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EsmeAmelia

Internet Trolls

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We've all run into them, the people who post things that they know will get on people's nerves for the sake of getting on people's nerves, the people who register at messageboards just to spam about how much the board's topic sucks, the people who leave spammy messages that have nothing to do with anything, the people who write intentionally horrible fanfic or whatever just to see the reactions.

 

For example, an atheist humor vid was recently posted on YouTube and this one person started posting all these comments threatening people with hell and saying science was ridiculous and women shouldn't speak in church and other stuff.

 

Then someone looked at the person's channel and what do you know, it turned out he had anti-religion vids in his channel. He was an atheist pretending to be a Christian apparently just to cause some wank.

 

When he was discovered, he started defending himself by saying things like "it was supposed to be funny" and "can't you take a joke" and "let's all be friends" as if everyone was supposed to get a good laugh out of it.

 

(If anyone wants a link to the wank, PM me, since I don't think the vid and the comments would be appropriate to link here.)

 

Anyway, I can't help but wonder why the person bothered. He knew he was going to get a whole lot of hate comments, so why did he take the time and energy to do it? What do you think motivates internet trolls, since (supposedly) they are actual people in real life, no matter how stupid they make themselves sound on the internet?

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Hm. For giggles?

 

That atheist troll you mentioned... He might be trying to slander Christians and was trying to rally up hate against religion. Then when his act blew up in his face he tried to cover it up. Iunno.

 

There was one time when I pretended I wasn't Indonesian, and whenever I came in contact with Indonesian people I use strictly English with them for the lulz. So all the while I kept up the act, I was thinking "Ha, fooled you all! I'm so awesome." It was very pointless and I still don't get why I thought it was a good idea :S It seemed very much fun at the time.

 

Edited to remove profane language.

~Mopiece

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Yes! Why do people do that sort of thing anyway? It's not just on YouTube and forums like this too! Several times on, for example, a Minecraft server that I was using peacefully, all these random people log on and spam chat. They blot out the chat bar with messages like "This server sucks! Come on this server!" or simply "hi" over and over again. You can't see anything that other players want to say and it drives me mad.

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Welp, I am not going to lie and tell I find it fairly funny to see how easy I can annoy people.

 

Like, I have this classmate that's always criticizes people's work and has this enormous ego. I find ways to annoy her every hour, and I am glad I do. Or else, she'd sass her pride in front of my nose and put me to shame because she just thinks she's the best there is. But the fact that she is easily annoyed is a way for me to remind her that she is not the boss simply because I can make her shut up by annoying her.

 

People are vulnerable when they are angered. It's like "I am superior to you, random person, because I have just found your weakness." And let's face it, people hate it when they have been laughed at for their vulnerability which only makes said trolls "troll" even more.

 

And to tell you from experience, I like seeing people snap XD I know it might be mean, but it also helps them release some of their energy in that moment. Plus, they're usually the ones feeling bad for snapping afterwards.

 

(COULD TALK ALL DAY ABOUT PSYCHOLOGY LEARNT FROM LIFE EXPERIENCE BUT WILL STOP NOW)

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Oh, I understand the temptation to try to annoy people for the heck of it. It just seems like more often than not the troll ends up making him/herself look like an idiot. That's the part I don't get. You end up thinking you're superior to everyone else when in reality everyone else is laughing at how stupid you make yourself look.

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A lot of trolls don't care bout looking superior. It's to see how many they can annoy and how many they enrage. They want to provoke a reaction and the more people that react, the more lulz it is.

 

Probably why the best way to get rid of a troll is to not respond. If they can't provoke a reaction, than they have nothing to feed on.

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Yes. That is probably the best way to get rid of a troll.

 

I have to admit, I have done things like what I mentioned before just for the fun of it. But when people got really mad I just stopped. However that's not what everyone does though...

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Yeah, the old "don't feed the trolls" thing.

 

Course, some people will think it's their duty to feed the trolls. The YouTube troll I mentioned earlier went back to pretending to be an intolerant Christians less than 24 hours after being caught and of course people started refuting his posts again, saying they didn't want people to wander in and start listening to him.

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To me, there are two types of trolls.

 

The first ones are the insulting types, who are the "classic" trolls. They exist to get on people's nerves and to basically be stupid and horrible. Like the atheist who pretended to be Christian and started posting sexist and rude fundamentalist jargon around the place just to demean Christians. That's a classic troll, and they're despicable. Just ignore them.

 

The second type of trolls aren't really trolls, but nowadays people call them that too, but in a more "joking" manner. Those are the trolls which really exist to be funny, and I like them. They're the kinds of people who do silly things to get people to laugh - like asking "How do I download water?" or "How do I get Youtube to come and film me?" on Yahoo!Answers to be funny, or men dressing up in dresses on Chatroulette to "troll" people. Now that's at least what I consider truly funny, and they aren't trying to piss people off, but to make them laugh. There's nothing wrong with sharing joy with others, now. ;)

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@kirroha:

 

Eh, I wouldn't call the second batch trolls as trolls usually mean bad things. You don't want to be called a troll.

 

The second type...honestly with how the internet is I doubt a lot of those people are trying to make you laugh. I see a lot of serious questions that makes me question humanity's "intelligence" or lack there of.

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Whether or not they believe the stuff they're spouting doesn't matter. They are still trolls imo.

 

Trolls are trying to incite/enrage/etc. people so it doesn't matter what they believe in. For example, as an atheist, If I go to a christian board posting my beliefs, they'll probably ban me as a troll. I'm purposely trolling that christian board knowing I'll get that angry reaction.

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IMO, there's a bit of a difference between simply posting your beliefs and trolling.

 

Sometimes a Christian might post on an atheist site because he/she truly believes it's his/her duty to save the people's souls and they're doomed to go to hell if he/she doesn't. People like that personally drive me crazy, but from that particular Christian's point of view he/she is doing something moral.

 

Or as a lesbian, I might comment on an anti-gay video on YT and point out how we're real people and we have rights - not to troll, but to spread a message that's very important to me.

 

In both cases, I wouldn't exactly call it trolling. Trolling would be purposely trying to annoy people, not spread any particular message.

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@esme: naw, I'd call that trolling simply because you should know better.

 

You're not going to change anyone's minds by posting on those boards so you might as well let everyone have their own corner of the internet rather than try to 'enlighten' them.

 

I mean, of all the corners to post (plenty where one would fit right in), they have to go bother a corner where they obviously will be ridiculed/ignored/etc. if not outright banned? Not cool.

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I think I had my share of experience with trolls, Amaranthia included (especially at the chat). However, I have seen the worst of them trolls in online news threads (at the comments) like those at Yahoo! News. >_<

 

Trolls, to me, are usually those who either don't understand forum rules, or actually ignoring (or breaking) them. However, there are exceptions that are bound to some factors. =p

 

I also agree with KTC here. The nature of the forum should be considered, too. For example, posting "women's rights is useless and a waste of time" in a Feminist Online community is trolling per se. Ignorance never is an excuse in finding out the nature of a certain community, except if it is too general in content.

 

However, I would not call it trolling if the choice of words is politically-correct, or very careful. Trolling is usually done with an intention of inciting anger. If it's explicit, straightforward, and straight-to-the-point, I think that's already trolling whether you mean it or not.

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@stardale:

 

Trolls, to me, are usually those who either don't understand forum rules, or actually ignoring (or breaking) them.

 

I am actually pretty positive trolls purposefully do bad stuff, even if they do or do not care about the rules. What I try to point out is, even if they don't know the rules, I don't think they even want to even try to understand them. :[

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Though some know the rules, but deliberately disobeys them.

 

I think we have a common denominator on trolls, yeah. Just don't feed them (or feed them secretly by just reporting to forum authority lol).

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As an experienced troll, I must say it is waaaay too enjoyable to deliberately annoy people. However, I don't do, and never angered people the way the guys did with Christian stuff. I act as illy and dumb as possible, and annoy people to their utmost when have the chance, but I never pass the limit, which is doing something the other wouldn't laugh of later.

 

Some of the exaggerate a lot, and I don't know why, and have no explanation for it.

 

However, I d agree it's unpleasant and something needs to be done about it.

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Do you think sometimes people troll out of anger? Like, I know I've left some snarky remarks on anti-gay vids and articles beacuse it's an issue very near and dear to me. Maybe sometimes people troll because they're personally offended?

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Sure. They're posting things that obviously won't be accepted by the majority of the readers/posters of that corner. So they should know they'll get flamed/banned.

 

Though I think a majority of trolls just do it to tick people off for the lulz.

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Hm, I spent a long time thinking of other reasons trolls do what they do, but I can't say I came up with an answer.

 

What gets to me even more than the "trolling of said trolls" is people feeding them lately. Because most of the time they are easily annoyed people seeking social justice on the internet and have strong feelings towards what they like and just blow their heads off just to feed the trolls. Or, even sadder, it's trolls that feed the trolls to annoy people who would have avoided feeding them in the first place.

 

I don't know if that makes sense, but this chain trolling is really unhealthy. I sometimes browse the comments on youtube and start thinking that people come here not to see videos, but to start arguing over petty trolls, or feeding trolls. It's like lame reality shows in chat form. :[

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