The holidays are here, bringing out the best in so many people. It seems to me that trolling has become a traditional pastime for this time of year. Wiki defines a troll as " 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 readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion."
Well, I say if you're gonna do it, do it right. So here are some basic pointers for effective trolling:
1. Choose an abrasive character to be and remain otherwise anonymous.
2. Play the man, not the ball. Get nasty and personally attack if you can't win the argument.
3. Criticize something. More than one thing if possible.
4. Find a straw man argument, a false dichotomy. The accusation of hypocrisy is always a good one to use but accusations of ignorance and lying are good, too.
5. Failing that, there's whataboutery. Any failings of the opponent, however irelevant to the topic under discussion, will do. Search thru past comments.
6. Study other trolls, who'll just riff; spew words until a negative effect is achieved. Or choose a theme approriately offensive/provocative to the audience and let your hatred fly.
There. Now that you have the basic rules, run with it. Trolling is not profitable and will not make you friends, but it seems to be quite popular among those who like it.
Boxing Day 2012 Revisited
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