Trolling for Trolls
on 11/19/2003 (16)
Being a big fan, you might say even fanatic, of public message boards, I'd like to bring to light an entirely new species. An odd, solitary forlorn creature apparently devoid of personal contact, a queer fish unknown to Darwin, Einstein or Oppenheimer, a dispassionate squid who usually cannot function and often cannot reproduce…perhaps fortunately so.
If you ply the vast, roiling seas of internet message boards, you will find them there.
Message boards are posted below headline stories on news articles. They were designed to encourage lively, un-moderated debate on the corresponding subject. As the winds blow, it rarely turns out that way, as many captain and crew have divined.
How does one spot a Troll? The easiest way is to post something on topic, intelligent, and supported by solid fact. Like Salmon to dough balls, Trolls cannot resist solid reason. They swarm in schools, sometimes nibbling, sometimes taking ferocious bites.
There are several Genus of troll. They include:
1. Trollus Schizophrenias: This troll may have as many as a dozen or more aliases. T.Schizophrenias uses them to carry on conversations with himself, with the intent of lending support to one or more of his idiotic posts that no-one else agrees with. This variety is almost always male. It is not uncommon for T.S. to argue with himself, often leading to one alias reporting the others to the message board police.
2. Trollus Vulgaris: T.Vulgaris can smash any meaningful thread by using obscene language and posting links to vulgar photographs. Unable to curse outright, T.V. is well adapted at creating recognizable facsimiles, such as, phukk, t!ts and @sswipe. T.V. can bring a board to a standstill, creating a vulgarity frenzy, where other trolls join in. T.V. is usually reported to the message board police by other trolls.
see Message Board Police
3. Trollus Imposterus: T. Imposterus likes to pretend he is someone else in order to support his/her viewpoint. An example is if a T.I is anti-Bush, he may pretend to be a homeless, legless welfare recipient who was cheated out of his disability by the Bush Administration. T.I. can often be spotted by his own absurdity. What would a homeless, legless man be doing posting on message boards in the middle of the day? As all web savvy board jockies know, homeless, legless trolls only post at night!
4. Trollus Ad nauseum : T.Ad nauseum has a repetitive disorder. Known to post and repost the same message 10, 20, or even more times a day spread over dozens of message boards, T.An. believes that repeatedly hammering an idiotic, irrelevant point home makes it a valid one. T.An. are usually unemployed and dateless, for obvious reasons.
5. Trollus Reproducesas: T. Reproducesas is a highly sexual troll. Oddly, T.R. is often sexually amorphous, able to assume both male and female biology at will. It is often impossible to determine the parent sex of T.R., so the best course is one of avoidance. T.R. is often a T.Schizophrenias as well.
Now that you can spot the different varieties of troll, what next? If you're still game, you can create your own faux trolls to use as countermeasures. If a T.Schizophrenias is posing as a radical right winger, create your own radical liberal counter troll. The results can be surprising.
Oh, and forget about reporting trolls to the hosting page Message Board Police. They rarely act, and when they do, they merely cancel one of the trolls many e-mail accounts. This is as a minor inconvenience for a veteran troll as it is for a snake shedding it's skin: they simply don another.
Lastly, I strongly advise against meeting a troll in person. It is much, much harder to throw them back !
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