Important Info about Trolls.

by ThisisBo

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Intro-
The Urban Dictionary defines troll as "One who purposely and deliberately (that purpose usually being self-amusement) starts an argument in a manner which attacks others on a forum without in any way listening to the arguments proposed by his or her peers. He will spark of such an argument via the use of ad hominem attacks (i.e. 'you're nothing but a fanboy' is a popular phrase) with no substance or relevence to back them up as well as straw man arguments, which he uses to simply avoid addressing the essence of the issue. "
 
Greetings, Bo here (or as some call me "The Grammar Nazi") with a public service announcement. Trolls are an unfortunately growing part of the internet today, and any member can tell you that these new trolls can be infuriating. This recent influx of trolls is due to an increasing number of Internet-Accessing-Devices (Or IADs for short, they could be laptops, CPUs, Ipods, Consoles, etc.) being given to younger and younger people. The purpose of this article is to inform some of the newer members on what exactly "trolls" and "trolling" is, and possibly even to prevent some users from accidentally trolling. Hopefully by the end of this article you will be able to identify, classify, and deal with trolls.
The Kinds of Trolls-

As the name implies, this section was included to help you classify the local trolls you may find grazing in CYS. You can't deal with trolls unless you can understand them, and hopefully this will give you a better understanding of them. I created all these categories of trolls based on how I've seen them act in "public" in various sites across the internet, and if you know of any more please feel free to PM me with details about the particular troll/trolls.

The Maturity Troll: This group of troll exists because of the fact that younger and younger children are able to access the internet. This is by far the most common form of troll, and you can find them in all different areas of the internet, whether they are the hate-mailers on facebook or the "twenty-year-olds" on Call of Duty that constantly say that they will "Kick your @$$". Normally, maturity trolls exist because their lack of maturity causes them to act out, normally by inulting another member for apparently no reason. It is also incredibly common to find these trolls making constant hate posts or sending hate messages in order to feel superior, whether this is because they are socially ackward in their normal lives or because they simply don't know how to deal with conflict in any other way. A condescending attitude is also very common with this type of troll, as the majority of them will see themselves as smarter and (ironically) more mature than you.

The Amusement Troll: This troll is much less common, but can be much more devious. They normally exist because they find the irritation or anger of others to be amusing, most likely because they have been wronged by someone in the past and wish to inflict pain, frustration, or anger on others as a result. In other words, their motivations are the same as the common schoolyard bully. You might not recognize these trolls at first, but they will definately be out there. A common form of trolling used by the Amusement Troll are what I like to call "bait debates", where they make a totally rediculous topic into a thread (like claiming one race/religion is superior. Normally they are not that blatant, but that is an obvious example) in order to attract people that want to tell them that they are wrong. When this happens, the Amusement Troll will normally use intentionally stupid actions or arguments to infuriate you, and will act like common logic does not exist. Unfortunately most anything you will ever say or do to an Amusement Troll will make them more amused in the process, which means that everything you do to stop them will be futile.

The Inadvertant Troll: This troll is the most innocent of the rest simply because of their nature. Most inadvertant trolls do not even realize that they are trolling, and yet they somehow leave the unmistakeable stench of troll dung whereever they happen to be posting at that time. Unfortunately, many of teh Inadvertant Trolls legitimately think that they are helping people realize something or contributing to a conversation, so these are also the hardest to be angry with (well, you'll likely be angry anyway, but probably more at the statements than at the actual person). Inadvertant trolls will NEVER know that they are trolling, and trying to convince them that they are trolls will never succeed. All of this kind of troll has to come to that realization themselves. Unfortunately at one time I was an Inadvertant Troll myself, which is how I was labeled "The Grammar Nazi". Luckily I was able to realize that my constant spelling and grammar corrections did more harm than good, and I was able to stop my trollish ways. Now I like to think that I've become a regular user, and I enjoy helping others grasp certain concepts of CYS that are harder to comprehend. It is this type of troll that I am trying to prevent by making the article.

The Stalker Troll: I did not include this category of troll untill recently, seeing as they used to simply be a few isolated incidents. I have decided to include this as a type of troll as they have become more and more common. A stalker troll will become irrationallyt obsessed with a member of a site for what seems to us to be no good reason. In actuality, these trolls exist because they find something or someone online that they are not able to find in real life. For example, a person with no friends might obsess over someone who is friendly to them over the internet, even if they have never met that person before. These trolls are likely caused by mental or psychological reasons, and as such  ti probably won't do any good to correct them. I know that a very common place to find these trolls is www.Wattpad.com, where several preteen-young teenage girls attatch themselves to male writers, normally to their displeasure. This is a common example of the Stalker Troll, another common example would be young females who attatch themselves to older men because of their lack of a father figure, or males who attatch themselves to female celebrities.

Identifying Trolls-

Identrifying Trolls should be very easy if you just follow the tips listed below:

The Maturity Troll: A very common sign of the Maturity Troll is the presence of hate mail. As I mentioned before, this is normally a way for them to feel superior. Other signs include but are not limited to: Spamming the forums with posts, having incredibly rude or ignorant statements, unfounded racism, illogical hatred of another member, condecending tone, stubbornness, and of course young age.

The Amusement Troll: Amusement trolls are unfortunately easy to recognize once you get the hang of it. Simply look for those who use circular logic, and start arguments simply to pick fights with people. Normally, their entire debate style will include insulting others, with no actual arguments. You can also easily find them by looking for members who always try to disrupt a normally peaceful thread for no other reason than to disrupt the harmony.

The Inadvertant Troll: Unfortunately, you'll likely have to make the judgement yourself on whether or not a person is an Inadvertant Troll based on his/her behavior. Is he/she acting like their helping, but normally making things worse? Does  he/she always have something to say about a topic, but never something relevant? These are both common signs. However, be especially careful when calling someone an inadvertant troll, because who knows? Maybe you're just an inadvertant troll too.

The Stalker Troll: The Stalker Troll will be the easiest to recognize, so I won't spend much time on it. Simply look for those who obsess over other members, write about fantasizing with them, or constantly sending fan mail.

Dealing With Trolls-

This section focuses on how to deal with the types of trolls already discussed. If you take anything away from this article at all, I'm hoping it will be this, seeing as following these simple guidelines will keep our wonderful writing site more peaceful and clutter-free.

The Maturity Troll: The best solution for this kind of troll would simply be "don't feed the troll" (just for reference, I heard that from 3J, I did not make it up). Like I repeated throughout the article, these trolls are simply acting out because of their lack of maturity, and sometimes because they are experiencing strange feelings after experiencing hormones for the first time. That book your parents gave you would probably give you a better explanation of it than I can though haha. By don't feed the troll, I mean don't reply to a troll's post, or you'll simply be giving the troll something to latch on to, which makes their trolling all the more satisfying to them. When it comes to this particular batch of trolls, just ignore any troll-like posts they have, no matter how many they posts. Although it is indeed possible, DO NOT try to outsmart them, this leads to more spam posts than anything else I've ever witnessed on the site.

The Amusement Troll: the best method for dealing with an Amusement troll is simply not to feed the troll. Any response whatsoever will likely amuse them, so just steer clear of them entirely.

The Inadvertant Troll: It's best to deal with this troll by using a gentle hand. Simply show them how they can be annoying to other members, and hopefully if they see it enough times from enough different members, they will stop their troll-like activities. Never, under any circumstance, should you call them  a troll. Not only will you just be wasting your time as an Inadvertant Troll normally won't believe you, it might actually hurt your cause because they probably won't value your opinion as much any more. If all else fails, simply use the tried and true "don't feed the troll" method.

The Stalker Troll: The Stalker Troll, like the Inadvertant Troll, will most likely not see anything wrong with what he/she is doing. The best solution is, (you'll find this works every time) to not feed the troll. However, this comes with a few attatchments. If you know you have a Stalker Troll obsessing over you NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE should you display ANY personal information. Even if you display your first name in July, and your last in December, the next thing you know you could have a stalker on your doorstep because of an internet search. The main thing about the Stalker Trolls is that they're not right in the head, and so will most likely go to what seems like inhuman means to get to you, whether it's your email or home address. These trolls can easily be the most physically, emotionally,and (in the absolutely most extreme of cases) sexually damaging. Remember that not all Stalkers are unhinged twelve year old girls, they can just as easily be 40 year old pedophiles who feel that they "Have a connection" with you.

ADDENDUM by madGlee:

Now that you are armed with all this information, if you only take one thing away from ThisisBo's work, it is just this: Don't Feed the Trolls! Don't respond, don't encourage, don't attack. Mods such as myself will delete their postings and note why said post was deleted. In these cases, the summary will probably read: Troll.