Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Tags:

He's not, like, a garden item.
December 24, 2007 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Potrait of an internet troll (with actual potrait of the internet troll). Includes one-bedroom apartment, dead-end and part-time jobs, and not-so-secret underground lair.
posted by orthogonality (93 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
you guys are all idiots.
posted by TechnoLustLuddite at 7:29 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


He got a hedcut in the WSJ. That's an accomplishment.
posted by smackfu at 7:31 AM on December 24, 2007


Although Mr. O'Neill says he isn't familiar with the term "troll"

WTF... did he just start using the Internet last month? I call BS on that.
posted by chips ahoy at 7:32 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


He's not, like, a garden item.

well, he seems to have plenty of fertilizer.
posted by jonmc at 7:32 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Everyone knows you don't feed the troll by giving it any attention whatsoever...
posted by 45moore45 at 7:34 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Clearly ortho is selling adspace on the WSJ site, and this is just a rather obvious attempt to line his coffers with our stupidity.
posted by Richat at 7:35 AM on December 24, 2007


His stippled portrait bears a striking resemblance to Shrek. I wonder if that was on purpose.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:36 AM on December 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


Clearly, ortho twice mispelled "portrait".
posted by orthogonality at 7:37 AM on December 24, 2007


I like this:
Daily Kos has another tactic: the recipe. When a troll attempts to start a conversation at that site, loyalists post recipes instead of engaging them. With so many trolls, the recipes have proliferated -- enough so that Daily Kos compiled a 144-page "Trollhouse Cookbook," including crab bisque inspired by President Bush's second inauguration and "Liberal Elite Cranberry Glazed Brie."

What if we had a Snark Cookbook for metafilter?
posted by craniac at 7:38 AM on December 24, 2007 [6 favorites]


I truly hate the recipes. If you're convinced that you're dealing with a complete troll, drown the guy in a refutation that provides plenty of evidentiary links. Otherwise, your response isn't much better than a 5 year old putting his fingers in his eyes an shouting "lalalalala, I can't hear you." A fact supported refutation, on the other hand, is something that you of people who agree with you can use again and again to refute trollish lies.
posted by orthogonality at 7:43 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


No it isn't.
posted by hal9k at 7:45 AM on December 24, 2007 [18 favorites]


Boiling water with salt:

4 cups water
salt to taste.

Put salt in water first. Bring water to a boil.
posted by fuq at 7:47 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


The recipe thing was interesting, as was the Spot-the-troll campaign donation.

As for the troll economic profiling -- I know it's fashionable to say that trolls come from all walks of life, but the five dollar entry fee certainly seems to be effective at keeping hardcore trolls off of metafilter.
posted by tkolar at 7:49 AM on December 24, 2007


"It's the arguments," he says. "I love to argue."

Exactly. It's not about having a point of view and explaining it to others, it's about arguing and showing everyone how they're wrong. Even if you believe the same as them.

Makes me want to kick him in the nads. That stops arguments right quick.
posted by splice at 7:49 AM on December 24, 2007 [6 favorites]


I totally see your point ortho, but that sometimes take a large investment of time, and sometimes it's simpler, and more realistic, to come up with a research-free method of discouraging trolls, no?
posted by Richat at 7:50 AM on December 24, 2007


Only a traitor DEMONcrat LIEberal would put the salt in before they boil it.
posted by PlusDistance at 7:50 AM on December 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


He has a one-bedroom apartment? Wow, that is a sure sign of a total loser.
posted by dammitjim at 7:51 AM on December 24, 2007


His portrait is (probably intentionally) awful. It captured his chins and apparent lack of ears perfectly.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:52 AM on December 24, 2007


Facts have never stopped a troll.
posted by that girl at 7:53 AM on December 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


A fact supported refutation, on the other hand, is something that you of people who agree with you can use again and again to refute trollish lies.

It's really not:

"It's the arguments," he says. "I love to argue."

Not debate or discuss, but argue. This guy needs to smoke a bowl and cool out. You're not going to convince anyone on the Hillary '08 message boards that she's the lady Joe Lieberman, so he's just trying to rile people up. Life's too short for that kind of thing.
posted by uncleozzy at 7:54 AM on December 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


Wait, is he a "blogger" or does he just post shit to Clinton's site? Does the WSJ know the difference?
posted by Camofrog at 7:55 AM on December 24, 2007


The narration made me want to stick hot pokers in my ears. Let writers be writers, and hire a radio guy to narrate your video stories.
posted by desjardins at 7:55 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


If you're convinced that you're dealing with a complete troll, drown the guy in a refutation that provides plenty of evidentiary links

Yes, because trolls respond rationally to well-presented arguments with supporting links. In fact that is the plight of trolls everywhere, since when they try to derail a conversation they get cogent arguments explaining how they're wrong, and they are obviously left with nothing and must shrug their shoulders, admit that you are right and depart promptly, never bothering you again.

There are arguments, and then there is trolling. Arguing with a troll is fruitless by definition and you are wasting electrons trying to convince them of anything, since they get their rocks off by drawing you into fruitless arguments and watching you become red in the face trying to respond to their ranting.
posted by splice at 7:56 AM on December 24, 2007 [8 favorites]


Why does this guy get a WSJ hedcut? Internet losers like him are an embarrassment to real trolls everywhere. ::hides under bridge, eats a goat::
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:58 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think orthoganality just successfully trolled a thread about trolling. But by all means continue posting well reasoned rebuttals...
posted by tkolar at 8:01 AM on December 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


People, people, the fingers go in the ears, and the hot pokers go in the eyes.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:01 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


What a tosser!
posted by lemonfridge at 8:04 AM on December 24, 2007


Metafilter: An attractive prize for online goblins.
posted by sugarfish at 8:08 AM on December 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


This isn't an argument, just a contradiction.
posted by notsnot at 8:11 AM on December 24, 2007


she's the lady Joe Lieberman

that just conjured up a mental image of Joe Lieberman in drag. You'll be recieving a bill for my therapy.
posted by jonmc at 8:17 AM on December 24, 2007


This problem is getting worse and worse. There are contrarians, of course, and there's really nothing wrong with them. And there are people who believe that they are outing evil. They can be annoying, but may be worth arguing with. But the people who simply want to be assholes are just.... assholes. My local newspaper has a bad problem with this in its comments section. There are assholes who seem to be competing with each other to be the most racist, the most hateful, the most nasty. It's very sad.
posted by mmahaffie at 8:26 AM on December 24, 2007


Is he recording this shit live? God, talk faster. If you flub a line, RECORD IT AGAIN.
posted by odinsdream at 8:30 AM on December 24, 2007


This isn't an argument, just a contradiction.

Mr Vibrating: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.

Man: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'

Mr Vibrating: Yes it is!

Man: No it isn't!
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:33 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


notsnot writes "This isn't an argument, just a contradiction."

Yes it is.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:33 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am with desjardins. The real offensiveness is the "High School News Report" feel of the video. Shut up, Mr. Monotonous Overpronunciator of the word "Troll."
posted by mckenney at 8:38 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


what i don't like is how the term troll is starting to be applied to those who merely disagree with a point of view prevalent on a website

but then few political websites are really interested in open debate
posted by pyramid termite at 8:41 AM on December 24, 2007


Just for the record my mom doesn't even have a basement.
posted by Sailormom at 8:46 AM on December 24, 2007


Facts have never stopped a troll.

Yes, that'd be fire.
posted by ersatz at 8:46 AM on December 24, 2007


33 year old guy living alone....
Part time bartender.....
No female in sight....

Evolutionary dead end
posted by meddeviceengineer at 8:54 AM on December 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


Brian O'Neill, a 33-year-old part-time bartender and full-time college student

Combine that with the apartment, and this guy is like the Jay-Z of trolls. He's probably even had sex. I guess I'm not surprised that WSJ didn't publish an article about a basement-dwelling 38-year-old man who lives off SSI benefits and divides his time between trolling LIEberal message boards and kissing ass on the Byrne Robotics forum, but I expect that breed is at least as common.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:55 AM on December 24, 2007 [3 favorites]


pyramid, there are plenty of websites where he can go argue politics all day long, but he's not choosing to frequent places that encourage debate, and he's not being silenced on some open forum. Essentially all he's doing is writing "...sucks!" onto certain candidates online campaign literature.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:56 AM on December 24, 2007



Why do news sites think that a print journo with a camera is suddenly a TV journo?

If we want amateur video, we'll go to real amateurs. Sometimes video adds to a story (say, if you've got a kid being beaten to death by guards at a boot camp and there's a video of it)-- but I don't see where poorly edited interviews and the like add much unless you are someone who is *really* obsessed with a particular story (or maybe too dumb to read?)

TV reporting and interviewing is a whole different skill set than print reporting; it looks a lot easier than it actually is (even though much of it is crappy nonetheless-- still, it takes skill and time to cut stuff down enough to be reasonably watchable, not dull).

I wonder when web publications will realize this. In the meanwhile, a lot of print reporters will be forced to embarrass themselves.
posted by Maias at 8:56 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh and I'm not denying that truly open political forums online are few and far between, just that in this guys case, "troll" is a pretty apt description.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:59 AM on December 24, 2007


Joe Lieberman in drag.

This is different from the genuine Hillary in what way, exactly?
Mrs. Doubtfirestein?
posted by uncleozzy at 9:08 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


A recipe is still a response. Don't even give 'em a response. I post on the Powerline forums regularly and giving NOTHING back to a troll is the way to go. IMO.
posted by wrapper at 9:30 AM on December 24, 2007


Engaging a troll is a waste of effort. Everyone knows it just takes a little MIAK!
posted by hermitosis at 9:35 AM on December 24, 2007


"Knicks suck, Jets suck, Yankees suck"
posted by thewalrusispaul at 9:37 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Brian is my roll model! He is doing the lord's work to expose the leftys trying to run this country...bless you, Brian, and keep up the good work
posted by Postroad at 9:42 AM on December 24, 2007


He has a one-bedroom apartment? Wow, that is a sure sign of a total loser.

True. *Real* trolls still live in their mommas' basements.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:09 AM on December 24, 2007


If you're convinced that you're dealing with a complete troll, drown the guy in a refutation that provides plenty of evidentiary links.

Orthogonality has the right angle on this.
posted by Tube at 10:09 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


the only thing i can conclude is that someone at the WSJ spends a lot of time on the H. Clinton campaign website...
posted by geos at 10:13 AM on December 24, 2007


TV reporting and interviewing is a whole different skill set than print reporting

Not convinced.

I'm seeing quite a lot of fairly compelling TV these days, where the production company just sticks a cheap digital camera in the hands of an amateur and has them do a basic video diary thing, and much of it seems to be working out very well.

Of course, it largely depends on the story. Just pointing the thing at Joe Soap and doing a standard talking head thing probably doesn't work, but when you've got people doing long stretches in places where there are no professional crews, or emotions are heightened and you can get an immediate on the spot response, amateur footage is often extremely effective -- and sometimes more effective than the slick productions you'd get from a camera crew.

I'm guessing you need smart producers though, who have a good sense of what works when. And I didn't watch this clip, so in this context you may well be right.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:17 AM on December 24, 2007


"Knicks suck, Jets suck, Yankees suck"

"Nets rule, Giants rule, Mets rule!"
posted by jonmc at 10:26 AM on December 24, 2007


What's his alias here?
posted by Dave Faris at 10:34 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


What if you post a well reasoned, linked, etc. refutation of what all the crazies are saying on one of those nutty right wing sites - knowing full well that it will make them even crazier? Does that make you a kind of "white troll"?
posted by rhymer at 10:55 AM on December 24, 2007


I am really drawn to the way TW Farnum says "Troooollls."
posted by iamkimiam at 11:05 AM on December 24, 2007


Why do news sites think that a print journo with a camera is suddenly a TV journo?
Because print circulation is declining sharply, and we can't make any money from our websites either, so we have to drive all our print readers to them so we can make mon.... oh, wait.

Tube, orthogonality: There's a total troll who keeps saying vi is better than emacs. What fact-based refutation can I use to show that he's wrong?
posted by bonaldi at 11:07 AM on December 24, 2007


I like cheese.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 11:12 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Apparently commenting on discussions in forums now qualifies as blogging.

HAY GUYS! I'M BLOGGING RIGHT NOW!

So the funniest thing happened to me the other day...
posted by tehloki at 11:12 AM on December 24, 2007 [2 favorites]


Posting well-reasoned refutations merely encourages them-- negative reinforcement is still reinforcement, especially for trolls. Do so once if necessary-- then ignore.
posted by Maias at 11:13 AM on December 24, 2007


Troll in the internet sense has everything to do with dragging bait slowly through the water waiting for a strike, and nothing to do with Norse mythology or living under bridges, stealing babies or garden gnomes.
posted by chlorus at 11:16 AM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


Put salt in water first. Bring water to a boil.

Thank you so much for this. I can't tell you how much better my snowflake soup is going to taste now.
posted by davejay at 11:25 AM on December 24, 2007


Troll in the internet sense has everything to do with dragging bait slowly through the water waiting for a strike, and nothing to do with Norse mythology or living under bridges, stealing babies or garden gnomes.

Well yeah. Which is what makes this entire article such a troll. And y'all fell for it.

going back to stirring my snowflake soup
posted by davejay at 11:26 AM on December 24, 2007


Does nobody use the word "trawl" any more?
posted by tehloki at 11:32 AM on December 24, 2007


I like cheese.

Si, and I like potatos.
posted by djeo at 11:45 AM on December 24, 2007


Brian is my roll model!

He's more like my dumpling model...
posted by Eekacat at 11:51 AM on December 24, 2007


Troll in the internet sense has everything to do with dragging bait slowly through the water waiting for a strike, and nothing to do with Norse mythology or living under bridges, stealing babies or garden gnomes.

Or troll dolls either for that matter.
posted by Eekacat at 11:54 AM on December 24, 2007


I couldn't get the video to load until just now... that was hilarious! If it wasn't for the fact that it's up on wsj.com I would have thought it was from The Onion.
posted by XMLicious at 11:57 AM on December 24, 2007


THAT WAS A STUPID POST AND I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL



merry Christmas
posted by joelf at 12:11 PM on December 24, 2007


What a contentless useless article. I guess it got through cause this is a dead time for news.
Also would the guy be acceptable if he lived in a two-bedroom apartment? What about a one-bedroom condo? Three-bedroom log-cabin?
posted by aerotive at 1:00 PM on December 24, 2007


kfb: but I expect that breed is at least as common.

I'm standing right here.
posted by quin at 1:22 PM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


"If they think I'm a troll, then so be it," he says, before immediately rejecting this premise. "It's wrong! It's wrong! Where's the freedom of ideas?"

This, more than anything, is the true troll's calling card. You can suspect someone of trolling, you can accuse someone of trolling, you can ban someone for trolling, but until you confront someone for trolling and receive this counter-argument, you cannot confirm someone's trolling.

Give me my freedom of ideas! Shitblorksneefasscock!
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:24 PM on December 24, 2007


Does nobody use the word "trawl" any more?

I think that term is used more in a commercial fishing sense. Trolling is when you got your little fishin' boat with a tiny, lil' outboard motor clamped to the back. Usually, one goes trolling on small lakes and sometimes you get yourself a sucker. That's what I think of when those two terms are used.
posted by NoMich at 1:31 PM on December 24, 2007


I actually work with a troll. I didn't realize it at first, because for the most part, he's a pretty easy going guy, but every once in a while his temper flares or he'll ask advice on whether or not some Internet argument makes sense.

I figured it was just normal work stuff, until one day I actually looked at some of the posts he was talking about, and I was amazed to see some really unwarranted vitriolic anger being leveled at some poor bastard.

I dug a little deeper and, sure enough, he's a troll.

Ever since then, I'm in a bit of a quandary. On the one hand I really hate that kind of shit, and he is almost a dictionary definition of a fight-picking, thread-shitting troll. On the other, I have to be civil and work with him.

I find that nowadays, I just avoid him as much as possible. I fear for the day that our somewhat anonymous internet personalities cross paths. It will be ugly.
posted by quin at 1:35 PM on December 24, 2007


It's not necessary to waste time carefully responding to a troll, but before calling someone a troll, it's probably a good idea to ask yourself a few questions.

If you wanted to refute the "troll," could you in a way that would convince a third, disinterested party? If your disagreement with the troll boils down to questions of values about which reasonable people can differ, maybe he's not a troll at all. If the troll presents a cogent argument based on the pragmatic importance of property rights, but you believe that as a moral matter, property is theft, he's probably not a troll. He just disagrees with you! There's no need to make things ugly.

Is the "troll's" behavior only offensive when manifested by people who disagree with you? Everyone has lapses of judgment sometimes and makes a post in a more heated tone than is probably conducive to a good discussion. Before you condemn a troll for this, look at the other posters in the thread, the ones you agree with. You might find they're taking the same tone, and your criticism of the troll's mode of communicating is really more a criticism of the content.

Is the "troll" consistent? If the troll consistently advances a particular viewpoint, it's quite possible that he actually believes it, even if you think it's wrong. Reasonable people have different temperaments, educations, and life experiences, and often come to different conclusions, even regarding important questions. A lack of unanimity doesn't necessarily mean any of the participants are being dishonest.

Also, remember that if you attack someone for being a troll when they're not actually trolling, you're the person who's shitting on the thread. It's generally just better to walk away.
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 2:30 PM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


When in conflict, read Kipling's If and learn to take responsibility for your own words and actions: if someone even thinks you're trolling then you have failed to communicate, and it's still your fault even if you're right.

Merry Christmas, webjerks who can't afford a spare bedroom!
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 2:51 PM on December 24, 2007


When in conflict, read Kipling's If and learn to take responsibility for your own words and actions: if someone even thinks you're trolling then you have failed to communicate, and it's still your fault even if you're right.

That's the dumbest thing I've heard all day. Seriously.
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 2:55 PM on December 24, 2007


No wonder you've stopped returning my calls, quin. Screw you.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:26 PM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


if someone even thinks you're trolling then you have failed to communicate, and it's still your fault even if you're right.

quit trolling, will you?
posted by pyramid termite at 3:50 PM on December 24, 2007


Usually, one goes trolling on small lakes and sometimes you get yourself a sucker.

Oh God! We dipped those once when I was a kid - and we ate canned sucker for years. UGHHHH!
posted by The Light Fantastic at 4:06 PM on December 24, 2007


There needs to be some differentiation about trolling. The poor guy in the article is more of a crapflooder. There are trolls that are pretty creative and quite amusing. It's hard to imagine that there are not a few here, or who do some not go and troll in other places.

The brilliant site Adequacy had some great stuff. The article, "Why 9/11 means that you must agree with my politics" is a a very funny, incisive bit of political satire around.

Trolls can prick pretension and can serve to remind us that arguments on the internet with random strangers are not really important. And watching people who are daft or take themselves too seriously be taken out by a troll is amusing.

Slashdot used to have some pretty amusing trolls, as did kuro5hin for a time before the trolls wound up destroying the place.

Really good trolls include things like:

On a site that advises people on how to manage their wedding and what clothes to buy that is dominated by silly women and going in and asking a long question about what to do if you are putting on the pounds and may not fit into your weddding dress and then asking 'also, I think I'm pregnant and if so in what month should I have the abortion to make sure I fit into my dress' and then watching the commentors explode in rage, fury and blind hatred.

Going to a Ayn Rand site and pointing out how Ayn Rand is not a serious philosopher and being met with arguments that culminate in 'how many books has Foucault sold'? and replying that by using this metric philosophy should recognize the works of the Amazing Spiderman.

It's interesting that dailykos is mentioned in the article because it is a place with astounding group think. Going there is just like listening to hundreds of people violently agreeing with each other. It could do with some skepticism. Little Green Footballs is even worse.

These days, the RonPaulites need and deserve to be trolled. Many of them don't even know his positions on abortion and evolution and when confronted with them their heads explode.

Newspapers should be careful of making too much fun of trolls too. What are Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and many, many other opinion writers and 'shock jocks' if not trolls with bigger audiences than internet trolls.

Trolling, not crapflooding, serves a purpose on the net. It can amuse and even enlighten us and also serves to remind us that in real life their are trolls that try and play with our emotions and confuse us with rhetoric.
posted by sien at 4:48 PM on December 24, 2007 [4 favorites]


splice writes "Yes, because trolls respond rationally to well-presented arguments with supporting links."

The point isn't to convince the troll, it's the prevent others from being convinced by the troll. If all other people see is your ad hominem claim "he's a troll", it can look like the troll's provided a real argument, you haven't got a counter argument, and that on the face of it, the troll is right.

Plus, if a bunch of people post recipes, the observer may see the troll as providing an argument and being dismissed by group-think.

But by drowning the troll in facts (or a carefully reasoned argument) you inoculate others who might be fooled into believing the troll, and others can link to your arguments the next time the same trolling comes up; I often use, say, snopes.com for this purpose. If snopes doesn't refute a particular troll, I'll do the research myself, and hope that by posting it, it can be reused as necessary.

And, post after post of recipes (especially on threaded forums, unlike Metafilter) tend to make the troll post seem the central argument in the thread (giving it more prominence, which serves the troll's purpose), while drowning out the real subject of the thread. Unwittingly, you've now done the troll's work for him: he's dominate the thread with the bulk of responses to his post, he's unrefuted in the thread, and he can point to the recipes as group-think that condemns him but never actually contradicts him.

In short, he's now "won" the thread and won the attention that motivates him to troll.

A fact filled and dismissive refutation ("This has come up before, but studies by X and Y and the article here pretty conclusively show you're both ill-informed and factually wrong. Please take the requisite time to read and fully understand the above links, and when you're better informed -- and are actually making a serious and informed attempt to discuss this -- you'll perhaps be able to have a real dialogue about the subject.") serves to shut the troll down, and make it clear you won't play his game.
posted by orthogonality at 5:17 PM on December 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


sien, I find your viewpoint somewhat reprehensible. It is neither necessary nor right to upset people in order to "teach them a lesson" that you have personally decided they need.

In fact it is quite boorish.

If you'd like to spread good sense through the world, you'll do better to do so through example. Poking people with sticks seldom teaches them anything.
posted by tkolar at 5:50 PM on December 24, 2007


This guy's not a troll. For crying out loud, he probably uses a Mac, believes in evolution, and says he "invented the internet."
posted by fungible at 7:28 PM on December 24, 2007


I just opened this article on my phone and Opera reports it as 453 KB to load. Is this an attempt by the WSJ to block 2G/EDGE trolling?
posted by meehawl at 8:57 PM on December 24, 2007


Not a great post, maybe worth deleting. Also their miss using the word "troll". Isn't this guy just an ass hat?

I've "trolled" stock forums before because their users are particularly emotionally involved & messed up. Once pretended to be a christian fundamentalist who made money short selling Monsanto because they were making abominations against God. I'd occasionally find & post opinions that polarized the community, causing them to fight among themselves.

I don't see how this guy is a troll. A troll doesn't even crave attention. A troll is looking for giggles. This guy wants a fight he believes in, which isn't "bad" a priori, but apparently he's an ass about it.

p.s. What is the name for people who hide links to goatse.cz & such?
posted by jeffburdges at 10:48 PM on December 24, 2007


I think we should herd all of the pointless assholes into one state and wall it off. The internet trolls, the script kiddies, the vandals and the taggers, the moronic kids who hit mailboxes with baseball bats, the idiots who drive around paintballing random people... That sort of thing.

It can be next to the state where we put the people who exploit common resources that exist for the good of all. That's where the spammers, the telemarketers, the worst junk-mail offenders, the hummer drivers, and many others end up.

Oh yeah, and they have their own totally seperate internet and phone networks.
posted by Mitrovarr at 10:53 PM on December 24, 2007


"At the liberal discussion Web site Daily Kos, "trusted users" can block people whose comments regularly offend members."

Interesting, because sometimes it seems like anyone posting anything that doesn't tow the party line is 'offensive' and simply dismissed as a 'troll.'
Hell, by that definition, I've been a troll here for ages.

"p.s. What is the name for people who hide links to goatse.cz & such?"

Slashdot users? Farkers?
posted by drstein at 9:46 AM on December 25, 2007



orthogonality
I truly hate the recipes. If you're convinced that you're dealing with a complete troll, drown the guy in a refutation

Have you tried any? ;-)

I'll concede perhaps arguing up to even including the most intransigent political trolls, but take time off from the blue background, spend some quality time and bandwidth arguing against true creationist trolls for a few months and then come back here and make a general statement about the power of *refutation*
posted by sammyo at 11:29 AM on December 25, 2007


The best part of all this is that WSJ considers this 'news.' Next week they'll tell their readers the cryptic meaning and sordid history behind the acronym ROTFLMAO. Then they'll report that sometimes when people type out LOL they are not actually Laughing Out Loud, which may be the downfall of modern civilization. Oh. And there are places on the Internet where you can download pornography. Oh. And the "E" in E-mail used to mean "electronic." Oh. And...
posted by ZachsMind at 1:40 PM on December 25, 2007


Dave Faris: It's dhoyt!
posted by Freen at 3:18 PM on December 25, 2007


I agree with orthogonality. For community members who are repeatedly bothered by ill informed assholishness: keeping a record of a given troll's previous comments and their rebuttals can prove to be an efficient mechanism for removing the troll from any level of effectiveness. If you can show that their argumens have been roundly rebutted, multiple times in the past, current community members can see the troll or who they are, as opposed to simply seeing the current antagonism to the troll.

It's about providing context. Trolls win when they are out of context,when their antics either derail a thread, or incite irrational behavior. It takes a community to contrail trollishness, and the cost of victory is good bookmarking, a bevy of facts, and immediate and dismissive rebuttal, particularly with evidence of previous assholishness.
posted by Freen at 3:24 PM on December 25, 2007


These days, the RonPaulites need and deserve to be trolled.

I've tended to think of Ron Paul himself as trolling the American political system, which needs and deserves it.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:45 PM on December 25, 2007


« Older Alexander Overwijk draws a perfect circle. Is it r...  |  Terry Pratchett's Hogfather, i... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments