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Trolling

Trolling (as a verb) is a fairly recent term that has evolved alongside the Internet and whose meaning ranges from an activity of purposefully causing drama (mostly on the Internet) for entertainment (the original, narrower meaning) to just shamelessly abusing rules of any system for self interest on the detriment of others (wider meaning, e.g. patent trolling, pre-election media trolling etc.). Core value of the narrow-sense trolling is simply fun on the detriment of others -- usually making someone angry -- but not every fun making can be called trolling -- bullying weaker, for example, isn't trolling, despite it bringing some fun; trolling has to have a bit of cleverness in it, it typically finds a way of legally do something nasty, i.e. hacking the rules of the game. Trolls are those who before the Internet would be called something like jokers or pranksters, however real life pranks have limited potential -- on the Internet on the other hand trolling can flourish (likely owing to the aspect of anonymity, lack of nonverbal communication, lack of consequences and responsibility and so on), so this art has evolved into something more, it is by now an inseparable part of Internet culture (and should probably become protected by Unesco). Some forms of trolling provide so much fun they're even illegal. Trolling is not about being evil, it is about having fun, it is cherished by cool people who don't take things too seriously and can make fun of themselves and is therefore embraced by forums like 4chan; on the other hand it is demonized by those without sense of humor, those who fear the power of humor (e.g. dictators and fascists) and those who mostly get butthurt by it (reddit, Wikipedia and other "safe space" networks). Evil is always afraid of fun.

NOTE: That who performs trolling is called a troll, a word taken from Nordic mythology where it stands for a fantastic, weird kind of creature that lives in forests, caves or under bridges. Trolls are often a race in many fantasy universes (e.g. Warcraft, LOTR, Harry Potter, ...) -- there their appearance isn't very unified, some make them big, stupid giants, others paint them as tall but human sized creatures with tusks and so on. Further on we'll just be discussing trolls as related to trolling.

Trolling is highly associated with the troll face meme -- the face has become a universal trolling symbol.

A typical example of troll occurred e.g. circa 2006 when in the game World of Warcraft some guys pulled the world boss Lord Kazzak into Stormwind, one of the game's main cities, where of course this beast towering above all buildings proceeded to assrape the whole city and anything that stood in his way -- the boss couldn't even be killed because he healed every time he killed someone and with so many low level noobs and NPCs in reach he was just healing constantly. This was an ingenious move but of course, Blizzard like a huge unfunny pussy just stepped in, restarted the server and stopped all the fun because constantly dying several hours in a row was making some of their customers potentially unhappy. Blizzard is full of imbeciles who only listen to money of course.

Trolling in chat rooms and forums typically start with so called bait, a deliberately provocative post that's meant to plant a seed of a heated discussion (see also flame war). Such bait will intentionally say something controversial, stupid, logically faulty etc., exactly to provoke a response, it wants to attract some smartass like a fishing bait wants to attract a fish. However the art is in striking the correct balance between stupidity and seriousness, the bait mustn't be too obvious otherwise it will of course be spotted and fail (4chan calls this a "low quality bait", a famous image of highly JPEGed fishing bait is typically attached).

Here are some potentially entertaining ways of trolling (they'll be written from the point of view of a fictional character so as to avoid legal responsibility for potential crimes they may inspire lol):

{ I got asked a very good question: is trolling in fact fascism and how can I, a LRS supporter, like it then? I want to leave at least a short answer here: Yes, seeking fun (a kind of self benefit) on the detriment of others is, at least by our definition, a form of fascism. I enjoy the acts of trolling, and though it may be partly an imperfection of me as a human being, I try to keep it compatible with LRS in the following ways. Firstly I never support actually very harmful trolling (such as "cutting for Bieber") to be DONE, though I do enjoy reviewing the cases that already happened and I may find them both funny and sad at the same time -- this is similar to how one can be a pacifist and completely reject violence while still finding some value in watching gore videos. Secondly trolling may be done to entities that aren't living beings, for example companies or states. Thirdly I may support acts of trolling that I don't think are significantly harmful, for example lighthearted pranks (the kind of joke you play on someone and it eventually entertains both of you, but it mustn't be taken too far, harm must be negligible), or Internet trolling. It's similar to sports or video games -- it is completely acceptable (and desirable) to create environments -- which must always be entered VOLUNTARILY -- that simulate amoral behavior and relieve some of our amoral animal needs, for example those for competition or fight, despite such behavior not being acceptable in other contexts. I.e. it is for example acceptable to kill each other in video games. Internet, or at least a great part of it, is such an environment -- it is a kind of playground anyone can enter voluntarily, that's known to have the kind of trolling game going on. On the Internet we only interact by speech and speech alone can never hurt anyone -- if one cannot bear reading something on the Internet, he can avoid using it (at least that's how it should be). ~drummyfish }

See Also


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