Keyboard Bravado: Forum and Blog Trolls and Bullies

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It’s easy to talk a big game when you are sitting at your computer and no one can see you. This is the general psychology that facilitates the existence of what we have come to know as the “Internet Troll.” You’ll see these people show up on message boards, forums, blog comment and YouTube channels. They enjoy baiting people into arguments with negative rhetoric and sometimes even threats in an effort to gain attention online and steer conversations into a direction in which they are the stars of the discussion.

Are you an Internet Troll? Do you know any? Here are four surefire signs that you are dealing with an Internet Troll. These are the easiest ways to identify these disruptors of our interactive internet experience.

Their opinions are most commonly presented as facts

Most people are able to tell the difference between a fact and an opinion. But a troll either does not want to recognize that there is a difference or they just don’t understand that one exists. The most common stance of a forum or blog troll is that their opinion is a fact and if you disagree with their opinion, you are wrong. Whether you are talking about your favorite phone or your favorite band, there is no room for opinions when an Internet troll is speaking. They cannot distinguish the difference between their favorite things and the best things. Whatever they find to be their favorite is unequivocally the best as well.

They love to beat a dead horse

No conversation is ever finished when dealing with a troll. They do not stop forcing their opinion on you until you either give up arguing with them or end up agreeing with them in order to make them shut up. But they probably won’t stop even after you have agreed with them – a troll will continue to rub the fact that you were wrong in your face ad nauseam.

They hate everything the majority likes

If you are on a message board where there is some kind of consensus about something being good, the Internet troll will automatically say the opposite just to get a reaction out of everyone. The troll wants to stand out no matter what. Going against the grain no matter what makes sure that they will be the odd man out and in some way different from everyone else.

The think they are funny

They burst into an ongoing conversation in a thread with snarky, rude, insulting or just plain foolish, silly trash talk. Generally their goal is to detract from a good conversation where they know they couldn’t add anything intelligent. Actually, that’s probably the explanation for all of their behaviors, they have nothing intelligent to add.

5 Responses to Keyboard Bravado: Forum and Blog Trolls and Bullies

  1. HowieCrosby says:

    Hi Donna, nice to meet you, good post.

    You're points are correct, alas in the domaining community bullies and commentators with rudeness and harsh opinions fight to the death still masquerade with hidden profiles and made up names, with sometimes websites linked. ( So, it's not hard to find their id). (I know this is not always the case with vector/comic avatars, I am not being judgmental)

    Albeit, there are only a few fortunately.

    I have seen these characters mock and insult fellow domain bloggers, and personally find it disgusting. I also find it amazing they haven't been blocked (although I know a few have on some blogs.)

    To be honest, I would only accept real names, whilst checking their email before submitting/moderating blog posts, just to be human and business about things.

    I know this would reduce comments, but it also would reduce the dross!

    If you have something worthwhile commenting, then be adult and businesslike about it, be the man/women, be human, be yourself, stop hiding behind a facade!

    PS. Gravatar.com is worth looking into, you can set up an avatar account that's bilingual with most online blog platforms.

    Best, Howie.

  2. Donna Mahony says:

    Thanks for your comment Howie. I considered censoring the usual band of trolls. I discussed it with a couple of my blogger friends and their feeling is that once you begin censoring anything you lose the trust that you do not censor regularly by other criteria.

  3. Derek says:

    This blog sucks and your post sucks and that is a fact and yes, I am funny dammit. Gotta run, I see some goats about to walk over my bridge.

  4. Donna Mahony says:

    @Derek, Thanks for the example, I forgot to include one! Yup, the goats be showing up any minute. They eat EVERYTHING! Run!

  5. HowieCrosby says:

    Hi Donna, it's not that you censor anything, just the dross. Do you mean lose the trust from interested domainers/readers?

    However, my point above still has holes, as Derek has provided LOL! (Example)

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