Posted 07 December 2010 - 02:41 PM
An internet troll is someone that is looking to disrupt and or destroy a message board community. Their objective is to upset the members of the message board community. They do this by posting things that are derogatory, false, insulting, and offensive. For example, we often get trolls around here that preach religion and tell members that they are going to hell for believing in the devil. We also get trolls that claim to be skeptics and say that people here are delusional for believing in ghosts.
It is fairly simple to recognize a troll. First of all, use your common sense. If you have been participating in the community, you can use your instincts on what seems to fit in or is out of place. You can also spot a troll by their ego....many think they are way more important than they actually are. They post things that are annoying, insulting, disturbing, and designed to provoke an emotional response. Trolls feed on your emotions....they want to get you worked up and upset. They want to see you type a response out of anger or based on your emotion. Their ultimate goal is to incite a flame war and they take great pleasure in seeing members get banned.
You will also find that trolls rarely answer any question put to them. Instead they dance around the answer. They type out long responses that twist and turn in an effort to confuse the reader. They often avoid the question entirely and will turn around with a question of their own, one that is usually controversial. They will often claim that they are being "ganged up on" and that everyone is against them because they are a.) new b.) not part of the clique or c.) have an opposite viewpoint of everyone else.
Another way to spot a troll is the way they respond when confronted. They scream censorship, favoritism, and/or persecution. They claim that the moderators and staff hate them and just want to shut them up. They rant about how their first amendment rights are being violated. They claim they are being singled out because someone (either moderator or staff) doesn't like them.
The fact is, a troll will assume all different types of persona/characters. Some will try to blend in and get to know the community so that it can determine the best place to hit. Some will attack right from their first day. They come in all shapes and sizes.
They all have one thing in common....they are not here to contribute to the community in any way. They are only here to cause problems.
There are a few things you can do if you think you have spotted a troll. First of all....don't respond! You have probably heard the phrase "Don't feed the troll" and that is true. It will help isolate the troll if you don't support their objective. Second....add the troll to your ignore list. This way you don't have to see anything that they post and you won't be able to receive any PM's/Emails from them. Third and most important.....report the troll to a moderator or staff member. Even if you just suspect that something isn't right, let someone know about it so that we can look into it. If it turns out to be false, then nothing will be said. If it turns out to be true, then you have helped disrupt the troll.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me by PM or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted 27 June 2011 - 08:17 AM
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