Saturday, January 16, 2010

10 Trolls Every Blogger Will Encounter

By Andrea Grimes at Heartless Doll

It's easy enough to avoid real-life trolls. Keep your billy goats in check and avoid sketchy bridges. But online (you know, in the world where you aren't in charge of Capra aegagrus hircus and the safe maritime transportation thereof), anyone with a blog is bound to run into an internet troll. They've been around since the days of newsgroups and BBSes, even before Livejournal was in diapers, and they'll probably still be around when the aliens come to get us in 2012. In fact, they may be the aliens.

Bloggers, beware: here are 10 troll types you will encounter on the internetz, flamin' ur thredz.

10. The anti-choice troll
It can smell your desire to murder the babies of the world with your liberal atheist devil-worshipping hate, and it will find you and your blog and tell you, in no uncertain terms, the hellfire you can expect. Feminist bloggers are especially familiar with this troll, and know all too well that there is no arguing with the crazy. Let the crazy talk. Let the crazy express itself. Because the crazy thinks it has Jesus on its side, and if you think it's hard to argue with a religious nut on an internet forum, try arguing with a potentially non-existent dude who's been dead for 2,000 years and has millions of people thinking they can speak for him.
9. The grammar nazi troll
Let's talk hypothetically: in your blog post, you found the cure for cancer. Not only that, you ended genocide and made reality television programming illegal. But, in your fervor, you used a serial comma or were careless with your use of its/it's. The grammar nazi troll will be here in a flash to tell you what a worthless piece of shit you are for your abominable command of the English language. The grammar nazi troll likely has no publications of note but carefully copy edits all its rejection letters. Also, the grammar nazi troll reading this post is really upset that I didn't capitalize "nazi."
8. El Creepo

This troll was, initially, a fan of your blog. It read your work regularly, sent you tips via e-mail and tried repeatedly to friend your personal account on Facebook. When you didn't respond with equal enthusiasm, El Creepo started feeling angry and rejected because you didn't want to be friends with a stranger from the internet who e-mails you upwards of six times a day. If El Creepo is lucky, it lives within driving distance of your town and will use your Twitter or FourSquare account to track you down at your local and stare menacingly at you from across the room. Please leave me alone, El Creepo. Really.
7. The political dissenter/martyr troll
If your blog is interesting, chances are it's because you take a stand on things. You have political views you feel passionate about. You build a community of people who are interested in these things and who interact thoughtfully and productively about said things. Heck, some people even manage to disagree civilly. Until political dissenter/martyr troll comes around, starting fights with everyone in a comment thread, spewing its passionate anti-whatever-you're-into views all over the productive discussion. This troll will likely get mouthy about how pathetic a blogger is for not entertaining dissenting opinions, all the while only being interested in hearing itself talk (or type, as it were). Political dissenter/martyr troll, what good do you think you are doing? Whose mind do you think you are changing? Troll, you are an asshole.
6. The troll who can't let it go
It may have been 2 days or 2 months ago, but you once said something that this troll didn't agree with. And while you have moved on, this troll has not. One day, you'll be posting about, say, Skittles. The troll who can't let it go will pop up and remind you about that time you said you hated glitter, didn't believe in the public option or thought we should legalize the possession of small amounts of narcotics. Chances are even you forgot you hated glitter, but this troll never forgets.
5. The self-promotional troll
The self-promotional troll is real happy for you, and it's gonna let you finish, but ITS WEBSITE IS THE GREATEST WEBSITE OF ALL TIME HERE IS A LINK Y'ALL TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK OF MAH POSTS OK LOL.
4. The troll what feeds itself
Despite the long and storied existence of IP-tracking technology, the troll what feeds itself dedicates its time and effort to engaging with its inflammatory self by posting under different names on a single blog, all to make it seem like there are many people who share the same hateful and/or argumentative position. It's like stuffing a ballot box, except it's on the internet and it's really sad and who has this kind of time?
3. The troll who over-shares your personal information
It could be an angry ex, a dissed friend or someone at school or work who has it out for you. But this troll knows your personal business and isn't afraid to use it against you online. The troll knows where you live, who you're dating or what school your kids go to. And this troll wants everyone else to know, too.
2. The troll who believes it has inside information about your weight or sexuality When all else fails, this troll will just call you fat/a fag. When you call this troll out on its poor arguments, it will call you fat/a fag. When you prove this troll wrong with actual facts, it will call you fat/a fag. Actually, when it hasn't even tried anything yet, this troll will call you fat/a fag. Maybe there's something to be said for consistency?
1. The troll who has thought out extensive sexual assault scenarios
Most likely to be a
troll commenting on a female blogger's site, the assault troll attacks writers with vivid and terrifying threats of sexual violence. Yes, the threats are scary. Even scarier? The fact that there are probably real, even normal-seeming, people behind them.


DuPree said...

That's an excellent list, Bob - and I hope it's not indicative of trolling taking place here.

I would add two more types of trolls:

The Know-it-all who - while reviling your post, educational background and birth legitimacy with a dazzling display of their insight and knowledge - manages to reveal that they are actually a social outcast in need of serious counseling about the personal boundaries they maintain with their household pets.

The other is the Eeyore Troll - the sad sack whose life is so miserable that they have to hijack your thread to moan and whine, even if it has nothing to do with the topic at hand.

I've had both, but - knock on wood - they're vastly outnumbered by the cool folks who comment.

Cheers! xoxo

jadedj said...

Great post Bob. I think we've all run into everyone of these numbskulls.

My favorite peeve is the troll who continually visits a site that is clearly politically the troll's opposite, as are it's followers. They use the opportunity, repeatedly, to extol their particular propaganda, knowing full well that it is falling on deaf ears. I call them the agitator troll. Basically I find them unpleasant and boring. And I have a short fuse with them.

Anonymous said...

Excellent list, Bob it seems that the internet has more trolls than the entire genre of Swords Sorcery fantasy. DuPree, you're so right about the know-it-all-troll I've already has a couple offering "wise" psychological input on the issues I cover, even suggesting that I might have invited abuse? Needless to say these trolls don't get air time on my blog.


David Dust said...

I have had every single one of these biatches comment on my blog. Sometimes all on the same post.


Mistress Maddie said...

Bob what a creative post! The only one a have encounter is the one that post fromt the beginning of my blog, the regulars. But there all swell!

Stephen said...

Am I your El Creepo Troll?
Just because I Google Earth-ed Smallville to find your house?

Joy said...

My troll is #7. She's calmed down after I got all Southern on her ass and she thought I wasn't being sarcastic.

Good post! I'd like to steal it but will give your blog credit. I just hope it won't get her started again. Do you delete troll comments? I do.

Lou said...

Great post Bob, you're so right.

Kyle Leach said...

This post was a lot of fun to go through Bob. :)

So far I have not met any of these trolls, and I hope I never do.(Fingers Crossed)