A Field Guide to Internet Trolls

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A Field Guide to Internet Trolls

Post by Riddick » 11-11-2011 06:52 AM

Edited & excerpted from aprilhamilton.blogspot.com -

Introduction

The Internet Troll (webicus infuriatum) is a hardy, highly adaptable family of parasites with established populations all over the web. Most leading Techno-Naturalists classify it as a viral organism due the fact that it reproduces by infecting members of targeted populations.

Once exposed to webicus, susceptible individuals soon display the aggression, vitriol and boorishness which are the identifying hallmarks of all Trolls.

Hiding behind a pseudonym, webicus will quickly become the dominant element in any online ecosystem which provides it with a steady supply of attention and argument. In fact, webicus is so skilled in monopolizing these resources that it frequently drives off larger, but more peaceable, local populations.

Some particularly troublesome troll species include:

The Queen Bee/King Drone (lordicus cliqueium)

Behavior: Lordicus begins by befriending charter members and site owner/administrators alike with its initial friendliness and offers of assistance. With favors banked and loyalties established, lordicus reveals its true nature when another community member voices a dissenting view, or becomes as well-liked as lordicus. In either case, lordicus and its followers close ranks to attack or freeze out the other member, claiming to speak on behalf of the entire community.

Control: The only effective method of lordicus control is a strongly-worded email from the site owner or administrator. Lordicus' response is invariably a dramatic, martyred leave-taking from the site, after which it will continue to lurk and foment dissention among other members via off-site communications.

Identifying Call: A shrill, "Who do you think you are?", sometimes followed by a low-pitched, "Nobody cares what you think, anyway."

===
The Puffed Pedant (self-importantia verbosia)

Behavior: Self-importantia is known for its lengthy, patronizing deconstructions of other members' postings. One might expect community members to routinely disregard its remarks, however, s.i. posts with such smug conviction that it effects a sort of Jedi Mind Trick on the least experienced and most gullible members of the community.

Control: Since s.i. doesn't technically overstep a site's Terms of Service, there's little the site owner/admin can do to put a stop to its antics. Depriving s.i. of the attention, argument, and response it craves usually proves more effective.

Identifying Call: A repetitive, clucking, "Do your homework."

===
The Prickly Recluse (hypersensitivium rex)

Behavior: This species is known for its uncanny ability to incorrectly interpret the tone or meaning of any other member posts, regardless of how innocuous those posts may be, invariably choosing the most negative or insulting meaning possible and taking that meaning entirely personally. From there, hypersensitivium will repeat and repost its incorrect interpretation in an effort to rally support and sympathy for itself.

Control: First-time victims generally interpret the Recluse's behavior as innocent misunderstanding, and will usually attempt to resolve the matter with an apologetic, clarifying post. However, since hypersensitivium will misinterpret the palliative post as well, such efforts are destined to fail. A warning post or email from the site administrator will generate one last, self-pitying post from the Recluse, followed by several weeks of absence from the site. It is from this latter behavior that the Recluse gets its name.

Identifying Call: A sharp, striking, "How dare you!"

===
The Equalizer (evenus stevenus)

Behavior: Evenus is the self-appointed score keeper and referee of any community it inhabits. Evenus keeps constant track of who has shared good or bad news, who has posted congratulations or sympathy, and whether or not such congratulations or sympathies are adequately effusive and timely. Anyone failing to pass the Equalizer's test is subjected to the same kind of freeze-out favored by the Queen Bee / King Drone, but unlike that species, the Equalizer keeps the impetus behind its attack secret for as long as possible. Often, Evenus deprives its victims of this information for so long that another member of Evenus' circle is ultimately the one to reveal it.

Control: As with the Puffed Pedant, since Evenus doesn't technically break any site's Terms of Service, little can be done to discourage it. One can either ignore Evenus or strive to steer clear of it.

Identifying Call: frosty silence.

===
The Sock Puppet Master (bittera duplicator)

Behavior: Perhaps the most pathetic of all the Troll species, bittera creates its own support network by setting up multiple user accounts. It uses these accounts to create negative or attacking posts about the opinions of others, then uses its other accounts to second its own opinions in a masturbatory fashion.

Control: No specific action is necessary. Bittera will eventually reveal itself as a fraud by losing track of its various aliases, posting in the tone or style of one persona while logged in as another. Once exposed, this Troll will immediately delete all of its past posts, close its many accounts and move on to a new site. It may reappear months later to set up a new collection of accounts and aliases, but only when it's sure its past activities have been forgotten.

Identifying Call: mockingbird-like repetition of, and agreement with, anything posted under any of its many aliases.

===
The Fake Friendly (condescendiosa passive-aggressivium)

Behavior: This Troll openly attacks and insults members and their posts, and when called to account for its unacceptable behavior, claims its remarks have been misinterpreted and it meant no offense.

Condescendiosa can keep this back-and-forth dance of insults and re-interpretation going indefinitely, but its most maddening behavior is its penchant for claiming the moral high ground by recasting its abuse as simple, well-meaning honesty, which it says others can't tolerate on account of being overly sensitive.

Control: Much like the Sock Puppet Master, this type of Troll is always the cause of its own undoing. As it slashes and burns its way through the community, systematically training its disingenuous focus on member after member, condescendiosa eventually finds it has more enemies than cohorts and vacates the premises.

Identifying Call: "I don't know what you're so upset about."

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Post by Fan » 11-11-2011 09:38 AM

it is well compiled :)

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Post by Dude111 » 11-11-2011 06:30 PM

And detailing!

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Post by voguy » 11-11-2011 07:39 PM

Stolen.

Posting this at work for all to see.
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Post by Riddick » 11-13-2011 09:52 PM

Good stuff annit? I thought it was a pretty clever and concise review of trollish behavior myself

Y'know folks I'll have to say as it is, online social annoyances can come and go - though of the two, IMHO seeing them go is preferable - and by far and away the best and easiest way to see that happen is simply to deny such incessantly provocative and imprudently directive nuisances what they want in-common by NOT responding AT ALL IN any way, shape, or fashion -!

To do otherwise, after once appearing and displaying trollish tendencies, then BY feeding a delinquent denizen's deviant desires for attention and agitative excitement, rather than make behavioral self-corrections or make themselves scarce, certain select specimens will more than likely pursue their oppressively ignominious interests unabated & hang around far longer than they're wanted (if they ever were to begin with)

Bottom line, in being ever-vigilant it never hurts to be reminded of what to watch out for with trolls, on the 'Net OR in real life does it...? Wink wink nudge nudge say no more!


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Post by Diogenes » 11-13-2011 10:23 PM

understood.
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Post by megman » 11-14-2011 12:00 AM

:crazyjump
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Post by Diogenes » 11-14-2011 12:12 AM

megman wrote: :crazyjump


This is very good - initially I had to zoom about 4 times as the crossposting appeared as cross dressing.

How are you - still working those long hours?
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Post by megman » 11-14-2011 12:47 AM

Diogenes wrote: This is very good - initially I had to zoom about 4 times as the crossposting appeared as cross dressing.

How are you - still working those long hours?


Hockey season is in full swing. 45 hr weeks and no slow down until April.
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well - I resemble that remark!

Post by bobbo » 11-14-2011 12:59 AM

If you don't recognize yourself in any of the descriptions does that mean your are part of the larger but less devoted peaceful population or that several species have been left out? Or might it be some other third choice I can't remember right now?

I'm torn. Perhaps mostly the Puffed Pendant, but also a whole lot of the Fake Friendly---except I'm not Fake, and I'm not Friendly. Ha, ha. Not as I would understand the terms, of course, but quite often how they are used.

I see the charge of Troll! made against a whole lot more people than I think deserve the title. What could account for that?

Labels. The Siren's Call for Group Bullying.

What ya gonna do?

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Post by Diogenes » 11-14-2011 01:06 AM

megman wrote: Hockey season is in full swing. 45 hr weeks and no slow down until April.


No rest but good to be working - I know.
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Post by Dale O Sea » 11-14-2011 09:14 AM

I've been called a troll before, as have many that post here. Joequinn fit much of the criteria put forth in the op and was banned a few times for such behaviors. I've come here JUST to read him sometimes. As I recall HB3 was labeled as such early on, as was SpaceProphet and at least a dozen others that posted in P & G last decade. I enjoy reading from most all of these forum pirates, and not for entertainment, tho I get that often, but more for enlightenment - One man's trollery is another man's impassioned reply.

But that's how I learn - I try to hear what both sides have to say and sometimes that gets messy and loud if they each care deeply about their side of the discussion.

Bobbo, you are probably right to think this guide was posted here due to you, tho I'm only ass-uming this. We are more of a community here on the FF than the commentators in the DU blog comments and coming here, even invited, guns blazing out of the gate has rubbed your foes the wrong way..at least I hope that's what it is and it's not that you've peed in their paradise, so to speak, by shutting down the circle-smirk against those damn OWS hippies. I'm getting a lot from reading the threads you've posted in, much more than I have in a long time..and it's because you are making me, and your unfortunate victims think. Just, if you would, could you dial back the personal, in your face, confrontational tone a bit - at least till you get to know us better,heh, it would go far to smooth out some of these differences of opinion clashes and promote more good, healthy argument/discussion.

----

Yes, I invited bobbo here - so blame me too. His regular haunt is having some issues and I was thinking his input here would round us out nicely. His intellect and style reminded me of our departed joequinn too - and easy to read (with dictionary handy) and we'll all learn something and grow. So far, even with the bumps, so good, IMO. As FForum trolls go, he's one of the best ones so far. ;)

Bobbo is used to posting in the wild of dvorak's blog comments, Fark, etc. I'm sure he will adjust to the more laid-back, less offensive pace we have here in time..or maybe not. We'll see. Till then I'm going to glean all I can from the good, balanced banter produced in his wake. Patience..

Here are some more links to FF troll related threads - we've got history.

showthread.php?threadid=19967

showthread.php?threadid=8914

showthread.php?postid=422754

showthread.php?postid=370323

showthread.php?postid=327667

showthread.php?postid=217992

showthread.php?threadid=6216&perpage=40&pagenumber=1
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Post by HB3 » 11-14-2011 10:15 AM

Dude. Please. This guy's no Quinn.

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Post by Dale O Sea » 11-14-2011 10:29 AM

HB3 wrote: Dude. Please. This guy's no Quinn.
And I'm not Dude. Yes, JQ has sadly passed. Their intellect compares, as does their style and passion. I stand by that. They diverge politically, spiritually and economically, I know. Still no reason to pigeon-hole him as a troll. You were also so labeled, at first, correct? Was that right to do?

It's just too bad they didn't post here at the same time. Both would have been banned, I'm sure, but it would have been a mindful of words to behold.
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Post by HB3 » 11-14-2011 10:37 AM

I know you're not technically named Dude, Dale. I can't call you Dude?

Anyway, no, I was labeled a troll as recently as a year ago. I don't think anyone called me that for the first several years of posting. It's really not applicable to bring up the bizarre state of this forum during the last few years, which was the result of a particular history.

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