“Jews invented trolling.”
“To troll or not to troll, that is the question.”
Trolling is an art, defined by a series of well-placed and thought-out arguments regarding a subject, that may or may not be refuted by persons who are of lesser intelligence than the troll himself. It is often assumed the art goes back to the days of Usenet, but has suffered a slight decline in skill and execution. Modern-day trolls often study anthrotrollogy in an attempt to revive older troll methods. However, as many Usenet manuscripts have been lost in the Great Fire of AOL, their positions are often unfounded and have little to no evidence backing them up.
Unfortunately, there are many troll diploma mills littered across the internet. Many people assume the role of a troll without any prior knowledge. However, the quality of such amateur trolling is very high and can be easily confused with veteran troll artists. Thus a new study (with government funding, of course) shows that some people actually have troll DNA located on the 40th link of protein TRL045 next to the proteins that control paranoia and overactive imaginations. This DNA link has been found in every race of humans throughout every country and continent, showing trollism does not choose a person by their color or racial background, even though the troll itself is very concerned with color and racial backgrounds.
Trolling has an long and storied history, full of many laughs at others' expense, utter randomness and angering of normal, non-trolling artists. This part of the article covers the history of trolling from a objective, unbiased standpoint. It is not to be taken without a grain of salt, though, as any reference to ancient trolling is purely hearsay.
When the Internet was still a relatively new invention by Al Gore, individuals would post on a community called 'Usenet' -- widely considered the first of internet forums -- in order to maintain their illusion that they were connected to each other by phone signals. It was a place where everyone from the 'expert' to the layman could argue and discuss points from which music was best to whatever they ate in the past hour.
Eventually, people became bored of maintaining their verisimilitude to life, and began to act like people would not if they were actually around other people. Individual trolls began popping up, and would utilize a strongly postmodern-influenced style of writing, combined with absurdism and pastische, in order to disrupt the normal flow of life, and alert people to their growing dependency on the, then, nascent internet.
Migrations During Usenet Era
Usenet Era work is mostly lost to time, as many Usenet groups have been abandoned and no one has financed any expeditions to these ruins in order to discover ancient trolling technique. Folk Trolling, a small, reactionary movement, has gained some foothold within recent years on the newer, more established forums ((such as Rules 1 and 2, and ebaumsworld, but for the most part, modern trolling shows its roots in the migratory and post-migratory periods of trolling. Trolling has become popular among high school students. Some schools such as Platt High School even have their own after school trolling activity club. The aim is to promote trolling in all aspects of life.
The Something Awful era was one of the first, and where many trolls congregated together in order to share their work, although they were often in the company of other deviants and freaks. Something Awful showed what a commune of trolls could achieve, yet remained very secluded and unnoticed by many individuals outside of the internet. At the time, many users of the internet were not mere mortals, but cybernetic post-humans.
The Something Awful era branches off into the Rules 1 and 2 era somewhere around 2003, when Rules 1 and 2 was formed by a group of incredibly skilled Heros of the internet. One of the contributors here did a specialty known as handle sharing in chatrooms, seen Something Awful go too far and harass his family via the mail. Countertrolling becomes something where they ended up crying to Encyclopedia Dramatica for backup and plagiarism becomes on the table. They end up dealing with a real nightmare when one of their victims goes at them on par to what they do, as it becomes downright brutal.
Ebaumsworld is widely known as a troll den as well. However, there is little attention paid to Ebaum's because of the propensity of trolls to either copy from previous sources, or to simply be unfunny and uncreative in their art. Trolling, however, is an ill-defined art with many allowances, so such judgments are usually not taken into account.
Rules 1 and 2 be damned.
When Google bought out YouTube, it became widespread. This widespread, open-ended, comment-littered area gave trolls the perfect ground to perform their art. In doing so, YouTube comments have now become a form of expression for trolls who are just beginning, or who have been performing since 1998.
However, one of the side effects is that stupidity has become a norm on comments, and have thus become unbearable to purvey. This became the battle ground where counter-troll becomes equally as nasty, and when they play counter-troll it becomes and art form. The counter-troll ranges from actual reporting to video blog where it's done in grayscale or looking like an old movie camera. Book-burning becomes something of a thing on YouTube.com as they resurrect the practice of Nazi.
Yahoo first started including comment boards with their news articles around 2004. They had to stop the service because of the sudden burst of troll behavior among its participants. They soon stopped the comment feature only to bring it back during the end of former President Bush's term in office in 2007. Ever since then, Yahoo has become a breeding ground for troll art. Then you have Tumblr when yahoo bought them out. This era saw malicious impersonation and appearing on WritersCafe.org stealing photos of the subject they trolled then appear on Facebook.com harassing the subject's real life friends.
Invasion of Gaming
Since the invention of headsets and text chat, trolling has plagued online gaming. Trolls have gained access to headsets (which make them even dumber, in a sense), and has only made things worse for the common gamer.
L33tSp33k has been identified as reverse trolling, in that it only insults the intelligence of those who happen to use it.
Trolling Out of the Internet
Though trolling as it is known today began in Usenet, trolling as a art has been performed for years. Epic trolls have been recorded, from Alexander the Great's death after amassing a huge empire that no one else could handle, to Dante's "Inferno" becoming canon for the Catholic Church, trolls have existed since the Classical period and show no sign of relenting. However, with the mass-dissemination of information via the media, certain trolls have been able to practice far and wide, and actually coerce individuals to join their huge performance art pieces.
Once such famous piece is by FOX News, where they have corralled many Americans into believing Neoconservative agendas and beliefs. As many masterful trolls in history, no one quite appreciates the humor inherent in it, and even the trolls seem to have become lost in their own performance. Then FictionPress.com sees the trolling of fan fiction communities and they felt the sting, the trolling creator is common.
Stylistically, trolling can be defined as "A art, one specifically designed to misdirect, anger, or confuse others by reporting meaningful information in a clear, coherent way." Many trolls will provide: solid, unbiased stances; proper usage of language (except in certain circumstances)); and will follow the rules of rhetoric, being careful to avoid such low moves as ad hominem fallacies, and straw man tactics. Generally, the troll occurs in a controversial, heated topic ((abortion, XBox360 vs. PS3, and trolling itself)) and tries to provide an outsiders' perspective on it, being as coherent as possible.
There are various styles to trolling, as with any art, and some do not completely follow the mainstream approach to trolling.
Derailment is one of the simplest, but flashiest, methods of trolling. Similar to pop-punk music, derailment will ensnare and fool many individuals into actively performing in the troll's piece. It is considered especially impressive on slow forums, where rules are stringently addressed. Derailment has obvious controversies behind it, as many forums maintain an "on-topic" rule. Some of them see on Shocklines when a submission call is done, would invite memes of Spiderman. Go as far as to railroad the post enough where it gets locked, some will go as far as invade one's privacy then seek out one's residence.
This style, named for the rhetorical method it employs, finds the troll taking a viewpoint that is opposite most of those within the forum, or in the thread. This method of trolling can range from quite simple (mere defamation) to complex (an actual discussion regarding the topic at hand from the Advocate's position.) Complex trolls of this method are rare, but are worth potentially millions of Internets. This one also goes into the mode of counter-trolling. The counter-troll are clever and sometimes enlisted to study psywar. They either had family in the military or had video blogs where they don't hide behind a fake name. This one infamously trolled the KKK with a drawing he did when he was 21.
Argued as being either a technique or a style, this method of trolling is not practiced by most veterans, but is a simpler form of trolling that most adolescent trolls learn before beginning large-scale, complex trolling techniques. It simply consists of insulting the poster one is targeting, and ruining his image.
The combined efforts of Something Awful and Encyclopedia Dramatica, what pisses them off is truth is being the countertroll's artform when publishing the book that's plays up the trolls scandals. The statements they say blow up in their faces and act like a dog with a tail between their legs. The industry factions went as far as to gain access to social security number of one of their victims. There are some in the industry who trolled Publish America, aka Atlanta Nights.
This form of trolling has been used almost religiously by butt fuckers and quife lickers since the birth of Facebook, Comprised of a quote or seemingly meaningless post to bait and trap Facebook 'Friends' followed by a storm of purposefull idiocy, leading to the eventual blocking of the Troll. This being the ultimate goal, it can always be noted as a victory.
Cannibalism is an advanced form of trolling understood only by a few, attempted by less, and only successfully executed by a few less than less than an few. The Cannibal troll is equivalent to a double agent in the spy world, -007 if you will. Cannibals will often covertly present themselves as troll bait, with the aim of attracting as many trolls as possible (e.g. posting a seemingly sincere, yet desperately sad and misguided clip on YouTube), this process is called 'herding the trolls'.
Once adequate trolls have attempted trolling said cannibal troll's troll bait, the cannibal reveals there true identity, thus consuming the mojo of all herded trolls, this process is called 'eating the trolls', or less commonly 'swallowing the troll vomit'. This is hardcore counter-troll and Journalism 101 played up. Cannibalism pays up when these get published in print via free places.
Criticisms of Trolling
Like many controversial forms of performance art, trolling has a lot of mainstream criticism from the public-at-large. The following are the most common:
Many people are just fed up with the unpleasantness of trolling. They fail to understand that trolling is a highly subjective art, sometimes so subjective that only the author can appreciate it. Many times, this criticism does nothing but to spur on the troll, as they find the rage that ensues from their antics to be indication of the success of their art.
Because trolls sometimes twist information, the nature of information, or the nature of what is libel/slander and what is not libel/slander, some people take issue with the legality of trolling as an artform or not -- especially in its more extreme forms.
As this is an issue for many law enforcement, it is probably the one that provides the most risk towards the troll, but also the most reward. There are some who go as far as seeking out the victim's phone numbers, impersonate and as far with Something Awful, enable plagiarism of one's material.
Then would turn the victim looking like a child sex offender when in truth they gave to St. Jude and has a heart of gold. Some had been caught impersonating classmates, going after a social security number, fabricate letters of DMCA and you name it they might have done it. These cases had been chronicled on WordPress.com and Tumblr.com. LiveJournal calls public figure and will allow it.
Allegations of Being an Idiot
Many people accuse trolls of being stupid, especially the more complex trolls. The opposite, however, is true. Complex trolls have an incredible capacity for long-term memory, limited short-term memory (to aid in the big picture of the art) and self-expression.
-this is choice as bro-!
As stated earlier, troll art and trollism can be very confusing to the untrained eye. A troll artist usually is someone who posts troll art for pure enjoyment. However, a person with trollism DNA actually believes in their art. Here are some clues to check if a person posting has trollism.
- 1. The person in question actually replies back to replies made to their comments.
- 2. The person in question has multiple accounts but posts similar information with similar grammatical errors.
- 3. The person in question will blame all and any problems on everything that has nothing to do with the problem itself.
- 4. The person in question is very sensitive with issues regarding politics, immigration, race, religion, war, and/or conspiracy theories.
- 5. The person in question will reply to other comments with a counter argument that usually doesn't counter argue at all.
- 6. The person in question calls everyone else stupid and tries to correct other commenter's grammar with their own unique grammar techniques.
- 7. The person in question will state that the article being commented on (in the case of Yahoo) is worthless and the person who wrote it should be fired. However, the troll will never state was is wrong with the article because they do not know why either.
- 8. The person in question types in all capital letters.
If you find any of these characteristics on any post on the internet, you can safely assume that trolls are at work. Trolls also tend to put comments in the middle of the night. Trolls have a unique ability to stir up emotion and paranoia within the public. They will make threats to other people in order to push through their own beliefs. Trolls are usually attracted to articles that are about politics, immigration, race, religion, war, conspiracy theories and social networking.
Here are some examples of people with trollism commenting on the article, "US grapples with bedbugs, misuse of pesticides."
Troll A: "If you have stayed in one of those cheap and filthy motels owned or operated by Indians, you know where the bedbugs in your bed are from. Indians are immune to bedbugs, since they have had them in their beds for thousands of years."
Troll B: "blame immigration/increased foreign travel. other parts of the world are crapholes. and people come here to the u.s. or go home and visit relatives, then return. the u.s. was the cleanest country on earth when we use to do things right. now, we're just the biggest third-world country. sad. bedbugs are merely a symptom of that."
Troll C: "Has anyone read a recent news article on so called "Super Bugs" from India? Well, bedbugs are from India too. If you have stayed in one of those cheap and filthy motels owned or operated by Indians, you know where the bedbugs in your bed are from. Indians are immune to bedbugs, since they have had them in their beds for thousands of years."
- note, troll A and troll C have different screen names
Troll D: "One good thing about the bedbugs, Libs. It'll keep your mind off the HIV. Life is good."
Troll E: "Let all the trash of the world in. Bedbugs, super staff, mumps, it won't be long before polio and Bubonic Plague will be in America. Immigration laws were make to allow people to emigrate to America that would benefit the country. That would be people like doctors and engineers, not the lowest of the low that are invading our country by the millions."
As you can see, trollism affects many different people. If you see any comments that have nothing to do with the article, but somehow use one aspect of that article to twist it into something political and off topic, you can nod your head and smile because you have found a person affected with trollism. However, no matter how convincing the troll's message may be, remember that trolls do not know how to logically think and use this to their advantage to catch people off guard.
- 1. Stay away.
- 2. Close or ignore all comment boards, they are heavily infested.
- 3. In the event you have become exposed to trollistic comments, close your eyes and remember, you are only feeling anger because of the effects of troll fever. Simply close the browser and remember that trolls have no information based on fact, only paranoia and over active imaginations.
- 4. If you have a troll comment on anything you posted, remember that other trolls will be out there to take care of that troll for you.