Have you ever wondered why a forum troll is a troll?

a troll - An idea of what a troll must look like.
July 30, 2007 7:56am CST
For those of you who don’t know what a troll is, let me explain. A troll is a person who posts controversial or provocative messages in a deliberate attempt to provoke negative emotions and/or replies. So my question again is, have you ever wondered what motivates a troll to be a troll? Do they like to look like idiots, morons and/or a low life? Is it they have no life and they want to take it out on others? I wonder, but I have to admit, I just don’t get it. Answer any of these if you like. -------- So what are your thoughts? Why do you think a person picks to be a troll? Have you ever had a run in with a troll before, if so how did you deal with them? Are you a troll? Will you share why? What are you feelings in general about these nutbags? Should we pity or ban them? Why? ?? I will be reading, rating and as always thank all in advance. ??
6 people like this
15 responses
@angelicEmu (1311)
30 Jul 07
Well, I tend to ignore trolls, or if they're particularly asking for it, I'll bait them to make themselves look even more stupid (they tend to have a fairly limited intelligence and a BIG chip on their shoulders). Really, I think it depends on the individual as to why they feel the need to try and provoke arguments, ranging from petulant attention-seeking all the way up to self-loathing cries for help. Of course it's wrong to bundle everyone who goes about behaving in a generally objectionable way, into a generalised stereotype - there may be some people who just want to get answers, therefore make more money, so ask controversial questions or play devil's advocate in order to provoke a debate. You can generally tell which mindset such a person falls into, by the tone as well as the content of the posting. So pity them by all means, but I think that the question of whether to ban them depends on whether they breach the terms of the site, and whether they actually make a valid contribution (whether or not you agree with the points of view they represent on the website) or are just there to incite hatred.
2 people like this
30 Jul 07
Yes I agree there is a difference between posters wanting answers, points and just wanting to be scum and I many times can see it. Most trolls stay true to being outright jerks out for some kicks more than anything. I just wonder is this the example set for them by their parents? Act like a low life and treat others like dirt and they will see you? It's sad when you really think of what a childhood they must have had.
1 person likes this
31 Jul 07
Well, I think that for many of these people it's more about the way they were treated by their parents, than about their parents' example. In my opinion, it's either down to being spoilt by their parents, and a lack of discipline, or a lack of attention from their parents, or possibly the two (a lack of discipline can be felt to be a lack of proper attention and a laissez-faire attitude can be felt to be a lack of caring what they do, therefore a lack of love). So no matter how well their parents behaved in general, if there was no discipline, or enforcement of consequences to their actions, they could well be still lashing out at the world, trying to get some attention, and on some level, still wanting their parents to give them some attention and discipline. If your parents don't care what you do, or see it as important enough to take action on (in their minds), it's going to give you an excuse (or possibly a reason) not to grow up. That's why a lack of response to their outbursts infuriates them so much. That's what I think anyway!!!
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Aug 07
I've made a couple of discussions about trolls. Listen to angelicEmu. The advice is good.
• United States
30 Jul 07
These type of people very obviously have a very sad boring life that they have to resort to such low tactics to spice it up. We have a few of them that are just itching to cause problems. Unfortunately they also hurt innocent members with their methods of getting their kicks. It is myLots decision whether to to ban them but I certainly report them when they get out of hand.
2 people like this
30 Jul 07
That right there is why I am always glad to see them go, no matter how many different names they come back under. They hurt people that don't deserve that. Not me, these worms can't touch me, but those that are innocent and get caught be these jerks, that does go through me.
• United States
30 Jul 07
Horse troll - This one is kind of cute and does not look crazy
I did look for a horse troll and this actually is the only one and way to cute and doesn't look crazy for who I have in my imagination.
1 person likes this
30 Jul 07
Oh that is way too cute! It's wrong for the types I am speaking of. Got any with a flames shooting out of the rear, that seems a bit more closer to their personality, LOL.
@wisconsin26 (3861)
• United States
30 Jul 07
I feel like sometimes people just don't care what they do how they treat others and so on.. As long as it makes them feel good.. Yes as matter of fact I have and I totally ignored it.. I am not going to scoop down to their level and make myself look bad at the same time.. just won't happen.. You see these kind of people every day and it's sad though.. I think if people are being rude yes i do believe they should be banned.. Just my oppion!
30 Jul 07
Well I won't disagree with you on ignoring them, it is the best way to deal with them. I however have such a hard time, I really do like helping them look stupid, LOL. I do think reporting them so they can achieve their goal of being banned again, is always a good solution.
• United States
30 Jul 07
I've tried to help them too and I finally learned these people keep going and going so there is no use to it.. Funny how some people work isn't it..
1 person likes this
@razcal2267 (15577)
• United States
30 Jul 07
I actually do not respond to trolls. They are just looking for attention. The proof of that is the way they go on the attack for no reason at all. I really feel nothing but sorry for those that have so much time on their hands and nothing better to do but try and stir up controversy.
@crazynurse (7510)
• United States
30 Jul 07
Well first, thanks for educating me, I had no idea that there was such a term for this type of person. As for my thoughts about a troll, I suppose some folks are argumentative by nature and enjoy getting a rise out of others. This feeds their need to get attention, as even negative attention is attention and they thrive upon it!
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jul 07
Troll - Female?
Up until now the one(s) I have been made aware of on myLot are of the female variety I dont know if they are more needy than males. Photo: Troll
1 person likes this
30 Jul 07
Well go to my post about the kitten and you will see a male one there. I think he has the hots for me cause whenever he is in, he has to pay me a visit. LOL
@sandwedge (1341)
• Malaysia
31 Jul 07
i am in 9 other forums/discussion and yes i have bumped into trolls and their types. maybe i'd like (once in a blue moon) to see a discussions going mad with flames on all sides as oppose to the routine "yes i agree and appreciate your point of view" posts. if i am not mistaken, correct me if i am wrong, TROLL can also mean TRAWL for forum trawlers. they trawl forums for discussions and blow it out of proportion, with people crying and running in circle at the end of the day. i for one have always thought that trolls are part and parcel of online discussion groups. they seems to be everywhere and believe it or not, some trolls gets together in private discussions (all from different countries) and agree to hit a certain internet discussion groups. and then they regroup and do a discuss which one victims reacts strongly to them and they follow that persons post till that person 'disappear'! there are also 'solo trolls', small time players. trolls KNOWS their victims are distressed by the discussion s and who will spend the whole day (off line) thinking about it, angry. trolls play with words. trolls knows how to argue and debate with points and facts while the regular forum users ends up making conflicting statements, lies badly, contradicts themselves and use assumptions after assumptions to save themselves. the biggest difference between trolls and normal forum-ers is that trolls ARE DETACHED from their postings. trolls actually laugh and enjoy watching their victims stumbled repeatedly trying to save their posting. why? because we are human, and most victims of trolls MUST follow a specific pattern of desperation. example, a regular forum-er getting into a "debate" with a troll starts making general statement, then proven wrong tries to covers it up with assumptions, then they have to lie a little, then start calling names, contradicts themselves, makes conflicting statement (because by now the discussions have gone a long time BUT the troll keeps tabs on everything) and the regular forum-er ends up repeating "this is my last reply, i will not talk to you anymore" over and over again but gets pulled back ever so again into the fray. the trolls gets clues to whats happening from their victim. example, the victim start to say "why are you so angry?" or "hahaha. i am having fun" or "stop being emotional" and etc etc. when a regular forum-er starts saying that, the troll KNOWS they have them already. a human will most of the time reflects their emotions/problems on other people. a regular forum-er's denial of feelings regarding the issue is a confirmation they are about to loose their cool, if not already have. but heck. ex-trolls can be nice too. they are many retired ones that still around in forums but they use their "skills" (if you can call it that) only when some id!ot attacks them. the ones that are still doing mischiefs are the news ones who haven't yet tire of the troll community and fairly new to the game.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
30 Jul 07
I do not really understand why some people choose to be a troll. It maybe becoz they want to play the other side of the game becoz they are bored with common questions. Some people love playing the devil's advocate and I really do not mind them as long as they dont take it personally on me.
1 person likes this
30 Jul 07
Yes I have played the devils advocate, I find in discussion it can help get the conversation deeper and more constructive. However when it comes to personal hateful attacks for kicks, that’s when it becomes a sickness. I do think like you, being bored with their life is a part of their reasons for being who they are.
@JC1969 (1227)
• United States
30 Jul 07
Hey Sunshinecup, What motivates forum trolls? Well personally, I believe that forum trolls truly reflect what they must be like in real life--offline. They are attention seekers that are willing to stoop to venomous insults if it will get them the slightest rise of attention, and generally, there is always someone willing to feed and fuel them. I did have a run in with a troll a few years ago on a political messageboard forum I use to go to. Many members there respected the fact that I shared experiences and information dealing with what it is like being married to someone in the Military. But this creep, would constant take to insulting everything and anything I typed. I could have said 'the sky is blue' and he would have torn into me with such venom that I thought if he was actually in my presence, I'd be a little scared he'd get violent. I think what bothered this person most was I resisted going back at him. I just don't see the point in typing up insults to a person that is thriving and expecting me to do as much. Eventually, this member got on too many people's cases and he was banned.
30 Jul 07
I agree I very much do believe this is how they are in real life, but I think the difference is, they can't act like this in the real world for fear of having their arses handed to them. I think that is why we see so many here in cyber world, they are safe here to be what they truly are, pathetic.
• United States
30 Jul 07
I've had a few run ins with religious trolls on here. Yeah...I pretty much stay away from religious topics now because of it. Unless it's a discussion a friend starts. I do wish I knew what made them the way they are... And I do think they should be BOTH banned and pitied! I think some people too just like to argue and 'debate'. I have a question for you though. Can you use html in here? I didn't think we could but you've got those pretty little hearts that suggest otherwise?! If so that's cool!
1 person likes this
@cmsk2005 (1770)
• United States
20 Aug 07
I think it is a way trying to get more attention of other members that means more responses, more everything. We are not so much cool if we see something really excite us and then it easily provok us to say something against it, so more an more of us go to that topic to reply and continue the topic one over another responses, its a way to attract more people to it, this is just what i thought. I generally avoid those post as I don't need to get involve with them. I like to stay somewhere where more cold and breezy environment is there. I am not a cool person but here on these forum i try to be so.
• Canada
3 Aug 07
Hi sunshinecup.. I'm back, thanks for your sunny words of encouragement. Thanks for explaining what a troll was. Being a fairly new Mylotter I had heard references to it but didn't know who or what they were. So far I haven't had a run in with one yet...but then my approach to Mylotting is to keep in touch with regulars on my site and visit back...so I have a 'circle of friends' and pretty much stay with that. As I am invited to be a friend I check them out fairly well to see if there is enough common interests to make it worthwhile. I am not playing a numbers game here with posts, responses or gathering huge numbers of friends either. Quality not quantity is more what I want from my Mylotting time. I am also careful what kinds of discussions I choose to respond to. So if someone has posted an inflamatory topic and I sense they are looking to stir things up I pass them by. My approach to life is energy-based and those kind of 'vibes' are not something I want to bring into my life experiences on or off line. In my view if someone is creating trouble or being a negative influence on Mylot yes, I would definitely report them...and I think we have a joint responsibility to do so. This really is an all for one...one for all kind of a forum and all it takes is a few with another agenda to create a negative ripple effect for the rest of us. I have seen a few cat fights and situations where one or the other member gets a mad on and goes back to rate the other members topics and discussions with a negative. Her star went from a blue to yellow overnight. That seems really petty to me and I think Mylot may need to assess how fragile and invalid the star rating can be when people pull antics like that. In my world view the outer is always a reflection of the inner...and these trolls appear to live in a nebulous world that I do not want to associate with. So as I said I will keep within my comfortable sharing circle and let the trolls duke it out with the other trolls who are of a like mind. Maybe they will eventually knock themselves out of this site...at least we can hope so.
1 Aug 07
i think this is in their character or maybe them are grown up in this manner or maybe life had been cuel to them so this is the way they respond to her. I've knew some of these people but i've let them go if they tended to provoke me i let them do it 'cause i knew the reason why they were like this. We must control our self and our emotions life isn't always flowers.
@GardenGerty (88952)
• Marion, Kansas
31 Jul 07
I am going to guess that it is because they are needing attention, and the fury around them makes them feel alive. My second guess is that they believe that they are doing good, getting people to express their deepest feelings. Just possibly someone dropped them on their heads when they were small, and they are suffering from traumatic brain injury. I did not ever know what a troll really was, although I have seen them mentioned. I do occasionally see people who are being drama queens and trying to stir it up, I guess those are the trolls.
@KrisNY (7609)
• United States
31 Jul 07
I think that they have terrible lives and no self-esteem and want to make everyone they come in contact with as miserable as they are- It's too bad also- I think there is no help for them- as they are probably just as bad in real life (not internet life). Either that or they just do it to get a rise out of people- I have no problems with people disagreeing with me- but do it with class- I ignore trolls- I must admit I laugh when I see them on the prowl and alot of really good people beating them down for the trolls they are-
@abbey19 (3129)
• Gold Coast, Australia
30 Jul 07
I didn't know what a troll was before your discussion sunshinecup, so thankyou for educating me! As I've never run into one, I can't say too much, but if I did, I would certainly report them and would expect MyLot to ban them. I agree with some of the comments that they are just attention seekers and low life, and are probably the same in real life.