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The definition of internet trolling


Just for general awareness…

“Trolling is defined as creating discord on the Internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people by posting inflammatory or off-topic messages in an online community. Basically, a social media troll is someone who purposely says something controversial in order to get a rise out of other users.” (from this article)


Interesting article, and very timely after listening to Tim Berners-Lee’s lecture last night. For those who didn’t it was about the creation and development of the internet, and how it could become a positive or negative force. His view was that at the moment it could go either way.




That was certainly its original meaning. Old-fashioned trolling could sometimes be done in a lighthearted and fun way, and was at worst annoying.

Now it seems to mean insulting and bullying.


Oh yes, here’s one notorious light-hearted troll - Ken M

Many more examples here:


This guy’s brilliant! :laughing:


Wow, reading those comments, that one guy who wrote “Wow, you’re stupid” must be really stupid!!


Yeah, that’s how you troll


I have found the best way to deal with someone who trolls (and there is a pattern of behaviour that makes them obvious) is just to stop posting on any thread they turn up on. Otherwise it’s the second law of thermodynamics :slightly_smiling_face:


In fact, I have found that is the best way to deal with the most stupid comments on the 'net, whether troll or not. If I ever post to disagree, it can be taken as a sign of respect :wink:


Yes. I mean, with the exception of @laura none of us need to spend our time engaging in this community. So if something isn’t being posted in the right spirit - just skip on. Trolls need to get a rise, if they don’t get one they tend to self destruct.


The change in what trolling seems to mean in the popular mind is an interesting one though.

I’m not sure that I would even class Ken M in the example above as a troll these days (which was the point of course). What he posted was little more than humorous irony, where you say the opposite of the way things are, and everybody within a certain subculture recognises it as such. Irony is notoriously risky on crossing cultural boundaries, and part of the fun was watching people fail to spot the irony. But it wasn’t malevolent.