Trolling: How to do it well

Rate this Entry
Ok so this is my first ever blog post. Go easy.

First we start with the basic definition of trolling:
[1]In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory, [2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response [3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion. [4]

What does this mean exactly? Well, definition one is basically a rude comment meant to piss people off. This is the easiest, and therefore stupidest troll method. It's the most prone to being banned, kicked, or otherwise dealt with.

In the second definition many people do this without realizing it. Sometimes even in an argument where something is said to deliberately try to piss someone else off even further.

The third definition can be the most amusing. Generally, you are trying to disrupt the topic of a thread or chat room by bringing up something else. This can be on a tangent, or an entirely new topic.

With the three definitons in mind, how do you troll, exactly? First off, nobody in their right mind should WANT to troll intentionally. If you do want to, you need help. I'm not kidding here.

Second off, if you do end up trolling anyways (intentionally or otherwise) generally you want to derail the threads. Posting inflammatory comments will just turn the community against you. Therefore, doing it in a humorous way is probably the best way. It adds the endearment factor, where multiple individuals get a chuckle or a grin. That said, when you are doing it in this way you can find yourself unintentionally trolling threads. So be careful!

There are basically three classes of trolls:
Attention whores
Rude trolls

The best example of an attention whore troll is where they make every thread about them. Every single post is something involving them, and they are generally unhelpful. Some individuals take it to the annoying level, where they actually get upset something isn't about them.

A smartass troll, on the other hand, makes wisecracks, etc. Generally these trolls tend to be more intelligent, because they have to be. They make comments such as "yeah dumbass.. foot goes in mouth" and tend to provide helpful feedback in an unhelpful way.

Rude trolls are the dumbest of the lot. These trolls like to piss people off. GENERALLY you avoid these trolls. Almost any response is feeding them.

Generally, if you must troll... don't. You will find yourself doing it anyways, unintentionally. Trolls actually live fairly lonely lives, alienating many people from them in real life. Mostly because trolling tends to bleed over into real life. You can actually spot a troll in the mall if you know what to look for and their mannerisms.

That said, I know I am a troll, myself. If I were to classify myself, I would say I'm between attention whore and smartass. I try to make my comments amusing in some form, but it doesn't always work out. A little bit of rude slips in here and there sometimes.

Generally though- my blend of trolling isn't something someone should seek to be. Nobody should seek to actually BE a troll. If you wanted to have some form of attention, just try to be nice. Maybe funny sometimes. A cat pic here or there works too.

But keep in mind that the attention and such can bring both friends and foes. And may attract inwanted attention from moderators. In fact, I was recently banned unfairly by one moderator. Not by a post I made, but by a post from someone else. So do be careful if you do decide to stand out.

Submit "Trolling: How to do it well" to Digg Submit "Trolling: How to do it well" to Submit "Trolling: How to do it well" to StumbleUpon Submit "Trolling: How to do it well" to Google

Updated 09-15-2011 at 01:48 AM by GS (Made more PC)

Tags: None Add / Edit Tags


  1. He-Man's Avatar
  2. GS's Avatar
    Good point. That's why I'm encouraging humorous trolling, not rude trolling he-man.
  3. He-Man's Avatar
    I am all for humorous trolling. Not the other stuff; just because you appear to be anonymous, does not mean you are not damaging other people.
    And edit: I was not implying anything about you, GS693, just thought it funny this showed up in the news today, after our discussion on IRC.
  4. Tallhua's Avatar
    Interesting topic and interesting post.
    My buddy is the king of trolling. But not online on forums, irl! lol