Do you Troll?

ColdDog

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Yes I do, get a couple beers in me and its game on. Truth is, that there are various types of trolling. You can find a youtuber that is new and unload on him but still take a passive aggressive role to make yourself feel better. You can be blunt and say that idea sucks ass, or you can toy with them to make them see their fault. There are so many ways to troll. So, tonight I was on LinkedIn (where you should NEVER troll if you want a job in the future) looking at some of the comments and feeds. I was amazed at the reassurement people were giving each other for, lets say, idiotic content. Ok, so you work. Yep, you must make money, that is life. Ok, so you must abide by the golden rule. Yep, do unto others as they would do unto you. Ok, you must be respectful at all times. Yep, unless they are an ass like an Axios editor.

So, it has become apparent to me, not recently of course, that our world is going to shit and nobody says otherwise because people cannot be offended. I look back as an American, we, a bunch of farmers kicked the shit out of the Brits - our farms and cities burned, famine, and unthinkable atrocities occurred. Fast forward to the civil war... America broke in two, brother against brother, our worst nightmare came to life. In 1930s we had the great depression, people were starving, the dust bowl covered middle America. WW2 the world had a psycho that was killing people in concentration camps because of who they were (jews, catholics, etc). Today we have people saying the earth is flat and that we live in the matrix. Pronouns are a must, and human biology is in flux - that is what we think is important which is fine for an individual, but a global dialog - 100% certain some Ukrainianian family just became homeless or dead as I was writing this.

Ok, sometimes I think I live in a matrix, not because of fact, but a metaphore, the metaphore that sometimes it seems it can't be real... maybe our politicians are a glitch, maybe the world is really flat and if I drive far enough i'll fall off the edge (not that I haven't flown around the world a couple times in my career).

This is why we troll, because the world is so friken stupid, that we feel we have to either, piss off the original poster, or poster is really stupid and self absorbed thinking their world is above yours, or you just despise the point of view and think it is toxic.

Most sane people look at something, shrug their shoulders and say whatever. Did anyone really think that maybe they should have told that kid not to kill himself or intervene on a subway rape. Nope, because society says being in charge is wrong - you don't want a lawsuit so you ignore the pain of others.

So, I say trolling is not bad, but I also say it is not good. For passive aggressive people like myself, who like to push buttons, and fight an orthodoxy that is good and only good if you share my point of view.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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A fascinating topic, thanks for raising it!

I have been a Webizen since 1999 when we got the net at my parents house and I joined a forum.

Over the years I have expanded, developed and adapted, starting out with dyslexia and no typing skills, up to now where I still have dyslexia but also some typing skills which I would not have if I hadn't taken my voyage on the infinite sea of electrons.

In my time I have been victim to the hand off some accomplished orators and also in my younger days some most basic of fools, and over the years have developed a set of skills which allow me to defend against attack, and also where I want, try to steer conversation a little if I can to control the battlefield... I don't have the need to use them much anymore but where, how and why these skills are implemented I think define Trollery verses other kinds of online discourse, of which there are many:

Two exhibits for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment:

A)
Back in the ancient midsts of time, before social media and on demand video, there were two great comms methods - Forums and Chat Rooms, and from those arose the fabled Flame Warriors.


Although cartoonish and fun, this is a bizarrely accurate list of 88 types of Warrior, Troll being only one (Listed as "Troller"). With the rise of Social Media, Facebook, Twitter, video and news comments sections and the like, the nuance of Flame War began to be overwhelmed with the Troller tactic being fallen back on more and more by the masses of roaming bored yet impotent keyboard warriors looking for satisfaction in the most basic of fashion and generally finding it from the bloom in unaware non-combatents. Socials, with their constantly rolling new content rarely pausing on a topic for long, I suggest, are a part of a Zerg Rush of basic trolling which flooded out many other types of Flame War counteractions, the rolling nature of new posts leaving few opportunities for commenters to develop in to more nuanced participants.

2)
Here is a very informative rundown of the types of the Troll themselves, from the now defunct Trolls News youtube channel. It's an older video, but it checks out:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqDMDNUZnEc


View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXkbGzoaT3Q


Trolling must be noted as being distinct from harassment - as outlined above Trolls will roll for any response and even contradict themselves to get it then will move on to the next entertainment, whereas harassment is prolonged, targeted and performed by people who are not Flame Warriors at all, they are simply mostly arseholes emboldened by the anonymity and lack of consequences of the internet who would say the same things in person in real life to anyone if they were not scared of the repercussions, and a few who say these things in person anyway.

Personally, I am defensive and will respond to attacks on myself and others rather than setting out on the offensive - although this may remove me from the definition of general reaction trolling, I am still subject to the definition of Canibal Troll as I have, can and will tussle with trolls that cross my path and attempt to dispatch them, however I don't roam the boards/socials/comments sections looking for them to play with, which is in itself part of trolling. Generally, these days, I just like a good discussion :)

So, no. I may have many of the skills of a Troll, but none of the malicious intent using them sparingly and hopefully in the right contexts - I am an old Flame Warrior, of which type I have no idea except I'm pretty certain it's not Troller, I just don't have that intent or get the fun out of it that I see Trollers getting.

My wife, however, while I am dancing the dance with a worthy adversary, says I'm definitely a troll.

Is trolling good or bad? It may give gratification to the soul of the person doing it, but everyone online needs skills in self defence as successfully seeing off a troll can be a magnitude of times more satisfying than simply running around annoying people.
 
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Shadow Reaper

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Ok, sometimes I think I live in a matrix, not because of fact, but a metaphore, the metaphore that sometimes it seems it can't be real... maybe our politicians are a glitch, maybe the world is really flat and if I drive far enough i'll fall off the edge (not that I haven't flown around the world a couple times in my career).

This is why we troll, because the world is so friken stupid, that we feel we have to either, piss off the original poster, or poster is really stupid and self absorbed thinking their world is above yours, or you just despise the point of view and think it is toxic.
Anytime you'd like to clear that up and be a little more specific I'd appreciate that.

I think I understand what you're saying, and that is that you are acting out as a result of post-modernism. The world we find ourselves in here in the West, suffers under a profound skepticism gone out of control, where there is no truth, no authority, no sense, no justice, no good things like honor, and sacrifice and courage. Skepticism rules, and life thus makes no sense at all. Life seems unreal because all the forces at play seem to say you can't know anything. This is post-modernism, and it's necessary, dread result--trolling.

The cure is not acting out. It is to renew your trust that yes indeed, TRUTH is worth talking about, seeking, finding, etc. You do not have to sacrifie your brain to the idiotic notion that there is no such thing as truth.
 

maynard

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...The cure is not acting out. It is to renew your trust that yes indeed, TRUTH is worth talking about ...
there are people who prove by their actions that attempts to persuade them by reason are a waste of your time

feel free to push their buttons / trigger them any way you can!
 

minor_accident

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Just sayin' 👉🏼 We did not defeat the British because of our prowess, but with help from a combination of assistance from the French and British Empire over extending itself in wars around the world. And, history repeats itself. 😏🇺🇸
Truth. I describe it as, "The British lost the war faster than the US did."
 

ColdDog

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So... tonight I tested my theory about people not engaging in one on one (face to face) discussion pertaining to global warming. My victim was my neighbor and he was walking his dog while I was watering my lawn. We started off with the normal pleasantries and then I asked him if the dustbowl of the 30s... implying that global warming is not a fact (very subtle). I challenged him, knowing he is a global warming activist.

Anyway, I just asked him how he could be sure of global warming with only 100 years of data when the earth is 4.5 Billion years old (2.x to the -8). Meaning statistically, it is indefensible... anyway, knowing the conversation was not going his way... he politely said, I think we're both right and walked away - basically dropping the sensitive subject.

People do not want to talk about sensitive subjects face to face, it is much easier walk away. Is this why we troll? People are so disconnected or entrenched we cannot have a face to face conversation with our neighbors.

If your first reaction is self preservation out of fear of being labeled A or B then maybe that is the wrong way. Maybe if we talk more face to face where we have skin in the game, people will begin to respect each others point of view instead of group think, anonymous postings on the web.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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So... tonight I tested my theory about people not engaging in one on one (face to face) discussion pertaining to global warming. My victim was my neighbor and he was walking his dog while I was watering my lawn. We started off with the normal pleasantries and then I asked him if the dustbowl of the 30s... implying that global warming is not a fact (very subtle). I challenged him, knowing he is a global warming activist.

Anyway, I just asked him how he could be sure of global warming with only 100 years of data when the earth is 4.5 Billion years old (2.x to the -8). Meaning statistically, it is indefensible... anyway, knowing the conversation was not going his way... he politely said, I think we're both right and walked away - basically dropping the sensitive subject.

People do not want to talk about sensitive subjects face to face, it is much easier walk away. Is this why we troll? People are so disconnected or entrenched we cannot have a face to face conversation with our neighbors.

If your first reaction is self preservation out of fear of being labeled A or B then maybe that is the wrong way. Maybe if we talk more face to face where we have skin in the game, people will begin to respect each others point of view instead of group think, anonymous postings on the web.
Your answer was you were both right, and you are:

As you idicate recorded data compared to the age of the planet is limited. Totally correct.

With the dataset the last decade hasnt so much as gone against the trend of those 100 years (and sampling of thousands of years taken from Ice Cores and other methods) as totally blown it out of the water and with scientific understanding of the atmospheric content and its effect combined with multiplying factirs like water vapour content of thr atmosphere coming to light too means modern understanding means thry are right too.

I think your in person discomfort trial needs to ask more people the same question to extrapolate a conclusive result - as with your observation on 100 years not being much atmospheric data one perso. is not much of a case study :-)
 
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ColdDog

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However with the dataset the last decade hasnt so much as went against the trend of those 100 years (and sampling of thousands of years taken from Ice Cores and other methods) as totally blew it out of the water and with scientific understanding of the atmospheric content and its effect combined with multiplying factirs like water vapour content of thr atmosphere coming to light too means modern understanding means thry are right too.
Prove to me this is not a normal cycle. You can't because you don't know what happened 300 years ago, 500 years ago, and so on. You just have a snapshot of 100 years. I do know that 300 years ago most people were illiterate and could not record the data where I live. What facts do you have that the last warming period... fossil, tree or ground samples can't get to 100 year accuracy going back that far.

This is not about triggering you on global warming... this is an academic (while drinking beer) exercise on how people interact when trolling. Challenge your belief system.

Why don't you challenge your neighbor too and tell us what you find. Be nice.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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A delightful response, thank you.

This is not about triggering you on global warming... this is an academic (while drinking beer) exercise on how people interact when trolling. Challenge your belief system.
Understand and accepted, using it as an example, no problem.

I still say you need to expand your own observed data-set using exactly the same question to get a fair set of responses. It is your theory, your data-set and your test. In academic scientific testing one takes a set test and then changes one aspect of it to see its effect so it's no use me going to my neighbour to ask because the question would be different even if it's similarly worded my approach and wording and even tone of voice will be distinctly different making it unreliable.

I would be delighted to peer review your theory, but you first need to get a dataset to extrapolate your full findings from and present the analysed data with a full outline of the question asked so I will be able to perfectly reproduce that test with no differences and then see if the responses I get from my dataset matches those from yours... if it matches, the theory is proved. This peer review of your findings is how science confirms if something is true, close but flawed or flat out false. Before I can peer review your research, first you must do your research.

Prove to me this is not a normal cycle. You can't because you don't know what happened 300 years ago, 500 years ago, and so on. You just have a snapshot of 100 years. I do know that 300 years ago most people were illiterate and could not record the data where I live. What facts do you have that the last warming period... fossil, tree or ground samples can't get to 100 year accuracy going back that far.
You say we have no evidence to prove it isn't normal, but by this definition you then have no evidence to prove it is normal. Why does your belief system which by your own argument admits it relies on no evidence trump one which relies on observations garnered by limited but highly researched evidence? Why, prey, does nothing triumph over something?

Challenging belief systems must start at home or questions of paradoxes and controdictions such as this one quickly start to degrade the credibility of the challenger and must be worked out before using a point as the crux of an argument - or it itself becomes the argument which is not that which one set out to challenge others with in the first place.
 
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ColdDog

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You say we have no evidence to prove it isn't normal, but by this definition you then have no evidence to prove it is normal. Why does your belief system which by your own argument admits it relies on no evidence trump one which relies on observations garnered by limited but highly researched evidence? Why, prey, does nothing triumph over something?
I don't know, maybe it is normal, maybe it is not - really don't care - that is why we troll, to push buttons, if we learn something along the way great, just like global warming pushed your buttons - but I'm not trying to troll you. Your argument should be based on my interaction with subject A.

Back to the trolling stuff... you are right with the sample size, but this is just for fun/learning exercise. I am not going to publish this crazy shit.
 

Bambooza

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So... tonight I tested my theory about people not engaging in one on one (face to face) discussion pertaining to global warming. My victim was my neighbor and he was walking his dog while I was watering my lawn. We started off with the normal pleasantries and then I asked him if the dustbowl of the 30s... implying that global warming is not a fact (very subtle). I challenged him, knowing he is a global warming activist.

Anyway, I just asked him how he could be sure of global warming with only 100 years of data when the earth is 4.5 Billion years old (2.x to the -8). Meaning statistically, it is indefensible... anyway, knowing the conversation was not going his way... he politely said, I think we're both right and walked away - basically dropping the sensitive subject.

People do not want to talk about sensitive subjects face to face, it is much easier walk away. Is this why we troll? People are so disconnected or entrenched we cannot have a face to face conversation with our neighbors.

If your first reaction is self preservation out of fear of being labeled A or B then maybe that is the wrong way. Maybe if we talk more face to face where we have skin in the game, people will begin to respect each others point of view instead of group think, anonymous postings on the web.

It's deeper than that. It used to be your social circle was based upon the community you lived in given there was nothing else unless you wanted to social isolate. So you were forced to find commonality among those you lived near or you moved to areas that shared more in common. This was far easier to see in areas like San Fransisco and New York but it was common all over the place. With the growth of the internet and the ability to easily find others with shared similar ideas it no longer mattered as much to find commonality and compromise among those, you lived around as there were others who were far closer in beliefs to you and thus fulfill the need for social belonging. Now you can ostracize those who you used to at a minimal tolerate and no longer need to find common ground and compromises with those who do not share the same beliefs. No longer does the fear of becoming an outcast matter as you know you have groups you belong to and that is far more important than being anonymous online. For as much as it had been the idea that anonymity brings out the worse in people it often ignores the fact that most are very attached to their online names and it is very much a part of who they are. It's the idea that they can say what they truly think and feel in that moment and know they still belong to a group even if that group is spread out over the world and is not physically in the same area. The downside is this leads to group thinking and narrows the tolerance of the individuals to the point where they strongly feel their way is the only right way and they must force everyone else to kneel to their vision of utopia or disengage with those who do not view the world the same way until they can gather enough of the troops together to hold a rally.

As for the face-to-face neighbors, most people have a hard time with confrontations and I am not sure you did anything beyond imprinting the fact that you jerk in their mind.

As for Trolling, like griefing I have to wonder if it's more an ambiguous term that is easily applied to others in cases where you feel uncomfortable or frustrated and not because of some clinical definition.
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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I don't know, maybe it is normal, maybe it is not - really don't care - that is why we troll, to push buttons, if we learn something along the way great, just like global warming pushed your buttons - but I'm not trying to troll you. Your argument should be based on my interaction with subject A.
Accepted given the thread. Always tempting to discuss all points, I should treat myself to a membership on the Something Awful forums they'd probably pull my head off and use it as a punch bag.
Back to the trolling stuff... you are right with the sample size, but this is just for fun/learning exercise. I am not going to publish this crazy shit.
There are so many motevators of trolling i'm not sure one theory can cover them all, however in your original post you did mention the world going downhill - I read a comic called 2000AD (Judge Dredd) where every so often a kind of psychotic lawbreaker features turmed a "Futsie" - someone suffering from Future Shock where the reality of how bad life in Mega City One is hits them and drives them crazy.

Taking the term Future Shock as a concept of people becoming psychologically effected by the modern world going to shit, would you say Trolling could be a release of that tension, or a symptom caused by it?

I also think there is a lot to look at with anomity and repercussions. You spoke to your neighbour. What would you say to a stranger? Now what would you say to a stranger if you were on a scaffold where they would not be able to reach you to visit co sequences upon your face? Bilders are notorious with their fearless cat-calls and wolf whistles at passing women typecast by the frew who choose to partake of such behaviours. There is the seperation by scaffold yes, but they also have a form of anomity afforded by the similar work issue Tees, High-Viz and Hard Hat outfits and crew of work bros to back them up if consequences are attempted to be brought, too... there is a type of bravado there which doesnt seem to be repeted at ground level... Trolls rarely have the numbers for herd defence unless its a Goon Swarm, but they have the ultimate in anonymised distancing in being a name on a screen. Are there parallels here, do you think?
 
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ColdDog

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As for the face-to-face neighbors, most people have a hard time with confrontations and I am not sure you did anything beyond imprinting the fact that you jerk in their mind.

As for Trolling, like griefing I have to wonder if it's more an ambiguous term that is easily applied to others in cases where you feel uncomfortable or frustrated and not because of some clinical definition.
The top portion, I agree with you, I think compromise is lost and this will be interesting to see how it plays out in the future as the divides grow between people who believe agenda A vs people who believe agenda B. What are the possible consequences of rapidly separating ideologies the continually reinforce each other within the specific communities. With the internet, as you have said, you can fully ignore the other side entirely.

Remember when you could talk politics in a bar or at work. I do, and wouldn't even think about it these days because people would get butt hurt, complain, and get you kicked out - offended society - just for having a different point of view - oh that horrible mental anguish.

As for my neighbor - you hit the nail on the head - which is what I am trying to illustrate. There are consequences for face to face interactions, such as me imposing my unsolicited question. Yes, maybe now I am the neighborhood Jerk... although I seriously doubt it. When you have skin in the game, your behavior changes. When you are trolling on spectrum, you have nothing to lose except access to a platform if you push too hard.
 

ColdDog

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I also think there is a lot to look at with anomity and repercussions. You spoke to your neighbour. What would you say to a stranger? Now what would you say to a stranger if you were on a scaffold where they would not be able to reach you to visit co sequences upon your face? Bilders are notorious with their fearless cat-calls and wolf whistles at passing women typecast by the frew who choose to partake of such behaviours. There is the seperation by scaffold yes, but they also have a form of anomity afforded by the similar work issue Tees, High-Viz and Hard Hat outfits and crew of work bros to back them up if consequences are attempted to be brought, too... there is a type of bravado there which doesnt seem to be repeted at ground level... Trolls rarely have the numbers for herd defence unless its a Goon Swarm, but they have the ultimate in anonymised distancing in being a name on a screen. Are there parallels here, do you think?
I agree with almost everything you and @Bambooza are saying. We all see, there is
  1. consequences to said activity vary (online, face to face)
  2. online isolation provide people a safe space to act when they would not otherwise when someone could punch them in the face
  3. Trolling, teasing, harassing, whatever verb you want to call it, is nothing new.
One of my favorite movies
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xaQu3uP6VA
 

NaffNaffBobFace

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Remember when you could talk politics in a bar or at work. I do, and wouldn't even think about it these days because people would get butt hurt, complain, and get you kicked out - offended society - just for having a different point of view - oh that horrible mental anguish.
Aha, you have got me thinking - Discussing polatics in the pub did used to be a thing which now is not as much, but the subject of discussion, polatics, has changed.

It used to be unifying, asperational, hope.

Modern polatics is more devisionary, tribal, fear.

To change the reaction to the subject, sometimes the subject must be changed... Is trolling then a gurilla reaction from a safe distance to this tribalism on any subject? You know they wont change their minds no matter how much evidence there is so is belligerence and ridicule all that is left in the age of the willful ignorant (on both sides).
 
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