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Forum Trolls

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 5:59 am    Post subject: Forum Trolls Reply with quote

Forum trolls or internet trolls (as in trolling for fish) are people who join forums in order to become controversial users and, thereby, call attention to themselves. Trolls often use antagonism to provoke responses. When they target a forum, they will attack and insult forum members to get reactions (best case scenario for a troll: a rip-roaring flame war), be as offensive as possible, post offensive material and otherwise try to stand out and get attention. Sometimes they will register multiple users and reply to their own posts, using aliases, to make it look like they're getting responses.

Their aim is to disrupt, cause controversy and get attention. Discussion on the forum should turn to the troll instead of the actual subject matter of the forum.

The usual advice is to just ignore trolls and not give them the attention they want. This is rarely, if ever, effective. The troll will keep trying and keep escalating the attacks and offensiveness until a response is provoked. Not every member will get the message about ignoring the troll, so someone will respond. Also, telling people to ignore the troll actually calls attention to the troll.

If the troll is banned and an administrator is diligent in preventing the troll from re-joining (a difficult and time-consuming task), it means that each new member who joins must be screened to determine whether or not it's the troll in disguise before being approved for membership. This inconveniences a great many innocent people, the real new members.

No matter what happens, when a forum is targeted by a troll, there will be problems. Forum trolls are not welcome on this forum.

You can find more information using Wikipedia or by doing a Google search



There is a different type of troll. This type does not use antagonism to provoke responses. Instead, this type of troll will saturate the forum with posts, making it impossible for forum users to ignore the troll. The posts can be very nice and polite and even stay on topic. It's the sheer volume that's the problem, and the key to the troll getting attention. The troll may comment on every topic in a forum, even those that don't concern the troll, in order to have a "presence" on every topic so no one can read one without seeing something from the troll. If people respond to the troll's posts, it will encourage to troll to post even more. It can get out of hand. The "trolling for fish" analogy still holds true with this type of troll.
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