Thursday, January 21, 2010

Everything I Need To Know About Trolls I Learned In Kindergarten

According to Wikipedia:

TrollIn Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room or blog, with the primary intent of provoking other users into an emotional response[1] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[2]

A discussion of “bait and switch” titles got trolled into something else today… Trolling the trolling discussion is just wrong!

Now, I personally use the bait and switch thing all the time. One of the joys of studying puberty is that sexual development and hormones are involved. I can usually work the term “sex” into the title of my talks. Lots of people show up. They are often disappointed and leave early, but they show up hoping to learn more about the erotic lives of diabetic mice… I had never considered this a type of trolling, but the behaviors are clearly related.

Lots of anti-trolling tactics are promoted, especially DFTT (don’t feed the trolls). We all know the most definitive way to defeat a troll, though. Go back to Kindergarten GoatSockPuppet(you really did learn everything you need to know there)…

All it takes to whack-a-troll is a Big Billy Goat Gruff.

While online sock-puppetry is ordinarily discouraged, a sock-puppet-billy-goat might be OK.

Just have to keep the billy goats away from Terrified Tabetic! (Click through, if you don’t know why).

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