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Andrew Heenan's Guide to Trolling

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Troll Eradication

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Under Bridge Troll

Troll eradication is one of those jobs that is dirty but necessary, like pouring salt on slugs.

Don't feel guilty about it; scientists assure us that they feel nothing. Maybe the slime protects them, who can tell. Who cares?

Internet Troll

Under Bridge TrollInternet Troll

Every Internet user has a responsibilty to help in eradicating trolls. You may find them amusing, and might enjoy teasing them (You pulled the wings off flies, right?). But face it, they are a waste of space, and the internet would be a better place without them.

What you can do depends on whether you are a Usegroup user, forum member, moderator, lurker, group member ... whatever. But whoever you are, you should be able to pick up a few tips here. This page does get updated from time to time - I'm still learning, of course!

Ignoring

The key to trolls is their social inadequacy - once rumbled, they quickly go rabid - and their lack of intelligence. Let's face it, no intelligent person would bother. This means that any response is a response to a sad thicko; why bother?

There is no better way to shift a troll from a newsgroup than simply to ignore it. Sometimes, that is not possible; perhaps it has succeeeded in upsetting people.

It can be tempting to play games with the troll, they are easy to wind up, and watching them in contortions of fury feels like justice. But think before you do this - not out of mercy to the slug - but because it is boring at best for your fellow members, and irritating at worst; you may be labelled a troll yourself. Best to ignore.

Branding

Never address the troll ("Troll Off ...") as any direct response simply feeds it. Search for the troll by name or slogan. Send a message, headed

 "Troll Alert - [troll's name]"
to the group, with text along these lines:
 Spiro@peace.love (not its real name) 
is a troll. It regularly frequents at least twenty news groups, including many 
rabid/sex/racist groups. Normally, it starts off with reasonable, even witty lines, 
but rapidly drifts into lies, abuse and stupidity. 
Check its details at Google Groups. It is a sad creature, deserving of pity, not anger. Any direct response simply feeds it, but it will go away if you ignore it.

The key to success is a cool, measured, accurate posting. In my experience, unless the group is silly (in which case, they deserve a troll or two) this never fails.

But do avoid the temptation to label someone a trioll, just because you disagree with them - while it might make you feel better, it just makes you look silly and unable to defend your position.

Mocking

If you really must address the troll, give it this URL: http://www.trollyng.com/trollone.html
(It really is totally harmless: just a well designed .gif ...)

But in general, talk about it, not to it (but the best advice is still to ignore its posts).

Confusion

The average troll is pretty thick, so confusing them is fairly easy, and also serves to unite the rest against the troll.

"Sorry, but that'll lower your overall score on my Troll-o-Meter to 4.6" Curtis Desjardins response to one troll banished it instantly, and I still laugh every time I think about it; he's left no room for the idiot to come back for more.

Ask awkward questions (do not expect answers) but the best advice is still to ignore its posts.



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29 November 2016   Copyright Andrew Heenan