art where people would intentionally take a position with which they disagreed and push the argument that much further until the idiocy of their position could easily be detected


2 So the old art form of trolling is slowly dying away as nobody takes the time anymore to craft really elegant troll arguments




It's absolutely fascinating to me that not only do people like (1) exist, (as I must now by the many comments here), but that there are people that actually think that it's cool or clever to do this. I guess it's for people who actually believe they "win" an internet argument or "clowned" someone in a post.

I mean, you spend hours saying stuff you don't mean to people who want to debate a topic, then the joke's on them or something?
It's like some frat boy who teabags a passed out guy. Let me get this straight, you just pulled out your dick and laid your balls on another guy's face, and we're supposed to make fun of the passed out guy? He's the joke?!?

Jesus, how much time do you have on your hands?
2012-12-06 12:03:39 PM
1 votes:
Clue: you aren't trolling by arguing a counterpoint to the opinion of the group; however, if you don't know you've been licked and can't stop, you're stupid. If you know it and continue anyway, you're a troll.
2012-12-06 11:54:28 AM
1 votes:
Well, I expected this thread to be absolutely teeming with the worst Fark trolls. I'm happy to see that I was wrong.

aselene: Derp


Don't you have anything better to do than whine about Fark Libs - like cutting off your dick to give to your father for Christmas?
2012-12-06 11:32:19 AM
1 votes:
Any time you're dealing with anybody on the internet who isn't yourself, you're dealing with a troll.
2012-12-06 11:04:33 AM
1 votes:

halfof33: Between the Give Joe the Bird thread and the Benghazi threads, Noah could have floated an Ark on the tears of morans calling me a troll.

Me: There was no protest outside the embassy.
Morans: YOU TROLL
Me: the Administration admitted it today
Morans: YOU TROLL
Me: Quote from Administration
Morans: NO LINK YOU TROLL
Me: Link
Morans: IGNORE LINK YOU TROLL
Me: Link from some libolardo site
Morans: IT IS IRRELEVANT!!!! YOU TROLL
me; le sigh.




I'm sure that's how it seems in Red Glasses Land.
2012-12-06 10:46:32 AM
1 votes:
In our "culture", Oscar Wilde would be considered a troll.
2012-12-06 10:46:19 AM
1 votes:

sodomizer: How most people read this:

Anyone saying anything I don't like is a troll.

At least, that's how many people use the term around here and on /.


Not really. It's how the person expresses the conflicting opinion that counts. I have no problem with someone saying they think that Obama is a bad president. Hell, the whole point of online discussion is to learn something from your peers. So if you have a specific beef with the president, I'm all ears.

But if you're a Tea Party type who bursts into the thread with hyperbolic and nebulous claims that Obama uses the Constitution as toilet paper, well, you're not adding to the conversation and serve only to derail it. You know, a troll.
2012-12-06 10:24:32 AM
1 votes:

Chabash: Wait, so if Legend of Zelda was a chick, do you think they would date Metroid?


Only if Seamus were a girl. That would be hawt.
2012-12-06 10:23:24 AM
1 votes:

aselene: Dovetailing nicely with his assertion that the new definition of "troll" is "someone who says something you don't like," is Fark's longtime definition of "troll" as "anyone who dares express the conservative point of view, especially in stimulating, thought-provoking ways."


I must be a conservative then, because I got called a "troll" once.
2012-12-06 10:17:19 AM
1 votes:
A lot of rape victims are just asking for trouble when they get drunk and wear skimpy clothing in parking lots.

If they would just exercise some common sense, they wouldn't be "victims" at all.
2012-12-06 10:16:51 AM
1 votes:

thisisyourbrainonFark: [play.esea.net image 496x602] 

/oblig


Also:
i18.photobucket.com">
2012-12-06 10:11:20 AM
1 votes:

doubled99: I assume most people come here for general conversation and entertainment. Even if a "troll" isn't genuine in his post, who cares? If you had a hour long debate and it kept you busy and interested, what difference does it make?


Because MY opinion matters!!! How DARE someone not treat me with the gravity I DESERVE!!!
2012-12-06 10:09:42 AM
1 votes:
play.esea.net 

/oblig
2012-12-06 10:09:17 AM
1 votes:
I assume most people come here for general conversation and entertainment. Even if a "troll" isn't genuine in his post, who cares? If you had a hour long debate and it kept you busy and interested, what difference does it make?
2012-12-06 09:58:17 AM
1 votes:

Day_Old_Dutchie: So, where's the FARK original troll
[img254.imageshack.us image 352x320]
Come out, come out, wherever you are!


Pffft. Atheism, as practiced by most atheists, is a religion. The only atheist position is not to argue about the existence or lack thereof of God/gods, because you know that it's a futile argument and a complete waste of time.
2012-12-06 09:56:59 AM
1 votes:

Millennium: The overuse of the troll accusation in contemporary Internet culture comes from the same epistemological lock that the "my opposition doesn't think" meme does: the idea that one's own opinion is not merely correct, but the only sensible conclusion.


Doesn't everyone think this way?

I mean, you go through life, and learn things. At that point, you're going to defend those realizations unless given strong contrary proof.

The problem is that when your belief is not grounded in experience, but wishful thinking, you have no way to explain it. And thus "troll" is the easiest statement to make.
2012-12-06 09:53:11 AM
1 votes:
The author of the slate article believes that trolling started with 4chan

I'll tell you why: Trolling has been defined down. Not long ago trolls were easy to identify-they were the kids on 4Chan who caused trouble just for the lulz,

Ho ho ho ho ho ho.

They didn't call it "Fight-O-Net" for nothing.
2012-12-06 09:36:53 AM
1 votes:

Cythraul: PirateKing: I was under the impression that trolling was simply the deliberate stating of a position contrary to or derogatory to that of your target, regardless of one's personal position, in order to create an emotional response rather than a rational one.

Just calling someone an asshole does not a troll make.

Trolls are also assholes, but an asshole is not necessarily a troll. Make sense?


Oh, it does. A serious look at it shows that people call 'troll' on anyone they disagree with, regardless of situation. But with two superficially similar posts, it's possible for one to be a massive troll, and the other to be totally legit, as the label applies to the intentions of the poster, not to the content of the post.

So a true believer isn't a troll, no matter how poorly constructed and offensive the post might be, whereas a poeslaw response that is identical is a troll, since the poster just wants to get under your skin.


i295.photobucket.com
2012-12-06 09:34:14 AM
1 votes:
The only conservatives on this site are either inbred idiots are trolls.
2012-12-06 09:32:17 AM
1 votes:
FTA: Sure, my piece and its headline were hyperbolic...But that over-the-top stance was intentional, a rhetorical device to make a point about iTunes' awfulness. So why had some people misinterpreted my passion as a sign of insincerity?

Sure, I said a few inflammatory things in the hopes of generating some more page-clicks for my article, but why do people think that's disingenuous or something?
2012-12-06 09:29:59 AM
1 votes:
I'm not a troll, my surname is Le Bastard.

It's French.
2012-12-06 09:28:02 AM
1 votes:
FTFA:"What if the point of the column wasn't to make any coherent argument about iTunes at all but instead to kick up a hornet's nest-to get Apple fans frothingly riled up for no good reason other than to laugh at their misplaced passion over music software?"

To be fair that can be quite entertaining. Fanboiis of all strips really do deserve to be trolled over and over.
2012-12-06 09:20:50 AM
1 votes:

PirateKing: I was under the impression that trolling was simply the deliberate stating of a position contrary to or derogatory to that of your target, regardless of one's personal position, in order to create an emotional response rather than a rational one.

Just calling someone an asshole does not a troll make.


Trolls are also assholes, but an asshole is not necessarily a troll. Make sense?
2012-12-06 09:19:16 AM
1 votes:
(actually about the article) this guy kind of sounds like a douche. I'm not surprised someone called him a troll.

/other than price, I really don't understand iTunes hate. It comes from Apple, what do you expect?
gja [TotalFark]
2012-12-06 09:18:05 AM
1 votes:
thechiefest.files.wordpress.com 

/oblig
2012-12-06 09:17:21 AM
1 votes:
I don't care how gruff your billygoats may be. THIS IS MY BRIDGE AND YOU MAY NOT CROSS!!
2012-12-06 09:16:09 AM
1 votes:
Fark == Trolls
 
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