Skip to comments.The Definition of a "Concern Troll" - The Most Important Thread of the Day (Vanity, but true)
Posted on 09/23/2010 10:11:25 AM PDT by Scythian
Concern trolling is a form of Internet trolling in which someone enters a discussion with claims that he or she supports the view of the discussion, but has concerns. In fact, the concern troll is opposed to the view of the discussion, and he or she uses concern trolling to sow doubt and dissent in the community of commenters or posters. Although this practice originated on the Internet, it has since spread to the real world as well, with concern trolls popping up in a variety of places from network television to op-ed columns.
Artful concern trolling involves developing a believable persona as a supporter of a cause who has legitimate concerns. In an example of concern trolling, a group of people might be having a political discussion on a website about a candidate they support. The concern troll would log on and say I'm concerned that this candidate might not be strong enough to beat the opposition, or I'm worried that the candidate's history in the legislature might be a problem in the election.
Once a concern troll has sowed dissent or discord, often he or she can sit back and let the other commenters do the rest of the work. When a concern troll has done the job correctly, the discussion will split, factions will emerge, and support for the cause will have eroded. Concern trolling can also be highly distracting, as people band together to oppose the concern troll, rather than discussing serious issues, including valid concerns which should be addressed.
Depending on the context, a concern troll may use a sockpuppet, a false account which conceals his or her real identity. In some particularly infamous cases, members of political campaigns have trolled the opposition using sockpuppet accounts with the goal of undermining grassroots support. When these cases are exposed, it can be quite embarrassing, as trolling is generally viewed as an underhanded and often questionable tactic.
In the 2006 election, an aide to Congressman Charlie Bass (R-NH) was caught concern trolling the opposition on local blogs. While pretending to support Bass's opponent, Paul Hodes, the aide argued that Hodes couldn't win because Bass was an unbeatable candidate. Hodes won the election.
While I agree with your topic, I am somewhat concerned.....
“I’m worried that Sarah Palin has been too badly damaged by the media.”
Good to have a name for this!
What about the people that really are on your side but have real concerns.
Should they reword their posts?
That’s the “deeply saddened” troll.
Yeah well the problem with this is that people may have valid reservations and disagreements with an idea. Calling everyone who disagrees a “concern troll” sounds like a liberal idea.
One could hardly go to any conservative web site in the run-up to the 2008 election without tripping over veritable mobs of concern trolls.
One of my favorite tactics was to ask them what (as concerned conservatives) they disliked the most about Obama, and then (if they actually answered) try to expand on that point until they got frustrated.
Expect the woodwork to be crawling with them over the next month or so.
deeply saddened AND concerned troll..............
LOL. I remember he was always concerned about something.
I agree with this article, but I’m concerned that it could take the attention away from regular trolls.
They are Concernvatives.
I agree, but I’m concerned about your concern.
Look for the keyword “unelectable”. It’s a sure sign.
Good to go, I am!
It is a great way to shut down people who don’t agree 100% with you.
Wow, there’s a name for that? I’ve been doing it on DU for years. lol
When Christine O’Donnell won, a lot of concern trolls that were here on the FR bolted, things were too hot, there was no way they were going to be able sit around here and claim we needed to back the GOP, but there are many still here,
Perhaps it might be helpful to name these concern trolls?
One concern troll I have noticed goes by the handle of Gumby or something. Always posting negative news and “hoping it is not a trend.”
I understand the point, but I question the timing.
The dog that yelps....
“Christine broke things wide open”
Define “broke things wide open,” please.
and I hope we don't get to the point where divergent views are not acceptable....
however you are absolutely right...there are some who are fairly new or even oldsters that seem to have an agenda to disrupt....especially when there is "joy" such as a primary win....and they seek to divide....
they drive me crazy but mostly its those third party people....they demand perfect candidates ( their candidates apparently) and will seek to deride any others...
its time to stick together folks....it took a while for America to be founded and its going to take a while to get her back again....it'll be suffering thru rinos, backstabbers,liars, cheats,naysayers, sinners,idiots, etc......but if we stay together and push the majority towards conservativsm and patriotism, the outliers will get pulled in....
Just because you are paranoid, doesn’t mean they AREN’T out to get ya.
I was “concerned” about a Mitt Romney candidate back in 2008. I think it worked.
There is also the “I’m offended” troll. The presupposition is that you must resend or apologize for your comments which nullifies them in their entirety. Offended trolls also hijack celebrities “fame” for their cause by coming out of left field by making public statements like.... “ Our research shows that you have completely ignored the plight of left handed blind antelopes in america. You would think someone of your community stature would be more sensitive to such an important topic.....” Where in the celebrity freaks out and becomes a spokesman, donates money or does some dorky commercial for the cause. I hate those with a spirit of offense on them.
Although I support this concept, I’m concerned that some FReepers might think that other so-called FReepers are trolls...
I am concerned that you desire to shut down debate because you believe you are always right.
You see, that is the truth. The truth being said does not concern me.
There were the regulars on the odumbo polls but he is so unliked that even they dropped off
You are right.
When someone has an opposing view, just dismiss them as a “Concern Troll” and move on.
Left-wing tactics at their finest.
The Founding Fathers set their sights way higher than ours, and look at what they did.
/grammar troll :)
Daschle still owes me a muffler. When can I expect to get it, Puff?
When someone is posting the same thing in thread after thread, week after week, it becomes clear that it is not a spontaneous outburst of concern about a particular gaff, or negative.
As I said, the dog that yelps.
There are also the “arbiter trolls”. Those who take it as their duty to determine who is actually concerned from those who only pretend to be concerned. A quick way to confirm is to see if they are members of the condo association board of directors or members of the PTA.
Instead of being concerned about trolls send
CASH donations to every republican candidate who is
either behind or in toss up situations.
but the American People...blah...blah...blah
"Now youve arrived, and you are already beginning to sense some of the items you might select to make trouble over. You will find that if you judiciously leak out some of your dissatisfactions, some people will come to you and express theirs to you. After all, you are cutting a most holy image. Where the church is extreme , you counsel moderation. Where the church is compromised, you advocate faithfulness . Where the church is harsh, you advocate a loving spirit . Where the church is too tolerant and longsuffering, you advocate a firmer hand. You will find people who want to hear just this kind of talk. Keep them in mind for the future....
....Now, it is important, once you have your own church going, that you extend the right hand of fellowship and offer fraternal relations to the church you just shafted. If they refuse, it makes them look bad; if they accept, you dont lose anything. If they refuse close relations with you, then it proves what you said all along, that they are unloving."
-- from the thread The Effective Church Splitter's Guide
Giggle. You beat me to it.
That worries me somewhat...
Says he that posted the blatant lie thread yesterday that claimed Rove was on Hannity ranting about COD. Who is the real troll?
You make a good point!
You're obviously one of those "sensible comment trolls" we have so many of on Free Republic.
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