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Man vs Trolls

Now, I imagine most of you reading this are wondering why exactly I am talking about trolls on a blog dedicated to explaining the quirks and quarks of internet culture. But fear not, (or maybe do?) because I am not here to day to explain trolls of the bridge variety, but more the digital.

Lets start with a video shall we?

Right, so you are probably wondering what exactly it is I made you watch just now and whether you will ever get the time back you probably just wasted watching the whole thing. Well, I have some good news and some bad regarding your inner pondering’s.

Starting with the good, the fact that you are even wondering these things means we are at least halfway to explaining what exactly a troll is. Unfortunately, a proper troll will almost always result in a similar reaction

Put simply, a troll is someone who deliberately posts content with the express purpose of causing the maximum amount of disruption to the other users participating in whatever medium the troll chooses to hijack (i.e. Inflammatory remarks, nonsensical remarks, circular logic, hyper offensive remarks/images, etc).

However, leaving the explanation at that does not truly do the art of trolling justice, as it totally ignores the it has evolved over the years. While it is almost certainly true that as long as people have had the ability to communicate with each-other anonymously over the internet, they have also sought cause grief to their peers without fear of retribution, the way in which people go about causing this grief has become somewhat of an art-form.

Now, how could causing someone else grief possibly be considered an art form? Good question, and the answer to it is what many in the know would consider the defining characteristic between an regular troll “Successful troll”.

A regular troll is the most likely of sorts you will encounter on the internet. Meaning, they are probably acting on the sole intent of pissing as many people off as they can in shortest amount of time.

Whereas, a successful troll tends to be more subtle in their actions. The most common way this is generally achieved is through posing misleading links that send users to content completely unrelated to what the link was alluded to contain. The most popular of which today is likely the linking to a video of Rick Astley’s Never Gunna Give You Up.

This is what people call a RickRoll.

Another popular way of successfully trolling people is though the “Long Troll”. Which unsurprisingly, takes the form of a carefully planned, often elaborate, method in which the one being trolled will not be aware of it until considerable time has passed.

The following link explains one such troll, in which a popular community member named Warlizard, of the social news site, explains how he was successfully trolled over the period of a few months into thinking his name was stolen from a fictional online game also called “Warlizard”.

The Long Troll

Now, you have probably noticed by now that a successful troll does not necessarily operate with malicious intent, and you are right, as a successful troll generally aims to inject an element of humor into their actions. Whereas, an everyday normal troll is likely operating with malicious intent. But what does this all mean then, and how can you tell which is which? Or rather, how can you avoid being trolled.

Well unfortunately, there appears to only be one fool-proof solution to this question, and it is popularly summarized through the use of memes with a common quote:

Don’t Feed The Troll

Which basically means, the best way to avoid getting trolled is to simply ignore them and their statements.

And with that, last explanation this post comes to a close, and I hope that with the new information I have supplied, you too can help rid the internet of the massive troll infestation that has ruined many an innocent user’s fun.


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