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An Internet Troll
February 8, 2012 9:03 AM   Subscribe

So there you go: an internet troll. That's what they look like.
posted by Avenger50 (95 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Trolls live in Cardiff. I knew it!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:08 AM on February 8, 2012 [20 favorites]


He's a bit older than I expected
posted by Hoopo at 9:10 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


A racist, but a lazy racist unwilling to put any hard work or feeling into it.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:10 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


The seriousness of the voice-over at 0:51 made me swear I was watching Brass Eye.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:11 AM on February 8, 2012 [20 favorites]


Pretty much like I imagine. I feel like that didn't work out exactly as the video crew hoped.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:15 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seems about right.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 9:15 AM on February 8, 2012


I thought this was going to be some sort of parody. I waited a good two minutes before I realized there would be no punchline.
posted by elwoodwiles at 9:16 AM on February 8, 2012 [16 favorites]


Yup. He looked about like I would have expected.
posted by OmieWise at 9:16 AM on February 8, 2012


We get a better class of troll here, of course.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 9:16 AM on February 8, 2012


Seems a bit like a waste of time. The troll doesn't care and the reporter essentially got nothing face to face that he couldn't have gotten by talking to the guy on Facebook.
posted by Splunge at 9:17 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I kind of felt bad for the troll.. that guy was just oozing pain. He looked like he'd had a hard, hard life. Doesn't excuse his behavior, but man. What's he passing along to that kid?
posted by zug at 9:18 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Pathetic wanker.
posted by darkstar at 9:19 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was really hoping the troll would say something like: "I'm just giving voice to an ugliness that many people harbor but are too cowardly to speak. I'm holding a mirror up to society."

Instead what we got was pretty much was everyone was expecting: an angry asshole (who probably needs a hug).
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:19 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


What's he passing along to that kid?

Lung cancer, at the very least.
posted by elwoodwiles at 9:19 AM on February 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


I had wondered what happened to Brave Little Toaster
posted by parmanparman at 9:20 AM on February 8, 2012


I don't look anything like that.
posted by rahnefan at 9:22 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Considering a Darren Burton of Cardiff was apparently incarcerated for two years for illegal possession of a firearm, I guess it's not surprising he was scoffy about 9 weeks in jail.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:22 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wrong. This is what a troll looks like.
posted by DU at 9:22 AM on February 8, 2012 [37 favorites]


A racist, but a lazy racist unwilling to put any hard work or feeling into it.
But apparently willing to do 9 weeks in jail to protect his right to post shit on "Open Forums" like facebook!
Seems a bit like a waste of time. The troll doesn't care and the reporter essentially got nothing face to face that he couldn't have gotten by talking to the guy on Facebook.
Well, I don't think they really expected anything, they just wanted to make a spectacle of it and potentially embarrass him.
posted by delmoi at 9:26 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know it's a bit pat to say that a troll only has as much power as we give them, but really, the portentousness of this is a bit ridiculous.
posted by Think_Long at 9:27 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Does that dude look like the kind of person that has the capacity to be embarrassed?
posted by spicynuts at 9:28 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Holy god, this is real? It's not April 1, so I guess this is real. Ridiculous.
posted by koeselitz at 9:31 AM on February 8, 2012


Wrong. This is what a troll looks like.

Oh man, I even got myself with my malformed link. But the point stands. Racists are not trolls, they're just racists. Trolls are statements designed to get people to respond with corrections. They are kind of like mental virii. Trollers are people who write trolls.
posted by DU at 9:31 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I thought you were just trolling with that bad link. METATROLL
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:34 AM on February 8, 2012


This post reminds me of HITLER.

Seriously though "rot in piss" that's the best he can do?

I thought this was going to be some sort of parody.

Self-parody is parody too.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:36 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


We get a better class of troll here, of course.

Thanks, le morte de bea arthur! Much appreciated!
posted by IAmBroom at 9:38 AM on February 8, 2012


Getting the BBC to come out and confront you in person is almost as good as the guy that threatens to beat you up actually showing up. Not that I ever troll.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 9:39 AM on February 8, 2012 [7 favorites]


The troll doesn't care and the reporter essentially got nothing face to face that he couldn't have gotten by talking to the guy on Facebook.

Am I the only one who was struck by how similar in appearance the troll was to the interviewer? Same height, short dark hair, basic build, nondescript dark jacket, and pants. One could easily be the others stunt double ... or his brother.
posted by philip-random at 9:40 AM on February 8, 2012


I kind of felt bad for the troll.. that guy was just oozing pain. He looked like he'd had a hard, hard life. Doesn't excuse his behavior, but man.

In my worse moments, I have felt like that. "Fuck the world and fuck you!" and nothing that anyone would say would reach me.

I'm not excusing his behavior. It pains me when I see it, though. But it also makes me glad that I'm not in that place.
posted by sutt at 9:42 AM on February 8, 2012


Hard life? Maybe, but I think he looked hung over to me.
posted by PJLandis at 9:42 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sincere asshats are not trolls. Trolls are insincere caricatures of sincere asshats, created for purposes of winding everybody up. This man is a Troll Noumenon.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:53 AM on February 8, 2012 [16 favorites]


I watched Troll Hunter last night. He should have made him explode by shining a torch in his face
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:03 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Remember, about 10 years ago, when people got excited when you could do XXX, which you had always been able to do, but now you could do it on the internet.

Apparently some people think that "trolling" = being an asshole on the internet.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:06 AM on February 8, 2012 [14 favorites]


When I was a child Panorama was a serious current affairs and investigative journalism show, now its largely drivel where some prick thinks getting in some nobody's face is somehow saying something about the state of Britain. It doesn't, except that the BBC has no serious role to play in the politics of the day. Someone should cut this bloke's press card up and send him back to regional news.
posted by biffa at 10:08 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


He's seems a bit like a sociopath to me. I feel sad for his kids, and all the dismembered pets he's probably had.
posted by littlerobothead at 10:10 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm disappointed. I remember back in the good old days when trolls actually put some effort and skill into winding people up. This clown? He's a barely literate asshole who can only use a computer because everything is done for him.

*sigh* Just goes to show everything was smarter back in the days of usenet, even the trolls.
posted by happyroach at 10:17 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Breaking news: workshy racist bully finds entire life and worldview validated by national media organisation.

Coming up: Dogs and postmen: is reconciliation possible after latest outrage?
posted by MuffinMan at 10:19 AM on February 8, 2012


Another damn Welsh troll on the interwebs!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:20 AM on February 8, 2012


This is only trolling if the entire dimwitted haterrhoea up to that moment was a brilliantly-conceived plan to get onto European TV and call Facebook an open forum so soon after FOSDEM.

If not, he's just a douche, surely?
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:22 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Next up on BBC: Your local Council Chavs - Where are they now?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:23 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


1. The real troll was the guy who gave up this man to the media.
2. Why did he agree to have his likeness on television? You have to consent to that in the UK, don't you?
posted by danny the boy at 10:29 AM on February 8, 2012


TRROOOOOLLL!!!!
posted by Artw at 10:29 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


A racist, but a lazy racist unwilling to put any hard work or feeling into it.

Do we really need to bring Ron Paul in to this?
posted by octobersurprise at 10:32 AM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


Doleful Creature: "I was really hoping the troll would say something like: "I'm just giving voice to an ugliness that many people harbor but are too cowardly to speak. I'm holding a mirror up to society." "

I've read "I'm just saying what we're all thinking!" enough times that it's not something I hope for.
posted by brundlefly at 10:37 AM on February 8, 2012


This needs a Werner Herzog-esque voice over concerning the provocation people on the Internet as a metaphor for some deep state of the human condition and/or the fragility of nature.
posted by polywomp at 10:39 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


Trolling is a art.
posted by clarknova at 10:40 AM on February 8, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sincere asshats are not trolls. Trolls are insincere caricatures of sincere asshats, created for purposes of winding everybody up. This man is a Troll Noumenon.

Seriously. Going into a Star Trek newsgroup circa 1998 and posting about how a Star Destroyer would beat the Enterprise every single time unless Janeway was captaining it would be trolling. Asking Stormfront to rank the non-white races is trolling. Working out a Zelda timeline that starts with Zelda II and completely ignores Ocarina of Time because "who cares about that old crap anyway" is trolling. This is just a racist dude being racist on the Internet.
posted by Copronymus at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2012 [20 favorites]


Why did he agree to have his likeness on television? You have to consent to that in the UK, don't you?

No, freedom of expression out ways privacy in some circumstances. They usually do this sort of thing in the street (ie not a private place) which helps ... like all those shots you see on the news of people going into magistrates court.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:44 AM on February 8, 2012


This needs a Werner Herzog-esque voice over concerning the provocation people on the Internet ...

In lieu of that: a somewhat appropriate stand-in
posted by pokermonk at 10:48 AM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Needs moar lulz. I was really hoping this would be some 4channer.
posted by modernserf at 10:50 AM on February 8, 2012


So... when you corner an internet troll, they behave like they are still online. Nie to know that his face is out there now, though.

Paging Karma. Karma to Cardiff.
posted by Dodecadermaldenticles at 11:02 AM on February 8, 2012


Regardless of their mischaracterization of "troll," I think it's good when people get looked up like this. We talk about anonymity on the internet, but anonymity must be cultivated, and people who N-bomb memorial pages should learn to perhaps expect a knock on the door. It's a two way street.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:08 AM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Oh man, I even got myself with my malformed link. But the point stands. Racists are not trolls, they're just racists. Trolls are statements designed to get people to respond with corrections. They are kind of like mental virii. Trollers are people who write trolls."

no im pretty sure trolls are all welsh
posted by klangklangston at 11:10 AM on February 8, 2012


Copronymous: Going into a Star Trek newsgroup circa 1998 and posting about how a Star Destroyer would beat the Enterprise every single time unless Janeway was captaining it would be trolling.

Indeed. Allow me to quote from a Usenet post from alt.folklore.urban from 1997 (!):
There's also an important distinction to be drawn between trolls and flamebait. Trolls usually contain deliberate misstatements of fact (e.g., "Captain Kirk's middle name is Ruthven", or "Light cannot travel in a vacuum"); flamebait usually contains an outrageous opinion (e.g., stating that a certain diabolical dictator "was a great man").
Also, try not to think about how 1997 was 15 years ago.
posted by mhum at 11:14 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


no im pretty sure trolls are all welsh

It's true! cf. Wilson's "The Return of the Lloigor".
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on February 8, 2012


METATROLL
Who is, of course, the Voice of Troll-God.
posted by 1adam12 at 11:22 AM on February 8, 2012 [6 favorites]


"Trolling is a art."

Trolling is an art.



See what I did there? I'm an artist!
posted by sutt at 11:32 AM on February 8, 2012


Seriously. Going into a Star Trek newsgroup circa 1998 and posting about how a Star Destroyer would beat the Enterprise every single time unless Janeway was captaining it would be trolling. Asking Stormfront to rank the non-white races is trolling. Working out a Zelda timeline that starts with Zelda II and completely ignores Ocarina of Time because "who cares about that old crap anyway" is trolling. This is just a racist dude being racist on the Internet.

Word. My husband is an internet troll--he'll even admit it. He just LOVES getting on vent and declaring that "WoW was the first MMO." Is he racist? Nah. Obnoxious? Surely.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:33 AM on February 8, 2012


Going into a Star Trek newsgroup circa 1998 and posting about how a Star Destroyer would beat the Enterprise every single time unless Janeway was captaining it would be trolling.

Phh. Even Janeway can't stop the firepower of a Star Destroyer.
posted by Edison Carter at 11:50 AM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm disappointed.

I don't know why I assume that people who appear to enjoy causing suffering (serial killers, ruthless dictators, even terrorists) must be at least somewhat interesting from a psychological standpoint. I suppose I just need to believe that there's something going in their heads, even if it's disturbing beyond words and I can't rationalize it myself. While I don't have much experience with or understand internet trolls because I always ignore them, I always assumed that if I paid attention to what goes on in their heads, I'd find something notable.

This guy isn't interesting at all. He's just a loser.
posted by hypotheticole at 12:05 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was about to compose a considered explanation as to why the Enterprise is much more powerful than a Star Destroyer. And then I was like, "Dude, really?"
posted by Splunge at 12:17 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


Damn trolls coming through the Cardiff Rift...it's almost worse than the Weevil infestation there.
posted by melissam at 12:26 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I keep on forgetting that people can be put in jail for saying mean things in the UK -- really? Nine weeks (or thereabouts)? I don't like racists either, but -- c'mon, guys. Jail? "Inciting racial hatred?"
posted by incessant at 12:26 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Given the planet and asteroid smashing gear every random ship in the Star Wars universe has, it's amazing they have a functioning society.
posted by zippy at 12:35 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I saw one a while back that was all about how great the Enterprise is compared to anything in the WH40k universe, and I was all "are you kidding? It'd totally get eaten by demons the moment it went into warp."
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was about to compose a considered explanation as to why the Enterprise is much more powerful than a Star Destroyer. And then I was like, "Dude, really?"

People have already broken this argument down. The Enterprise is nowhere near as powerful.

YEAH REALLY
posted by Edison Carter at 12:50 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


Would Q would win against the united front of all Jedi and Sith?
posted by zippy at 12:59 PM on February 8, 2012


Yeah, probably.
posted by Edison Carter at 1:11 PM on February 8, 2012


Sega is definitely better than Nintendo.
posted by run"monty at 1:32 PM on February 8, 2012


It literally does what Nintendon't
posted by Copronymus at 1:38 PM on February 8, 2012 [2 favorites]


He was found in Cardiff? This dude is obviously from raxacoricofallapatorius.
posted by FirstMateKate at 2:02 PM on February 8, 2012


Come on guys (and the ladies too!!!). As if we wouldn't all do this if we could get away with it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:22 PM on February 8, 2012


> See what I did there? I'm an artist!

posted by clarknova at 2:22 PM on February 8, 2012


More of a lazy, noisy asshat than a classic troll, yeah - I like how he reached right for the asshat's trump card. "OPEN FORUM! MY OPINION! I CAN VOICE MY OPINION! OPEN FORUM!"

I'm 100% sure that when his comments get deleted, he thinks that he's been "censored."
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:57 PM on February 8, 2012


The word troll has suffered the same fate as the work hacker.

It's a great pity. A new word is needed for people who provoke people on the net, for both nefarious purposes and in order to disrupt group thought.

Classic trolling clever provocation.

See Adequacy
posted by sien at 3:10 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Indeed. Allow me to quote from a Usenet post from alt.folklore.urban from 1997"

Thanks for that. Your link caused me to spend some time re-reading posts I'd written and read back then that, amazingly, I still remember pretty well. I was hoping I'd find something I'd written about trolling right around your June 1997 date, but alas.

There was pretty good trolling on a.f.u. back in the day, though. The best part was the careful cultivation of a sporting ethos. Some fish were strictly off-limits for being far too easy to catch—for example, Canadians.

Here's Charles Dimmick chiding me for what was, as it happens, not a sincere attempt at trolling; but his admonishments were appropriate, nevertheless:
Keith M Ellis wrote: 
> Don't you know that humans are the only animals that have sex for fun, 
> engage in homosexual behavior, kill for sport, fight wars, and are 
> monogymous?  Oh, also, humans are the only animals with a soul; and that 
> think; fall in love; or that enjoy the TV show, "Suddenly Susan." 

Don't you know that trolling with a nine-barbed hook the only fish 
you catch are so dumb that 1) they aren't worth keeping and 2) 
you don't get any credit for catching them? Even one of my cats 
started laughing when she read this one. 

Charles Wm. "and she _likes_ dumb fish" Dimmick 
At any rate, these days troll just means "someone who's habitually an asshole on the Internet" and, sadly, that is a usage with some relevance. For example, this guy. And, you know, I'm all for tracking folk like that down, confronting them with a camera crew, and demanding that they explain just exactly what the fuck is wrong with them.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:37 PM on February 8, 2012 [3 favorites]


these days troll just means "someone who's habitually an asshole on the Internet"

Seriously? I was assuming that it was a deliberate misuse of the word designed to provoke everyone to go about explaining what it actually means.
posted by sfenders at 4:18 PM on February 8, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've read "I'm just saying what we're all thinking!" enough times that it's not something I hope for.

Oh, hey, I really like it when people say "I'm not rude, I'm DIRECT!" and then I say "Why are you separating those two things?" As if there's a built-in mutual exclusivity. AFAICT, its just an excuse for being an asshole.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:26 PM on February 8, 2012


Star Wars was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Even with all the Star Trek time warp plots it would take for the Enterprise to even get to the correct time, it's in another galaxy. Apparently, intergalactic travel is still pretty budget in Star Trek town, since it took Voyager 7 seasons and a movie deus ex machina to get halfway across the galaxy, so the Enterprise wouldn't have much of a chance to even reach this primitive society of Jedi.

Also, Skrillex invented dubstep.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 4:32 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


I wrote something a few years ago that I think is appropriate here:

"If you remember that the person across from you is a hairless ape, you will be okay. Just remember that. And don't be surprised about anything they do. It may save your life one day."

You're welcome.
posted by Splunge at 4:41 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


As well, phasers and photon torpedoes trump anti-fighter weapons. So there!
posted by Splunge at 4:43 PM on February 8, 2012


Sega is definitely better than Nintendo.

Even as a joke this almost got me. It's funny how these things can stick with you all these years without even knowing. BTW, Sega had no Final Fantasy IV or VI, end of argument.
posted by Hoopo at 4:49 PM on February 8, 2012


You're right. Sega had Phantasy Star, which kicked Final Fantasy's ass up and down the block.
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:54 PM on February 8, 2012


Whatever. Mario Kart makes SNES like an invincibility star-powered ghost with a red shell in this fight.
posted by Hoopo at 5:09 PM on February 8, 2012


why is everybody so invested in this guy not being a 'true' troll
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 5:25 PM on February 8, 2012


I notice you didn't dispute Phantasy Star's clear and inarguable superiority to Final Fantasy because I'm so right about that it hurts.

(I'm not sure who is trolling who at this point)
posted by EatTheWeak at 5:35 PM on February 8, 2012


emacs sucks.
posted by clvrmnky at 7:52 PM on February 8, 2012 [1 favorite]


i mean he's racist but it's not like he isn't

if anything, it raises the question of why these tactics so lend themselves to bigotry
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:11 PM on February 8, 2012


But let's be honest. The Enterprise is only one of many ships. They use anti-matter reactions for their basic movement. As well the Federation can beam antimatter bombs anywhere that they want.

The Empire uses shields to keep air inside the the place where shuttles land.

The Enterprise uses their transporters to place antimatter on each and every ship in the fleet.

Game over.
posted by Splunge at 8:29 PM on February 8, 2012


The reporter decided to just confront him and ask "why do you do it?" I don't get it. Did they even think this through? What do most angry people do when confronted with accusations with a camera showing? Exactly what this guy did. Tell them to go away, then escape.

They should have gone over various scenarios and come up with some kind of approach that would have been more interesting. Maybe act like you are also angry at the world and try to get on his side and then start to get into his head. That would have been much more interesting.
posted by eye of newt at 11:41 PM on February 8, 2012


why is everybody so invested in this guy not being a 'true' troll

It's just an interesting distinction and the word 'troll' is coming into common language with an incorrect meaning. Sort of like 'begs the question' or 'literally'. Also, the notion of the troll, the person who doesn't even necessarily mean what they're saying, who just wants to make people's eyes twitch, is a more fascinating psyche than the 'asshole with assholish ideas'. There aren't really that many questions to ask about the motivations of the latter.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:17 AM on February 9, 2012


That was difficult for me to watch...

Because this MacBook is just terrible to use. It's so unintuitive. I wish I'd bought a PC.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:40 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's just an interesting distinction and the word 'troll' is coming into common language with an incorrect meaning.

I think you meant to say different meaning there.
posted by biffa at 6:34 AM on February 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


@Llama
Also, the notion of the troll, the person who doesn't even necessarily mean what they're saying, who just wants to make people's eyes twitch, is a more fascinating psyche than the 'asshole with assholish ideas'
what i am getting at is that those are by no means necessarily "mutually exclusive" or "separate things"

i have to wonder if maybe this guy, or Chris-Chan stalkers, or Jason Fortuny, or James O'Keefe, etc. don't shine a valuable light on what 'trolling' actually is
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 8:18 AM on February 9, 2012


Reddit is better than Metafilter
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:33 AM on February 9, 2012


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