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The Trolls Among Us
New York Times ^ | August 3, 2008 | Mattathias Schwartz

Posted on 08/01/2008 12:50:41 PM PDT by reaganaut1

...

In the late 1980s, Internet users adopted the word “troll” to denote someone who intentionally disrupts online communities. Early trolling was relatively innocuous, taking place inside of small, single-topic Usenet groups. The trolls employed what the M.I.T. professor Judith Donath calls a “pseudo-naïve” tactic, asking stupid questions and seeing who would rise to the bait. The game was to find out who would see through this stereotypical newbie behavior, and who would fall for it. As one guide to trolldom puts it, “If you don’t fall for the joke, you get to be in on it.”

Today the Internet is much more than esoteric discussion forums. It is a mass medium for defining who we are to ourselves and to others. Teenagers groom their MySpace profiles as intensely as their hair; escapists clock 50-hour weeks in virtual worlds, accumulating gold for their online avatars. Anyone seeking work or love can expect to be Googled. As our emotional investment in the Internet has grown, the stakes for trolling — for provoking strangers online — have risen. Trolling has evolved from ironic solo skit to vicious group hunt.

“Lulz” is how trolls keep score. A corruption of “LOL” or “laugh out loud,” “lulz” means the joy of disrupting another’s emotional equilibrium. “Lulz is watching someone lose their mind at their computer 2,000 miles away while you chat with friends and laugh,” said one ex-troll who, like many people I contacted, refused to disclose his legal identity.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: 4chan; disruption; howtostealanelection; internet; mobydicks; mobysmarchingmorons; newbies; troll; trollbait; trolls; zot
Some people are evil.
1 posted on 08/01/2008 12:50:41 PM PDT by reaganaut1
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To: reaganaut1

Tell me about it!


2 posted on 08/01/2008 12:52:56 PM PDT by Admin Moderator
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To: reaganaut1

Might as well get the inevitable done and over with....

3 posted on 08/01/2008 12:54:32 PM PDT by steve-b (Intelligent design is to evolutionary biology what socialism is to free-market economics.)
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To: reaganaut1
Image Hosted by ImageShack.us
4 posted on 08/01/2008 12:54:46 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Voting conservative isn't for the faint of heart.)
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To: Admin Moderator

Hmmm, some people have a split personality . . .


5 posted on 08/01/2008 12:54:53 PM PDT by donna ( I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth. - Barack Hussein Obama)
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To: donna

I’ve used my name for nearly five decades. It’s legal for a wide variety of purposes.


6 posted on 08/01/2008 12:56:56 PM PDT by muawiyah (We need a "Gastank For America" to win back Congress)
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To: reaganaut1

Posting flashing GIFs on an epilepsy Web site is terrible. Who even thinks of something like that?

I find it interesting that someone posted a parody of one of those parody motivation posters. Those originated on 4chan. They are a goldmine of internet memes.


7 posted on 08/01/2008 1:00:23 PM PDT by Mr. Blonde (You ever thought about being weird for a living?)
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To: Admin Moderator

Thinking positively for one moment:

Moderators/Administrators/Owners have given voice to those who otherwise will go unheard.

Tough challenge - but think of the rewards you heros deserve.

My personal thanks.

There will always be cruelty - it enhances the beauty of those who can rise beyond its’ limiting boundaries of those who prefer tantrums, demanding we all conform and in so moving away from the ugliness - create even more wonderful thoughts for us to ponder.


8 posted on 08/01/2008 1:01:14 PM PDT by imintrouble
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To: NYT

And others

9 posted on 08/01/2008 1:01:53 PM PDT by I see my hands (_8(|)
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To: Mr. Blonde
Photobucket
10 posted on 08/01/2008 1:04:16 PM PDT by lesser_satan (Cthulu '08! Why vote for the lesser evil?)
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To: reaganaut1

They are here... among you. lol

In fact, I submit that some of them have attained a rather “high status” right here on this site, and I see an AWFUL lot of them with leftist leanings going on an on and on, never to be challenged lately.

(I’ve been involved with dealing with them since those ‘early days’ the author mentioned, since before the internet existed!)


11 posted on 08/01/2008 1:08:21 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for latest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: Rick.Donaldson

Caught a quick signup/post from an Obama fan who has posted the one defense of his candidate and run. Contrary to the quotes he cited.


12 posted on 08/01/2008 1:10:54 PM PDT by weegee (Hi there.)
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To: Admin Moderator

Practice.. Practice .. Practice !!!

:-]

13 posted on 08/01/2008 1:11:02 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ... Godspeed ... ICE toll-free tip hotline 1-866-DHS-2-ICE ... 9/11 .. Never FoRget!!!)
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To: Rick.Donaldson

Shunning is good isn’t it?

Ignoring the obvious tries at argument?

What is the right course of action?

I never win a verbal fight and learned early on I haven’t the knowledge to spar with those who have a dedicated agenda.

Why not plant a big T on their posts so we can move along?


14 posted on 08/01/2008 1:12:11 PM PDT by imintrouble
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To: steve-b
Bleeech. So much for eating the turkey sandwich I just made....


15 posted on 08/01/2008 1:12:58 PM PDT by Viking2002 (Barak Obama is as inept as a bear cub with his dink.)
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To: B-Chan; happinesswithoutpeace

Ping to NYT article mentioning /b/tards, an hero, lost iPods, and moot. No mention of Pedobear, Longcat, or Desu.


16 posted on 08/01/2008 1:14:06 PM PDT by lesser_satan (Cthulu '08! Why vote for the lesser evil?)
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To: reaganaut1
Net anonymity under attack, again, I see.

The left’s first reflex is to personally discredit their critics (Monica is a stalker, Gennifer is unstable, Swifties are liars, etc) but that's kind of hard to do when your critic's real name and address are not known.

getting a subpoena means that there must have been a crime committed, and simply wondering if the son of a Muslim is a Muslim is not, yet, a crime.

It's coming soon, federal legislation making it illegal to log on to a network with anything other than your real name/address. There are more and more articles planting this concept, and soon it will rise to the level of the MSM Constant Chant.

17 posted on 08/01/2008 1:19:24 PM PDT by DBrow
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To: steve-b
Quick, Helen Thomas antidote:
18 posted on 08/01/2008 1:21:19 PM PDT by MeanWestTexan ("Jesse Jackson was an important figure; paving the way for Osama bin Laden to appear" -- Dan Rather)
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To: reaganaut1
You signed up three and a half years ago to post this??








:-)
19 posted on 08/01/2008 1:21:52 PM PDT by Constitutionalist Conservative (Global Warming Heretic -- http://agw-heretic.blogspot.com)
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To: reaganaut1

Luckily... we have the Viking Kitty!


20 posted on 08/01/2008 1:22:47 PM PDT by John123 (Obambi said that he has been in 57 states. I will now light myself on fire...)
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To: reaganaut1

Well. I guess that was edifying. Sort of. Young people with too much time on their hands. They should be out hoeing weeds in the potato patch, or helping with the sausage-making, or delivering groceries. Looks like a whole new leisure-class world. The article was depressing, too. I read the whole thing...DEFINITELY too much time on their hands.


21 posted on 08/01/2008 1:25:34 PM PDT by redhead (B-I-NGO...B-I-NGO...)
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To: imintrouble

As an “experienced” moderator (Geez, do I have experience at it over the years) I’m going to state quite emphatically that ignoring them is not always the right way to deal with them.

Dealing with trolls depends on several things, and it takes someone as a moderator who is capable of being quick on his or her feet - well, in thinking anyway.

If you’re moderating a site, such as this one for instance, you have to take into account the rules of the site and the intent of the poster. Some people really AREN’T trolls, but ignorant people (I don’t mean that in a bad way, I mean they are not educated on a subject or they have been MISeducated with the wrong information.)

In my time with this stuff, I moderated boards that were related to things like UFOs, alien abductions, conspiracy theories, urban legends... you name it. We “entertained” MANY ideas.

Throughout my time doing this I reminded myself often that I am a skeptic, but I kept an open mind, with a bent to reading the material and looking at sources of information. (Something that few people really do).

We “hired” moderators (we didn’t pay anyone, they were volunteers, but we had them give us reasons why we should give them the privileges of moderating the site) and we tried to have people who have various points of view but could still, OBJECTIVELY examine ideas and material and interject opinion or information to help a thread along.

Over the years we had several who stated that “Moderators and Admins should NOT have an opinion” - and usually this was coming from those who trolled.

Sometimes I wonder why more “mods” here don’t have an “opinion” - but I can see advantages for them rarely posting one as well.... still... we didn’t dissuade our folks from posting exactly what they thought.

So, it comes down to many, many things. There’s really no one way to deal with trolls.

However, I will state that there is ONE way that always works... at least for awhile.

That way is: Ban them, IP ban them and make sure everyone knows who they are.

I don’t believe in “Anonymity”. I use my real name, and I have no problem is standing by the things I say here on FR or other sites. I take my time on “due diligence” for 90% of what I write (sometimes I get in a hurry, sometimes I might not elaborate on something ENOUGH and leave out information which makes people think I’m saying something other than I am saying. Sometimes, like this one, I talk way too much.

But I know in almost every thing I write, I’m RIGHT.

Trolls are a sneaky, snaky lot though and always labeling someone as a troll isn’t right either. Sometimes they aren’t really trolls.

(One BIG key to trolls is they make snarky comments, play “dumb” when the answer is quite obvious, and they almost ALWAYS, ALWAYS turn out to be someone who is a “I Hate Bush” type.... I’ve found in dealing with them since 1982 that many of them hated Bush, Reagan, they hate the Current Bush, or they will go back ‘in time’ and “hate” someone else, Nixon, or some other “Right wing” person. They will invariably go after Right Wingers as “racist” or “globalists”. They will, finally, when losing an argument, if they get deeply enough into a debate, of calling you a name.)

Over the years, I’ve taken to calling them names right off. I use the phrase “Dumbasses” to describe Liberals, Leftists, Socialists and Trolls.... so if you see me make that, then I’m using it in that vein.


22 posted on 08/01/2008 1:28:20 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for latest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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Comment #23 Removed by Moderator

To: reaganaut1

Bump for later


24 posted on 08/01/2008 1:36:50 PM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (Vigilantism will arise where the justice system is viewed as overly lenient and/or ineffective.)
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To: lesser_satan
Ping to NYT article mentioning /b/tards, an hero, lost iPods, and moot. No mention of Pedobear, Longcat, or Desu.

*mentions*



Taken by me at ACEN 2008.

*is not a 4channer, btw, so don't worry* :D
25 posted on 08/01/2008 1:45:12 PM PDT by According2RecentPollsAirIsGood
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To: Rick.Donaldson

Thank you so much - I have been scurrying around FreeRepublic for years but had little to contribute - trying to learn my way through the political landscape your membership offered.

One of your members began to include me in his essays and I felt honored to be part of that group - the ideas were always so full of new thought for me.

I do understand it must take a special kind of personality to be able to hang in there and not reach for an AK47 when it would ‘feel so good’.... to be fair and moderate isn’t within my personal attributes but I admire it in others.

I have made untold errors myself and still walk into walls of mistaken reading on my part but this place is the most
profitable for me to learn and understand and to thank those who make it possible for us to feel it is time well spent.

As I hope it is positive time spent for you too!

Again thanks and appreciation.


26 posted on 08/01/2008 1:55:07 PM PDT by imintrouble
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To: redhead

They should be outside digging ditch!


27 posted on 08/01/2008 2:02:59 PM PDT by weegee (Hi there.)
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To: imintrouble

Hey... I need to make something clear. I’m a MEMBER here just like yourself. I’m NOT a moderator on this site.

Don’t assume I am :)

I have no aims, intention nor goal, let alone the ‘gumption’ to become one EITHER!!!!!!!!!!!!

:)

Just so we’re clear.

If you want to see where I USED to (and currently) moderate and administer, check my tag line for one and freepmail me for the other.

Rick


28 posted on 08/01/2008 2:06:41 PM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for latest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: Rick.Donaldson

Thanks for clearing up yet another ‘misread’ on my part!


29 posted on 08/01/2008 2:17:08 PM PDT by imintrouble
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To: reaganaut1

This coming from the NYTs, who were politically “group trolling” for decades before there were personal computers. Before the first two computers ever got hooked together.

The New York Times AKA the Red Rag Hag, is a rat warren of socialist trolls.


30 posted on 08/01/2008 2:19:06 PM PDT by DGHoodini (Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand)
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To: DBrow

Yet when the NYTs plague Rats really want to attack someone or something, they always sign their vile hit pieces full of slander and lies, ‘The Editorial Board’.


31 posted on 08/01/2008 2:21:30 PM PDT by DGHoodini (Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand)
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To: reaganaut1
Some people are evil.

Yes and those people are Post moderns who accept the absurd as the guiding morality in their lives:

“good and bad are subjective”

32 posted on 08/01/2008 2:36:21 PM PDT by JimSEA (just another liberal-bashing fearmonger)
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To: According2RecentPollsAirIsGood

NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP FR!
33 posted on 08/01/2008 3:29:31 PM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: struggle

NEVER GONNA LET YOU DOWN FR!
34 posted on 08/01/2008 3:33:08 PM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: struggle

NEVER GONNA TELL A LIE AND DESERT YOU FR!
35 posted on 08/01/2008 3:34:16 PM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: reaganaut1
Anyone seeking work or love can expect to be Googled.

I've been smart enough so far to avoid putting anything about myself on the internet, at least direct information. I'm also smart enough to know that anyone pulling my posts could pinpoint who I am and where I live to within 300 miles. Of course, my demographic is still large enough that I'm pretty anonymous. The good news is I NEVER use my real name anywhere. IMHO, anyone who creates that kind of public record is taking an enormous risk.

36 posted on 08/01/2008 4:05:11 PM PDT by Hardastarboard (I have Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance policies.)
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To: lesser_satan
Photobucket
37 posted on 08/01/2008 4:16:12 PM PDT by BunnySlippers (I have already previewed or do not wish to preview this composition.)
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To: DBrow
It's coming soon, federal legislation making it illegal to log on to a network with anything other than your real name/address. There are more and more articles planting this concept, and soon it will rise to the level of the MSM Constant Chant.

Noticed it myself in the article, right off.

I used to post under another, older ID here on Free Republic, but that fell under attack in the real world.

Many of the posters on this thread are being gulled by the horrible anecdote, which is how the Left gets its evil way.

It comes from a lack of understanding of the American legal system.

38 posted on 08/01/2008 8:32:06 PM PDT by an amused spectator (Wikipedia: The Truth Was Out There, but it was reverted...)
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To: Rick.Donaldson
I don’t believe in “Anonymity”. I use my real name, and I have no problem is standing by the things I say here on FR or other sites. I take my time on “due diligence” for 90% of what I write (sometimes I get in a hurry, sometimes I might not elaborate on something ENOUGH and leave out information which makes people think I’m saying something other than I am saying.

You've never been under assault by the government, or those in politics. They've got access to all the [free] legal talent they need to destroy your life. All they need is to be able to find out which jurisdiction you reside in, under what legal name.

They're actually the ultimate trolls.

39 posted on 08/01/2008 8:37:50 PM PDT by an amused spectator (Wikipedia: The Truth Was Out There, but it was reverted...)
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To: reaganaut1

Interesting. These trolls seem to feel towards all of humanity much the same way that NYT reporters feel towards conservatives...

The subtext of the article is pretty clear. The interweb is a wild, dangerous place crying out for much greater forced disclosure and regulation.


40 posted on 08/01/2008 8:41:22 PM PDT by Interesting Times (Swiftboating, you say? Check out ToSetTheRecordStraight.com)
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To: reaganaut1

Evil indeed. Sadism by any other name is still sadism. These people take pleasure in the cruelty they inflict on others.


41 posted on 08/02/2008 6:33:33 PM PDT by mojito
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To: lesser_satan; struggle

ORE WO DARE DA TO OMOTTEYAGARU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


42 posted on 08/03/2008 3:08:02 AM PDT by happinesswithoutpeace (You are receiving this broadcast as a dream)
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To: happinesswithoutpeace
>>ORE WO DARE DA TO OMOTTEYAGARU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!>>

TRENDY!

43 posted on 08/03/2008 3:57:39 PM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: reaganaut1

bttt


44 posted on 08/04/2008 7:57:23 AM PDT by firewalk
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To: an amused spectator

HAHAHAHAHAHA

How would you know if I’ve been under assault by the government and won or lost? Unless it were in the news.

We’re ALL under assault by them ever day of our lives. New laws, anti-gun people, this idiotic crap about “global warming” that is permeating daily life and is even in the damned commercials we watch.

The fact is, I’m an easy person to find. I have a SSN number, pay my taxes and deal with the government on a daily basis. Why would I “hide”?

People who continually “hide” themselves are paranoid people... I’m not saying that this is a BAD thing, but it certainly is a little weird.

MOSTLY the people here and most sites use aliases just “because”. Some do it because they honestly think they are hiding from someone, or hiding from the government.

If you ever deal with some of the conspiracy theorists as I have nearly all of them will claim to have been assaulted in some manner by the government and “I’m hiding for my own safety, because they (the gov) will make me ‘disappear’”.

All of that is a load of nonsense.


45 posted on 08/04/2008 8:03:34 AM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for latest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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To: Rick.Donaldson
"Ignorance is Bliss", as the saying goes.

Of course, you weren't around here for the impeachment wars and the attack on Free Republic by the Clinton White House, using their own appointed federal judge and two major newspapers as catspaws.

It's a matter of public record, Ricky.

From your attitude, I can tell that you haven't really gotten under the skin of anyone official.

Redouble your efforts - maybe that'll work. It worked for me. :-)

46 posted on 08/04/2008 8:24:11 AM PDT by an amused spectator (Wikipedia: The Truth Was Out There, but it was reverted...)
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To: an amused spectator

I’ve been on FR since it started actually, I was around for a lot more than you give me credit for :)

I have gotten under the skin of many, many of our public officials and a good number of them know me very well. LOL

A certain couple of Senators usually use my name as a cuss word. LOL

My attitude is one that has taken me a long, long time to develop. I don’t BELIEVE in being anonymous, because it takes away from credibility. I stand by the things I’ve said, and continue to say.

My point is this... if you’re going to make a point, you should be sure of your facts (as sure as you can be of course, no one is right all the time, and I’m certainly not correct on EVERYTHING, but I do strive diligently to be so).

You should believe in yourself enough to put your name on your opinions. A lot of people on one of the other sites I administered HATE me - which is fine. I once when several rounds with a “government official” on one of the sites, but publicly and privately who happened to be a Colonel in the USAF who tried to shut down the site and somehow bring some kind of charges against me....

In fact, when it was said and done, that Colonel was proved to have attempted to use his “power of his position” illegally. :) I won, he lost. Long story short, don’t screw with site moderators and administrators when you have NO legal reason to do so.

(He was upset over a story I posted, and claimed that because I was a service member at the time I could be held liable for making false statements... as it turned out, Nothing I said was false, he had taken a lot of my comments out of context and then LIED about some things in the investigation.... )


47 posted on 08/04/2008 8:58:14 AM PDT by Rick.Donaldson (http://www.transasianaxis.com - Please visit for latest on DPRK/Russia/China/et al.)
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