Saturday, February 16, 2013

How We Encourage INTERNET TROLLS!!1!

Anyone who has ever steadily contributed to the internet has felt the nonsensical wrath of a group of users feared all over the universe(or maybe just the net) - The internet Trolls.

As Wikipedia describes it, In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response.  

Not trolling, just stupid
And THIS is the true definition of an internet troll, not some made up prank or a cheap trick involving the internet. Not everything is 'trolling'. Posting in all caps, hoping to infuriate less intelligent readers and/or trying to dissuade contributors with made up over the top stories is not the traits of a troll, they are the traits of a sick attention craving human.

 Not to say that trolls themselves don't crave attention, but the true original trolls were innovative and ingenious in their inflammatory capabilities.
Everyone has seen this people up close, or as close as internet anonymity allows. But what is the reasoning behind these set of like-minded people and why do even good guys can have destructive alter egos online?

Trolling is viewed as a humorous pastime by the troll himself. It is a time consuming game that requires patience and skill to pull it off. The achievement is the provoked online victim. Now in no way does this make sense, but when hierarchy is no longer present, there is no authoritative figure and anarchy takes over, this is the kind of kick a stingy user can get.

A simple reason is that people online don't usually know each other. And this in turn, encourages the 'you don't know me' behavior pattern where people lack any bond or a connection with the person they are interacting with. There is no indication of a real identity or measurable characteristics with the user and that makes it easier for people(even the good ones) to switch on their kamikaze insult mode.

Even if a troll is recognized, all it takes is a  couple of clicks to make another account or enable a proxy.


People rarely feel the same responsibility while interacting with the person whose name and identity they know as they would've if it was a real time conversation. This inability to physically see the person reduces the morals of the person.

How often have we seen a good comment's fate being decided by a bunch of angry and narrow minded users/trolls?  When the identity of a user is mixed with that of millions of other users, their individuality gets lowered and herd mentality triumphs.

It is considerably easier and all it takes is a few well edited strokes on the keyboard to form an opinion, post it, and then get the hell out of there. A person can make a provoking and aggressive pot and then quite simply just leave. This allows free ranting in the online world to people who otherwise have no time/courage to take up their own opinions and do something with them. Ranting is the real world equivalent of whining to strangers. Both equally frowned upon.

A trolling attempt can be simply thwarted if the users recognize the troll and his intentions and are not offended or provoked by the fallacy ridden opinion/rant and choose to simply ignore it.

You are an internet user. Yes, you!
Share this post and allow your friends to kill a troll simply by understanding him. After all, as Sun Tzu put it, 'If you know your enemies and know yourself, then you can successfully thwart any trolling attempts'.

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Anonymous said...

That was a pretty apt analysis.

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