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To ask what a 'Troll' actually is/does?

(31 Posts)
JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 30-May-11 14:49:35

I see this posted quite a lot when someone has strong views on something that aren't the views of the majority, the poster then gets accused of being a troll.
I thought that a troll was someone who spammed things everywhere not a poster who doesn't post that much...
am I going to be called a troll now? I'm not honest but I can't do that list of things to prove I'm not like people do when they name change unless I do the obvious: greggs sausage rolls, fruitshoot, nice ham (this is what I've picked up in around 5 months)

TanteRose Mon 30-May-11 14:51:26

MN info on trolls

Jaspants Mon 30-May-11 14:55:42

IME trolls tend to be split into either trouble making nasty ones - eg benefit bashing etc; or teenagers looking for kicks on sex related threads - these aren't too bad and mainly get the piss taken out of them.

There are nasty trolls who use other peoples terribly sad stories to weave a back story for themselves and cause a lot of hurt and upset - one would regularly post panic threads in the middle of the night and have people talking her through the night sharing painful and distressing personal experiences, and then there are the ones who end up having money / clothes / toys sent to them cos of their sob story

Tambern Mon 30-May-11 14:55:52

A troll isn't a spammer, it's someone who with the minimum amount of effort, causes the maximum amount of outrage and discussion. They sometimes play devil's advocate, and it's all designed to make people angry. There's not that many around, the ones I've seen on MN tend to be a bit rubbish because they're so easily spottable.

JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 30-May-11 15:01:07

but playing devils advocate surely isn't always a trollable offence? When debating isn't it sometimes useful to play devils advocate?
Benifit bashing may be due to misinformation or perhaps just very right wing views - neither of which are great (imo) but does that mean that they're a troll and should be banned for their views because they don't conform with the rest of us?

I can certainly see why someone making up situations/being sent toys etc would be considered a troll but I don't get it when someone has a different opinion that they are then a troll...?

Tambern Mon 30-May-11 15:07:12

JazzAnnNonMouse I play Devil's Advocate all the time (and I'm definitely not a troll) but there's a difference between that and doing it to wind people up.

And they definitely shouldn't be banned for having different views, that's what having a discussion is about. But that's not what a troll is.

ShowOfHands Mon 30-May-11 15:08:14

A troll isn't any one thing. Generally speaking it's somebody who isn't who they say they are. They can be attempting to amuse, distract, annoy, inflame, hurt, gratify and a thousand things besides.

They are an integral part of the Internet and largely should be dealt with in the same way as an attention seeking child. But occasionally they are damaging, cruel people. Sometimes they're just not well. What they want depends on the individual troll. Some want validation, some gratification, some feed on the experiences of others, some want material goods.

There's nothing wrong with having a different or strong opinion. But sometimes you spend enough time on here to develop a nose for when it's an aped opinion designed to inflame as opposed to an informed thought genuinely expressed. Irrelevant though. If you suspect a troll, you tell MNHQ.

MonstaMunch Mon 30-May-11 15:10:24

trolls can be funny or awful

on here people get labelled as a troll when really they are just giving a different opinion - a troll comes on with the sole aim of making trouble either for the board or for one particular person

Mollydollydoll Mon 30-May-11 15:18:46

I've always thought a troll was a rubber doll with freaky hair smile

Mollydollydoll Mon 30-May-11 15:21:12

But someone with an honest opinion who doesn't sugar coat an OP when they are talking crap is not a troll. I think people are just too sensitive at times if you post something truly awful your gonna get not so nice posts back.

bittersweetvictory Mon 30-May-11 15:22:50

Trolls are not always nasty, i remember when the R.I.P Raoul Moat FB page was made with everyone saying he was a hero n shit, this led to a bunch of trolls making false accounts to have their say ( had to be false accounts as FB was deleting accounts left right and centre and obv didnt want real account deleted ) and to say what a total cowardly wanker he was, and the Mary Bale shenanigans ( the one who threw the cat in the bin ) where people were calling for her to be handed the death sentence, the trolls stuck up for her.

Mollydollydoll Mon 30-May-11 15:31:24

Trolls are cowards, they say what they think in a nasty way then delete their profiles. I say what I think as I don't lie.
I've not found it on this site but another one I was on was awful, so many fakes on there spouting utter rubbish. They'd get banned and start again with another fake profile spouting shit. Some people must be very bored.

theinet Mon 30-May-11 16:05:18

trolls can be humorous too, though, it's not all about destroying a messageboard.

there are about 20 different types of trolls.

Mollydollydoll Mon 30-May-11 16:08:10

And we thought you was one lastnight dear with the being licked out thread. But you did make me laugh and that's the main thing smile

LisasCat Mon 30-May-11 16:22:37

They tend to be people who express inflamatory opinions which aren't necessarily even what they really think, they're just aiming to cause as much anger and hurt by others as possible.

They're the kind of people who wade in with a comment like "all women who formula feed are lazy", "everyone on benefits is a scrounger" or (the ones that really wind me up) they come on the Independent website, to comment on an article about immigration by saying how great Nick Griffin is and shouldn't we just "send them all back". Those are the ones I hate the most, because the Independent has quite a specific target audience, so the BNP voting Daily Hate Mail readers should just stay away. Whereas MN caters to a huge variety of opinions, so all demographics can probably be identified amongst the users of this site and posters should just be aware of the potential to offend with any extreme view.

What I never quite understand is why. I mean seriously, how pathetic does your life have to be to get a sense of pleasure from making up a load of crap about your personal circumstances or passing a nasty judgement on a sector of society, just so you can sit back and watch people get agitated. Some people should definitely pop down to Lidl and buy themselves a life.

usualsuspect Mon 30-May-11 16:24:00

They are just people who lie on the internet

worraliberty Mon 30-May-11 16:31:49

I think some of the regs are a bigger problem than the trolls to be honest.

There are two troll threads now that have just been started, and as usual certain people jump on and give the troll attention instead of ignoring or reporting.

Mollydollydoll Mon 30-May-11 16:33:55

Those threads have been pulled no I think

usualsuspect Mon 30-May-11 16:38:18

sometimes its fun to poke trolls though

worraliberty Mon 30-May-11 16:40:51

I agree absolutely usualsuspect but you'll often find regs making cat's bum faces about trolls, yet encouraging them to post.

I'd sooner be honest and say some of them brighten up a dull board.

usualsuspect Mon 30-May-11 16:43:21

Some of the funniest threads on MN are started by trolls ..I love it when other posters pile in and rip the piss out of them grin

Mollydollydoll Mon 30-May-11 16:43:39

Some of the funny posts to make me giggle and are harmless fun if I'm honest anything that makes me LOL gets my vote smile

Mollydollydoll Mon 30-May-11 16:44:53

I think there should be a troll section where they can post their crap trap for us to have a giggle at smile

JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 30-May-11 16:51:10

how can you tell a thread is started by a troll??

Primalscream Mon 30-May-11 16:59:40

Why are you so interested in troll behaviour?

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