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Why do people assume that trolls are kids?

(22 Posts)
cloudydays Wed 07-Sep-11 12:40:00

I know it's been done before.

But with the recent increase in trollish, shit-stirring posts around the boards, I've noticed all the usual comments of "inset day today?" "thought this would end when schools went back" and over the summer "can't wait for school holidays to end so things will go back to normal."

AIBU to think it's really unfair to assume that the trolls are mostly kids / teens / students? Surely we all know that fully-grown adults are well capable of being fully-grown arses, and/or of having an unhealthy need for the commanding the attention / validation / sympathy / ire of strangers on the internet?

Today there was a shit-stirring post about Andrea Dworkin on the feminist board. It's since been deleted, but not before a few comments assuming that the OP was a bored student. What makes it more likely that a 14 year old would post insults about Andrea Dworkin, rather than a 30 year old? This isn't a thread about a thread btw, it's just a recent example. I did try to post this question on that thread, but by the time I hit 'post' the thread was gone.

So I'm wondering, why do so many people blame kids for this kind of thing, and do you think it's an unfair assumption?

lubeybooby Wed 07-Sep-11 12:40:51

There does seem to be more of them in the school hols, that's probably why.

GypsyMoth Wed 07-Sep-11 12:42:44

I Agee with you....... If it's bad behaviour everyone looks towards the younger people!!

I have teens,they would never search out a parenting website if they fancied causing some mayhem!

puddingbasin Wed 07-Sep-11 12:43:02

I never think that the trolls are kids and am always slightly bemused when people think that they are. When I was a teen a forum for parents would not even have entered my radar.

theyoungvisiter Wed 07-Sep-11 12:44:30

I don't think they necessarily do actually think it's kids - but it's insulting to the troll to make the comparison. It's kind of saying "only a child could possibly think this is funny - it's the equivalent of ringing the doorbell and running away".

I actually think most of the trolling is too sophisticated for kids, and I really doubt teenagers care about winding up a load of mums, but it does seem to happen in the holidays.

sprogger Wed 07-Sep-11 12:45:34

I thought it was an insult, as in telling the troll s/he is acting childish. Not sure it's necessary to point it out, though.

itisnearlysummer Wed 07-Sep-11 12:47:09

I think it's probably regarded as a bit of an insult.

I don't think everyone assumes that the poster is a kid, but they are letting them know that they are not riled by their comments, but treating them with contempt as they are a child and an adult isn't going to allow themselves to be upset by something a child says.

Maybe. Dunno!

GypsyMoth Wed 07-Sep-11 12:47:25

So if it seems to be happening in the holidays it's just as likely to be a mumsnetter with more time on his/her hands..... Maybe off work on hold/maternity leave etc!

GypsyMoth Wed 07-Sep-11 12:47:43

Hols not hold!

itisnearlysummer Wed 07-Sep-11 12:48:35

X posted.

I also agree with SaraSidle.

A rude, ignorant, insensitive, stupid person? Must be a teenager is a bit hmm

cloudydays Wed 07-Sep-11 12:53:13

I agree that sometimes it's that they don't actually think it's a child, but call the troll a child in order to express their contempt.

I don't think that makes it any less insulting to young people!

cloudydays Wed 07-Sep-11 12:54:51

For the record, it's been awhile since I've been particularly young, and my own dc are a long way from teenagedom. It's not a personal ax to grind; I just think it's a bit unfair to all the lovely young people out there.

MitchiestInge Wed 07-Sep-11 12:55:37

ringing a doorbell and running away isn't funny?

shock

2shoes Wed 07-Sep-11 12:55:49

yabu
the worse troll I have seen on mn was a grown up.
hate the way people always assume it is teens, think they have more interesting(to them) sites to troll on than mn

2shoes Wed 07-Sep-11 12:56:03

yanbu oops

I think the teen ones are easy to spot, and generally silly and not harmful. The nasty bastards are adults, I always think.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 07-Sep-11 12:58:37

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

peggotty Wed 07-Sep-11 12:59:42

I think that there is a concerted effort by those anti-misandry types to shit stir that has been going on for a while now.

cloudydays Wed 07-Sep-11 13:05:42

I agree, peggotty, and I think that they are almost certainly uneducated adult abusive fucknuts, as SGM says, not uneducated teenagers.

I used today's feminist board troll as an example, but I've see the "school hols" assumption across lots of other boards as well, so my point was a more general one re: why people tend to assume that twattishness = youth.

JeremyVile Wed 07-Sep-11 13:06:04

Haven't seen any of the trolls stuff but this has always confused me.

I think it stems from a high regard for fellow MNers, which is nice I suppose but come on....it's MNers who know the buttons to push and I'm sure kids do troll but among their peers on sites far more relevant to them than this one.

You don't have to have been posting long to realise that the site has it's fair share of cockheads, plenty of posters who would be more than willing and able to vent their freakish need for attention under a name-change.

IfoundmyGspot Wed 07-Sep-11 13:11:29

You know what they say about assumptions. ass u me

theyoungvisiter Wed 07-Sep-11 13:13:25

I don't think people DO assume twattishness = youth.

I mean, if I say to someone at work "stop acting like a child" it doesn't mean I actually think all children are arrogant shits with an overblown sense of entitlement and an underdeveloped sense of proportion.

It's just a way of saying "you are acting in a way that I would excuse from someone under 10 but is unattractive in a senior professional".

Insulting a troll by saying they are acting like a bored teen does not equal automatic insult to all teens.

I truly think you're over-thinking this.

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