On the Nature of Trolls, Part II

Friday, March 6, 2009
The Internet is a strange place, isn't it? It allows us to instantly find information in a way that was unimaginable 20 years ago. It allows us to form communities, regardless of geography. And unfortunately, it allows whackadoos to invade our personal space.

Much has been written on the general nature of trolls, some of it here, but in recent days I've decided that in addition to the 10 points defined by Jim Wright, trolls also come in two distinct varieties.

Type A: The Drive-By Troll. This type of troll can be identified by their drive-by nature. Like the LDSers and Jehovah's Witnesses who insist on knocking on my door in spite of the clearly visible "No Soliciting" sign, they pop into your life, talk some nonsense, and then go away, never to return. These folks, while irritating and usually hateful, don't really give me high blood pressure, as they usually demonstrate the type of self-righteous asshattery that means they won't come back and defend their pet ideas. They simply drop their stupidity in your lap and run away. I can almost visualize them in my mind, cackling maniacally, as they type what they're sure is a blistering comment in response to some knee-jerk topic, all the while missing the scathing rebuttal that is sure to follow. Whatever gets you off, I guess.

Type B: The Black Sheep Troll. I call these folks Black Sheep trolls because they're just like the Black Sheep in some families. They're not contributing members of the community (in this case the on-line community), and they do not appear to have friends that are interested in listening to their ideas or opinions. So they troll the Internet, looking for validation and interaction, and when they find someone's Internet home where they can actually get a response, well, that must mean you want me to stay! So like the deadbeat relative who won't quit coming to dinner, even when they're not invited, they keep hanging around, even when it's made pretty clear that NO ONE LIKES THEM. They just can't understand why their Internet hosts are uninterested in dialogue with them, and they wander from site to related site, hoping for some shred of validation.

Black Sheep are especially prevalent in Bulletin Boards, in my opinion, which is why the only BB I currently participate in is private, and participation is by invitation only.

I find the Black Sheep a bit more irritating than the other variety, mostly because they suck away my Internet life force like some kind of Star Trek creature of the week. If I'm fucking around refuting their whackadoo opinions and asshattery on my site, I don't have the time or the energy to visit the sites of people I respect and admire, not to mention, you know, doing the work for which I'm paid.

I almost feel sorry for this class of whackadoos. Their opinions and commentary apparently aren't interesting or engaging enough to attract an audience of their own - so they attempt to hijack other people's Internet homes in the hope of achieving some level of interaction. Even after being told explicitly to go away, many of them continue to click, click, click away where they're clearly not wanted, evidently waiting for the next opportunity to jump into the fray. They also apparently they think their activities are secret, not being aware that even free traffic monitoring code will pinpoint their activities.

How sad is that? Hanging around web sites where no one cares what they think, where no one wants their opinion, because they can't receive the validation they crave in their own spaces or in other public discussion forums.

Pathetic.

I would almost feel sorry them, if they weren't Internet life force suckers. As it is, I'm tempted to just delete them out of hand once they show me who they are. Sorry, whackadoos - I'm really not interested in letting you stink up my parlor. The smell bothers the dog, and I'm quite sure I like him more than I'll ever like you.

7 comments:

Random Michelle K said...

Really, I'm a big fan of disemvowelling. You haven't deleted what they've said, and the post is still readable with effort, but it lets everyone else know 1) this guy is an asshat and 2) asshattery (would that be buttocks millinery if we were being fancy?) is not tolerated.

mom in northern said...

Tell Michelle I love her way with the word

"disemvowelling" ?? OOOOooo

Like the "buttocks millinery" bit too...
paints a lovely picture in my very fertile weed patch.

Anne C. said...

Speaking of clever wordsmithing, this line: "mostly because they suck away my Internet life force like some kind of Star Trek creature of the week." made me giggle like crazy.

Random Michelle K said...

Sorry, but although buttocks millinery is mine, I can't claim disemvowelling. That belongs to TNH of Making Light.

Megan said...

I have a few Black Sheep. I really don't understand why they stay. If I don't like a blog, I just don't go back to it. I don't stalk them and send them hate mail.

Mister Crowley said...

You should totally check out What a friend of mine did to a troll .

Janiece Murphy said...

Welcome, Megan. I don't get it, either. But I'm not going to stop blogging about topics I want to talk about just to keep them away.

Mister Crowley, you made me tee hee twice this morning.

Hee!

Your friend handled that beautifully.