What is Trolling Exactly?


#65

Pretty sure it was originally based on the verb.

verb (used with object)
3. To fish for or in with a moving line, working the line up or down with a rod, as in fishing for pike, or trailing the line behind a slow-moving boat.

Like dragging the waters for easy responses.


#66

You didn’t put a hilarious picture.


#67


#68

Yup, was just about to suggest that very thing. Ergo, the noun s/b “trollers”.


#69

So we’ve had a few nice examples of trolling posted - how do they stack up against the definition?

I’ve broken down the definition and there seems to be some contradictory elements to it

  1. Posting inflammatory messages
  2. Posting off-topic messages

However, I think the thing that most people are complaining about is the first one? It would seem quite possible to troll someone without going off-topic

Setting aside the kind of moronic personal abuse that goes on on youtube etc, which I think everyone can agree is off-limits, ‘inflammatory’ can still encompass a range of different things

For example, John Oliver is inflammatory and I assume he’s trying to provoke an emotional response and doing it for his own amusement (and that of his audience)

Other valid viewpoints can also be inflammatory - abortion for instance

‘Inflammatory’ is also a subjective term - what’s inflammatory to one person is not to another

Is there a particular kind of ‘inflammatory’ that defines a troll?


#70

A lack of good faith.


#71

Originally, back in the early days of online discussion environments, the term was created to describe, specifically, a poster who would enter a discussion and deliberately post content that he/she knew would elicit (hopefully widespread) rancor and violent (hopefully emotional) opposition, irrespective of the fact that the poster had no stake in the posted content whatsoever. Indeed, it was considered more rewarding if the “troll” actually in no way agreed with what was being posted. The resulting furor was the desired goal.
His/her idea of a good time.
Since then, the use of the term has widened considerably, hence the reason for this very thread.
It’s not uncommon, as we can see here, for it to be deployed to simply refer to anyone who doesn’t agree with you or is mean or rude.
YMMV, depending on your personal prescriptive tendencies, I guess.


#72

Ok, can you define ‘a lack of good faith’?

That would also seem to be a vague, subjective term, would it not?

(btw, I’d like to hear from Mr. Cow Head with his ‘objective’ bulldust - in theory he should be able to clear this whole question up in no time!)

For example, I have posted this ‘in good faith’ coz I want to know the guidelines so I can post accordingly in the future.

Right now, it seems confusing and in terms of how it’s moderated there’s a perception that some posters are more equal than others with regard to what they can get away with. Is that a fair call?


#73

AFAIAC, not in the least.


#74

That’s good to hear!

How about Tempo Gain?


#75

[quote=“TaidongCouncil, post:72, topic:161837, full:true”]
Ok, can you define ‘a lack of good faith’?

That would also seem to be a vague, subjective term, would it not?[/quote]

I don’t think it would. A quick look turns up “honesty or sincerity of intention” which is exactly how I see it. That’s quite specific. A troll is not sincerely interested in the content of the discussion.

For example, I have posted this ‘in good faith’ coz I want to know the guidelines so I can post accordingly in the future.

I posted our guideline earlier in the thread. More below

Right now, it seems confusing and in terms of how it’s moderated there’s a perception that some posters are more equal than others with regard to what they can get away with. Is that a fair call?

That’s a leading question. As the old joke goes, when did you stop beating your wife? What I would say is this: lately several posters have commented that they feel some posters are “trolling”.

As I see it, people accusing others of trolling is as disruptive as actual trolling, and it is something we will moderate. When people are really posting in bad faith, it’s usually detectable very quickly and quickly dealt with. Normally a trolling poster will quickly violate rules about personal attacks and the like, and that’s really our main concern. I’m not sure where all this trolling talk is coming from lately, but it doesn’t hurt to discuss it either.


#76

I think from my moving of off topic material to a thread I entitled Modding Advice, which bred this one. Sorry and/or you are welcome.


#77

A belated thank you. The talk preceded your moving the posts though.


#78

:pushpin:


#79

Again, they would seem to be subjective terms. How do you get inside someone’s head in order to quantify their ‘sincerity of intention’?

As a test case, if someone posted, for example, an inflammatory rant that disparaged one section of the Forumosan community as losers, without any provocation, or any supporting evidence for their assertion - and then called anyone who opposed that view ‘stupid’, would that pass your “quite specific” test of “sincerity of intention”?


#80

There’s a guy that slams us Canadians every chance he gets. Yes, he is trolling. Yes, the posts usually stand. Do I respect his opinion about Canadians? Not in the least. Do I respect his opinion in many other regards? Yes indeedly diddly do.

If he then calls a responder “stupid”. then he gets the sin bin (again).


#81

[quote=“TaidongCouncil, post:79, topic:161837”]
Again, they would seem to be subjective terms. How do you get inside someone’s head in order to quantify their ‘sincerity of intention’?[/quote]

As I mentioned earlier What is Trolling Exactly? --you can’t. The pattern and content of posting is the key to such a determination. I don’t think that makes the term subjective, but there’s not much point to quibbling over that I guess.

As a test case, if someone posted, for example, an inflammatory rant that disparaged one section of the Forumosan community as losers, without any provocation, or any supporting evidence for their assertion - and then called anyone who opposed that view ‘stupid’, would that pass your “quite specific” test of “sincerity of intention”?

You’re quoting me out of context. I said the meaning of “good faith” is quite specific. I’ve also noted that it’s normally impossible to directly determine intent. We have rules about personal attacks, statements about groups of people, and several other areas which come into play far more directly then a decision that someone is trolling. Trolling is a pattern of behaviour and generally wouldn’t be discernable through one or two posts.


#82

Ok, sorry if I quoted you out of context; above is the full context, would you agree?

You also said:

So, the meaning of “good faith” is quite specific, but what it means, “sincerity of intention” is not specific?


#83

“Sincerity of intention” is a 100% specific term as far as I’m concerned.

You asked what makes a troll a troll. I gave my opinion of the essence of what makes a troll a troll. That’s all. I didn’t suggest that I have some means of reading people’s minds to determine their specific intent.

Might I ask, why the concern here? It’s not like mods are running around accusing members of being trolls.


#84

[quote=“Toe_Save, post:80, topic:161837”]
There’s a guy that slams us Canadians every chance he gets. Yes, he is trolling.
[/quote]:sunglasses: