He's ain't a troll. He's just misunderstood.
May 6, 2012 9:45 AM   Subscribe

Stefan Krappitz recently published the book Troll Culture: A Comprehensive Guide. The work positions internet provocateurs as contemporary satirists who may have sophisticated political and social critique informing their pranks. Discussion is centered on the lulz culture of 4chan but includes ill-mannered charmers like Ralph Pootawn (Second Life), bloodninja (AIM / IRC), Diogenes and Tracky Birthday.

Note: I have met Krappitz but I was not involved with the project.
posted by mr.ersatz (41 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

 
First comment! /satirical social critique
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:51 AM on May 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


Trolling is a art!

Stopped reading.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:55 AM on May 6, 2012 [7 favorites]


Crap. I forgot to link to the recent interview with the author.
posted by mr.ersatz at 10:00 AM on May 6, 2012


Troll Culture now availible as a book if you're too lazy to read on screen:

He practices what he preaches.
posted by cmoj at 10:07 AM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think you could argue that the booting of quonsar was an essential part of the ongoing singaporization of MetaFilter.

Yes. He was an asshole, but he was our asshole. His function was to point out hypocrisy and to mock pretension. He was rude and funny. When he (finally) went, MetaFilter became much more polite and "inclusive" as long as your notion of "inclusion" means "committed to anodyne comments about interesting things other people are doing on the web."

If you track the evolution of the quonsar tag, it's like a case study in how provocateurs get sacrificed and then turned into safe, community integrating rituals.

Yay us.
posted by R. Schlock at 10:12 AM on May 6, 2012 [14 favorites]


I suppose this will most effectively troll those who end up thinking others are supposed to take it seriously.
posted by Anything at 10:13 AM on May 6, 2012


You sir, have a fish in your pants.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:14 AM on May 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


One of my favorite sagas of this type is the life and times of Fansy the Bard.
posted by Edogy at 10:17 AM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Then I beheld the man with no fish and no pants and I cast away my pants.
posted by clavdivs at 10:17 AM on May 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Quonsar was a very funny and nice guy who I miss a lot.
posted by jonmc at 10:18 AM on May 6, 2012 [6 favorites]


jonmc: Agreed. I'd trade a dozen handwringers for one Quonsar any day.
posted by Leon at 10:25 AM on May 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Trolls: the real oppressed minority.
posted by kmz at 10:26 AM on May 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Jeez, no mention of alt.syntax.tactical.
posted by Catblack at 10:31 AM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


hey now, you people were scaring me.
posted by mwhybark at 10:32 AM on May 6, 2012


I think you could argue that the booting of quonsar was an essential part of the ongoing singaporization of MetaFilter.

quonsar is still here, and as I understand it his only real, permanent "booting" was his own choice.

I'm not sure if his (or metafilter's) mellowing has as much to do with "singaporization" as it does with us just getting older and mellowing out.

And I'm still here and I'm still an argumentative son of a bitch, too, but I've also mellowed, and it's at least partially intentional. I've met too many people IRL to forget (so easily) that there's actually other humans on the other end of the keyboard, and I frankly regret many if not most of my really incendiary/attacking comments - even some of the most popular ones - you turgid barn-scented wastrel!

See, I barely do truly offensive creative swearing any more. I'm just not angry enough. It doesn't have anything to do with the moderation, either, because they've more or less left me alone over the years.

Anyway: I PUT ON MY ROBE AND WIZARD HAT.
posted by loquacious at 10:33 AM on May 6, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is a notsoinsightful piece, that written in a strange German-English hybrid dialect is. The "sophisticated political and social critique" argument seems quite hard to find, and poorly fleshed out, buried as it is in among the cutesy, coy "welcome to the internet" instruction-manual stuff. Can someone point to the actual interesting content here?
posted by RogerB at 10:34 AM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


*says something about brazilian waxes*
posted by jonmc at 10:35 AM on May 6, 2012


Why mourn quonsar when he's still here?

I have a friend who's proud as punch that she's been banned from a number of forums. She loves the attention that trolling brings her. I like hanging out with her in person, but I'm not going to point her to metafilter; anyone who wants to interact with adolescent attention-seekers (aka iconoclasts who challenge TPTB to some, I guess) can do so in a lot of different places on the internet, including most comment sections of most newspapers. Go and have fun.
posted by rtha at 10:43 AM on May 6, 2012


Trolling is a art!

And/or mental illness.
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM on May 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Many, many, many, many trolls are intelligent and creative people who express themselves through a kind of syncretic performance art blending "old" and "new" media, creating things that are genuinely good traditional art and tying them to a consistent and provocative persona. There are a lot of bad trolls--who don't have artistic chops, who don't have interesting or engaging personae--and they're usually the ones who are just trying to annoy or upset someone for lulz. Truly good trolls engage their "audience" as active participants, and often leave them wondering later if they're really trolls or crazy or what was that. I'm a pretty mild mannered person, but I kind of do consider the better examples as a force of--not good, exactly, but--raw creativity in the world.


















Yes, this comment is both totally sincere and also totally trolling.
posted by byanyothername at 10:53 AM on May 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


quonsar, quonsar, quonsar!

*shoves fish in pants, making the appropriate ritualistic pelvic thrusts*
posted by loquacious at 10:57 AM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think trolls are one of the better-understood internet archetypes, actually, and denying that one is a troll is in many ways the central tenet of trolldom; what's more, trolls' stock-in-trade is disingenuousness, so I'm not inclined to take seriously or even listen to anything that someone who has a sympathetic perspective on them says.
posted by clockzero at 10:57 AM on May 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, without brave quonsar we're adrift. How can we know whether we care about things more than a grumpy internet man thinks is appropriate?
posted by emmtee at 11:08 AM on May 6, 2012 [4 favorites]


Trolling is a art!

And/or mental illness.


Based on those pages, tolling is driven by an extremely divergent web design sense....
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:08 AM on May 6, 2012


You know what's also an art? Ignoring trolls.

And it's a more difficult one, but a higher one. It's just that it leaves less of a mark and so it's harder to notice.
posted by benito.strauss at 11:14 AM on May 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


Does the book at all explore the fact that online feminist spaces have a history of being targeted by misogynist trolls? I've seen more than one online feminist community completely destroyed by such trolls, and it's pretty hard for me to see that as "sophisticated political and social critique."
posted by lunasol at 11:16 AM on May 6, 2012 [5 favorites]


No mention of myg0t, the original video game trolls.
posted by anewnadir at 11:19 AM on May 6, 2012


lunasol: He does. He describes effective troll defense techniques and talks specifically about the "go make me a sammitch" troll in feminist forums. He also makes a big effort to distinguish between "good" trolling and simple misanthropic crap.
posted by mr.ersatz at 11:24 AM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


He describes effective troll defense techniques and talks specifically about the "go make me a sammitch" troll in feminist forums.

But does he discuss the "I'm going to rape you" troll?
posted by Anything at 11:35 AM on May 6, 2012 [3 favorites]


No True Troll...
posted by kmz at 11:49 AM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


A brazillion waxes.....that's a lot, isn't it?

Please don't hurt me.
posted by mule98J at 12:04 PM on May 6, 2012


Trolling is a art!

Stopped reading.


This counts as a bite. The angrier you get at a troll is only minus points on your side. Trolling is like thermonuclear war: The only winning move is not to play.
posted by DU at 12:07 PM on May 6, 2012


A strange game, Professor Falken, LOL ur a tard.
posted by Artw at 12:35 PM on May 6, 2012 [11 favorites]


I never really thought of quonsar as a troll. He was too sincere and obvious, and not nearly enraging enough. It was a similar goal, but a much more transparent method.
posted by Snyder at 12:59 PM on May 6, 2012


"quonsar is a dingleberry"

MetaTalk MetaTalk
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:04 PM on May 6, 2012


Eh, who cares.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:26 PM on May 6, 2012


No fis@cix? trollfail.
posted by scruss at 1:29 PM on May 6, 2012


In order to truly be successful as a troll, it is essential that people not think you to be a troll.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:13 PM on May 6, 2012


Thanks, mr.ersatz.
posted by lunasol at 7:07 PM on May 6, 2012


Only some of the people. Ideally you split and rile the community also on the topic of whether or not you are a troll.
posted by fleacircus at 7:07 PM on May 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Krappitz? Really?
posted by bardic at 9:17 PM on May 6, 2012


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