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Juju's Message Bowl! > Frequently Asked Questions > TROLLS!

Definition of "TROLL"

(paraphrased from a Usenet FAQ)

1 - What is Trolling?

The use of the word "trolling" comes from the fishing technique where a baited hook is dragged through the water, in an attempt to attract and catch a fish. Trolling is the act of posting an article, or "troll" with the intention of provoking an emotional response. The phrase was originally coined as "Trolling for flames", where the posters intention was to incite a "flame war", the internet intellectual equivalent of a bar fight.

The basic idea behind trolling is to post a provocative message and then sit back and watch as newcomers (and some veterans) go nuts. A really simple troll, for example, is to post a message describing "101 Ways to Cook a Cat" in a "I Love My Cats" group. If the troller's lucky, people will rise to his bait, sometimes so vehemently that the area becomes engulfed in a flamewar that completely drowns out all other discussions.

2 - What is a Troll?

There are two basic troll species. Those with overactive minds constantly seek out new sources of mental stimuli. And there are those who are permanently disgruntled, or feel they've been "short changed" with the hand they've been dealt in life. They seek out ways to compensate for their shortcomings through vicious personal attacks against others in order to achieve a Mental Erection.

3 - Why do Trolls troll?

There are as many reasons as there are trolls. Many trolls are just practical jokers attempting to amuse themselves and their audience. Some have genuine animosity toward a particular group or individual that they believe has done them wrong. Some are just psychotic and disrupt the ordinarily peaceful exchange of useful information for their own perverted pleasure. The internet provides a medium to create and express oneself, and gives the added dimension of anonymity, allowing the troll to create and express emotions, thoughts and ideas that he/she might not ordinarily express.

What I Should Keep in Mind?

  • When you see a message that gets you really upset and angry, stop for a second and say to yourself "This might be a troll".
  • If the poster is new or has posted inflammatory messages in the past, it is most definitely a troll.
  • Even if you're not sure, assume it is a troll -- we could all use a little less stress, couldn't we?
  • Ignore the troll -- they hate it when no one listens to them.
  • Do not try to reason with the troll -- there's no point because the argument is completely fictitious!
  • Remember that if you do decide to answer the troll, it will only make things worse. Do you throw gas on a fire to put it out?


Some more TROLL info:
Internet Trolls (from AOL)
Flame Warriors by Mike Reed
Flame Wars and Other Online Arguments
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