Author Topic: The Definition of Trolling  (Read 130 times)

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Offline JMT

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The Definition of Trolling
« on: February 01, 2017, 11:18:49 pm »
I'm interested to see what people think about this. 

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Offline kimmy

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2017, 11:34:05 pm »
To me, trolling is posting material intended to solicit a hostile reaction without advancing the discussion. 

I'm not 100% sure about including intent there, and I'm not 100% sure about including "advancing the discussion".

If somebody posts something in good faith that he thinks is germane to the discussion, and it results in a firestorm of angry replies, I'm not sure that's trolling.

But if you're trying to talk about something and I jump into the thread and talk about how much the Jets suck because I think it's going to get you mad and throw everything off topic, that's definitely trolling.

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Offline cybercoma

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 08:07:09 am »
To quote US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (1964), "I know it when I see it."

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 08:16:16 am »
I think insulting the other 'side' using generalizations is trolling.  Saying "You (leftists/rightists) are all the same, you (insert insult)" may not be a direct personal insult, but it does nothing to support civil discussion. 

Offline BC_cheque

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 12:53:54 pm »
I'm old school, but in the beginnings of message boards, trolls were people who said ridiculously antagonistic with the simple objective to get a rise out of people.  They don't often stick around, but sit back and watch all the people getting mad at their posts.   

Yahoo news used to have message boards with lots of trolls.  I used to be one of the ones getting angry at their level of 'stupidity' then I stumbled on a site they'd created (yahootrolls.com) where they laughed and bragged about how much response their posts would get.

I learned not to feed the trolls. 


Offline JMT

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 12:59:47 pm »
Of course, sometime they do stick around....

Offline BC_cheque

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 01:07:05 pm »
Yeah, but that's when they're trollish and not 'trolls'.  To me a troll only has one purpose in mind. 

Someone who loves to say stupid things to make people angry but does also get involved in the discussion isn't entirely a troll... in my opinion anyway (which is the topic of this thread).

Offline poochy

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 01:14:33 pm »
To quote US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (1964), "I know it when I see it."

That's probably the best description.  But that has to be the consensus from a varied and substantial number of the rest of the community before action should be taken.

Offline SirJohn

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 03:40:32 pm »
I'm old school, but in the beginnings of message boards, trolls were people who said ridiculously antagonistic with the simple objective to get a rise out of people.  They don't often stick around, but sit back and watch all the people getting mad at their posts.   

This is pretty much the whole internet's definition of trolling. Insulting people isn't trolling (necessarily), and bringing up something new isn't trolling (necessarily) and no, calling people leftists or rightists isn't trolling even if it includes a generalization about them.
"When liberals insist that only fascists will defend borders then voters will hire fascists to do the job liberals won't do." David Frum

Offline Gorgeous Graham

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 05:16:57 pm »
To me, trolling is posting material intended to solicit a hostile reaction without advancing the discussion. 

I'm not 100% sure about including intent there, and I'm not 100% sure about including "advancing the discussion".

i think intent has everything to do with it.

Quote
If somebody posts something in good faith that he thinks is germane to the discussion, and it results in a firestorm of angry replies, I'm not sure that's trolling.

I don't think it is.

Quote
But if you're trying to talk about something and I jump into the thread and talk about how much the Jets suck because I think it's going to get you mad and throw everything off topic, that's definitely trolling.

Agreed.

I'm old school, but in the beginnings of message boards, trolls were people who said ridiculously antagonistic with the simple objective to get a rise out of people.

Exactly.  I agree.

We have to realize there's a difference between flaming and trolling.  Flaming means throwing around insults or disrespectful behaviour, usually when discussions get heated and people lose their cool.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flaming_(Internet)
I can tell how good of a person you are by how you treat the people you disagree with.

Offline cybercoma

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 06:56:13 pm »
I'm not sure there's any need to really discuss what trolling is. Everyone understands what it is. I've only ever come across one moron who had no idea what it was and someone was dumb enough to give that moron the keys to the Ferrari.

Offline JMT

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2017, 06:59:03 pm »
I tend to agree with that - everyone may have a slightly different interpretation of what trolling is, but overall, everyone agrees.  Except for that one person.


Offline bcsapper

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2017, 11:00:08 am »
If I'm not cybercoma's Ferrari driver I'll have to make it two for him.

I really have no idea what trolling is, in the sense that it is something bad.  If it's an outright insult, then that's what it it is.  An insult.

If it's sarcasm intended to show a previous post is nonsense, then I'm guilty of being on both ends of that one.  It's never bothered me.

Perhaps I will know it when I see it.
Time for bed said Zebedee...

Offline cybercoma

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2017, 01:15:10 pm »
Trolling is not sarcasm. That's the definition that morons who don't know how to drive use.

Offline TimG

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Re: The Definition of Trolling
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2017, 01:47:48 pm »
I think everyone with strongly held opinions on controversial subjects is going to say things that upset people (a.k.a. "troll").

I think what separates trolling from controversial opinions is context and support for the argument.

i.e. dropping a one line post that says "lefties are snowflakes" is trolling. Making the same statement with a link to article provides an example of thin skinned behavior from people with progressive views along with an explanation on why you think that people should not get upset at whatever triggered the incident is not trolling even if the underlying message is the same.