Friday, 12 December 2014

An Anatomy of Trolling

Aside from its angling connotation trolling is now an internet phenomenon. I think the term comes from pre-internet days when some one would ‘cast’ a controversial comment into a discussion. There would always be one member, or more, of the group who would ‘take the bait’ and depending on which way the discussion was going it would warm up a bit, maybe change tack or even kill the conversation completely. The caster could then be said to have ‘reeled ‘em in’. The modern day take on trolling is as in Troll under the bridge

The same goes for today on the internet. A perfectly reasonable discussion is taking place and occasionally someone drops in a comment sometimes to stir things up a bit or designed to cause mayhem. Some people are very good at that although why that is a problem I don’t understand.

Today it is not the same world we used to live in. It would seem we all have to ‘play nicely’ and be good little ‘girls and boys’. There is no shortage of people who will come along and let you know you are not ‘behaving’. And they are really annoying. If I want mothering I know where to go. I don’t need some anally retentive degenerate to mother me.

These people are usually PC fascists. Now I know people don’t like that term but they are. PCFs are out there and becoming an increasingly large group who think they have some god given right to tell each and every one of us about manners and playing nicely, how we should behave, and how we should talk to people.

I for one actually hate them because these people are the real trolls. They hide behind their ‘holier than thou’ smarmy smile As soon as the PCFs have made their point others in the group begin to align with them. That’s when the bullying really starts. Those who align dump on the person the PCFs are trolling and though seemingly inert start posting comments that oppose the objects view irrespective of whether he is right or wrong, or that have nothing to do with the topic such as changing the discussion to cookery. This is indeed a very immature thing to do and serves no purpose but to sideline the poor person who has an opposing view with the intention of making him leave the conversation. Like it or not this is a classic bullying tactic! We don’t want you in our club get out!

Eventually a moderator may step in. His/her actions could take one of three paths. Firstly they can delete comments you have made. This is censorship and is practiced by people who do not really understand what it is they are actually doing. Secondly they can delete whole post from the original opening post down to the last comment. This again is censorship, but not only have they denied the bullied person their say, they have also denied other contributors in the thread their say and of course removed any evidence of the problem. Should the bullied person wish to complain he has no evidence? Thirdly they can exclude the bullied person from the group. This is a big no-no. I think if this action is required it should be put before a magistrate. I say this because the bullied person is the victim and to exclude him because of his opinion is no different to excluding someone because of his colour/gender/sexual preference etc.

The problem with the PCFs is they can’t be wrong! Their first comment to you is designed to make you leave the conversation. And a lot of people would for an easy life. Once you have left the PCFs get a heightened idea of who he is and proclaims the victory. Further more this ‘victory’ only serves to spur him on to further attacks on others. Even his ‘aligned’ enclave of cyber-bullies are not exempt should they say the wrong thing. It’s a bit like ‘Do ya wanna be in my gang’.

Of course if you spot these people and stick to your guns and point out that they are the trolls they come back with something like “And we call that Projection LOL” Well it not funny so why LOL! And he is simply trying to hammer home his POV with his cyber bully gang. He has been caught out and rather than just give in he bites harder. It is at this point that you should leave because there is no way he will let you get away with showing him up in front of the gang.

Despite your protestations that what you said was relevant to the thread he will continue to justify his trolling. Here you have to terminate because you know you are right and he is wrong and in a short while the mods will start deleting comments and you may well be proven right.

So lets analyse a conversation I had recently.It all started innocently with the three posts


This is not the first time he has said this in fact this is often his first comment on a thread.

And then about an hour later


It was a couple of hours before I saw these comments and it struck me that there was maybe some irony in these comments in that they seemed to oppose each other a bit and I kinda said so. I see nothing wrong with what I wrote.


Well that, to me is where it started because Darren let off a fire cracker with this,


He didn’t originally say he saw the funny side of it. Had he done so maybe I wouldn’t have made my comment. I definitely wasn’t trolling. However his next two sentences are totally out of order and if he felt so strong about it, it could have been dealt with by PM. I most certainly wasn’t trolling and it is polite to mention the person to whom you are referring. And then he followed up with ….people whom cycle…..I can only think he was trying to be clever and it failed. Most people can’t use ‘whom’ in the right place and so don’t even try. This was so blatantly wrong. What was he trying to prove? (I wonder if I just did)


This obviously got up his nose because this was his next post,


Now I don’t understand this. This oik is a nob. I think he is making up the rules as he goes along. His response is quite wrong. What has actually happened is I have challenged him and that is a no-no. I most certainly was not trolling, just bringing two statements together to illuminate the position. Its not my fault he is incapable of expressing himself clearly.

I responded with


Which in itself is a put down I suppose. I have seen him on FB before and he makes a habit of this sort of behaviour so I told him so. Having not been trolling anyone, today, I pointed out that he was the problem


Well that was definitely a challenge because he then came back with a time honoured rebuke which to mind proved my position. I could see this coming a mile away.


Oh Darren what a nob you are. Yes projection is the right word but aimed at the wrong person. You are the troll and you are just trying to lay it on me. I can now no longer be bothered with this shit.


Of course then in comes the Moderator. Her comments were only serving her purpose of being a moderator. I had left the conversation I was not likely to comment again. She is not reminding everyone that there are rules she was reminding me and Darren. It wasn’t ‘most unpleasant’, it wasn’t nice others might have stepped away at the first rebuke, but ‘most unpleasant’ I don’t think so.


Here her comments are made to reinforce her position as a moderator. She did however leave the first three comments on the thread

I don’t like censorship in any form so I had to say that.


Others agreed with me!


In all things internet there will be those who for what ever reason have to give people a virtual slap and calling someone a troll is just that, it’s a weapon of control and (I probably do it more than I realise) depending who it is used on can be just as effective as a tazer.The trouble is once this cat is let out of the bag it is difficult to put it back. Even if complaints are made the jibe is out there and that just may colour the judgement of others when they are dealing with you. I know I am out spoken but when I say something it is considered and heart felt. Yeah you may not like what I say but I have a right to say it. Yes you can challenge what I say but slapping is as out of order on the net as it would be in face to face confrontations.


Malcolm said...

At least they can't censor our thoughts.
Ah, have I just been guilty of trolling? :)

ps. Still in Braunston? Back Wednesday, still no quote from the tank man!

m said...

pps. Who the f... is Darren Crouch anyway? Is that a stupid question?

Maffi said...

No he is not a stupid question. Just an internet nob. Bit like me I suppose.