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A win for trollsEdit

The "Dealing With Trolls" lecture is kind of a win for trolls... If you've ever trolled anyone, even once, you'd get that. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by 96.240.135.133 (talk)

Dealing with trollsEdit

What an odd essay. A troll is someone who will post deliberately controversial remarks, with the hope that an individual/group will get riled enough to argue back. When people argue back, they may or may not lose their temper and say stupid things, revealing their prejudices/ignorance of the original topic. Trolling is a kind of socratic irony. The best way to deal with trolls on the internet is to have a little self-control, and not lose your temper in the first place.

The problem is behavior, not intentEdit

It seems to me that the focus on intent (which can seldom be proven) is really wrongheaded. The focus should be on behavior which serves "to disrupt the usability of Wikipedia." In this regard, trolling is akin to other forms of disruptive editing. --SteveMcCluskey 02:53, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Lol? Serious?Edit

"Often, racist trolls, when confronted, will accuse Wikipedia of Marxism or political correctness."

I don't know if I'm supposed to laugh at that, or take it seriously! :-/ Still, I can't help laughing. A "racist troll" probably isn't really racist, and I doubt seriously making an accusation of "Marxism" or "political correctness". 99% of the time, the troll is someone from group A pretending to be from group B; and attempting to make group B look bad. For instance, a member of political party X may go to a website and pretend to be from political party Y; where he then makes "racist" jokes and calls people Communists to make party Y look like extremists/nut-cases. Even though he's likely enraging people on his "side", the latter will become "fired-up" and go after their "opponents", and neutral readers/viewers come away with the impression that the other group/party is ridiculous. That's the sick "cleverness" to trolling; the target of the attack is often times the opposite of what it appears to be.

Here's some "original research" for you, lol. I once "trolled" my own forums to get at my friends/employees. I pretended to be critical of our own software and made remarks about how terrible and buggy it was (among other things). I did it just as a prank, but it was the "classic trolling-model". :) We all had a great laugh in the end, but "real" trolls do the same thing for malicious purposes; by exploiting human nature, as you said. Pretty much trolling in a nutshell.

This is a REALLY long article too, by the way, which could realistically be condensed to a few sentences or paragraphs. A troll is simply a person who goes to a website and pretends to sincerely have certain beliefs or to be making sincere comments/remarks, but who's real goal is to annoy, enrage and/or disrupt other users. Other things, like pestering a person with private messages, hit-and-run vandalism, etc are not trolling. Trolling is about being open and public to create a big scene. And as I said, the most common troll is the "masquerading attacker" (lol, copyrighting that one!).

What you posted here is a waste of a large chunk of this page.

I thought the description of racist was inconsistent with ideologies such as Marxism and political correctness, so I removed the racist phrase. Also, I think you're right, that accusations of perceived undesirable political groups aren't limited to left or right. When trolls make those sort of accusations, they usually pick whatever is most likely to be oppositional or most annoying, so I added fascist to the list.--FeralOink (talk) 05:59, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Are you serious?Edit

I hate to break it to you wikipedia but trolling is totally indiscriminate and you are not the only target. You are making out that trolling was invented to piss off mods and admins on wikipedia but fact is that trolling is all over the internet. I suggest that you (wikipedia) should stop feeling so sorry for yourself. Just take it on the chin. Everyone gets trolled, irrelavent of age, gender, race etc. Besides this article sounds more like a child sulking than an independent, unbias account of the nature of trolling.

I edited the article so that it clarifies that trolling is not a Wikipedia-specific behavior.--FeralOink (talk) 05:53, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Quick QuestionEdit

Is it within Wikipedia's rules for removing content to use "trolling" as a reason? Mastado 02:15, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

The answer varies by project, but on most projects there's no rule against it. The more useful question is, "Is the removed content actually trolling, an actual attempt at useful content, or merely crude humor or other useless, but non-trollish behavior?" Often times people and content are described as "Trolls" where the description is not actually accurate. For more information, of course, see the content page here. Kylu 03:40, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

Misuse of warningsEdit

I think habitual misuse of warnings on user talk pages might be an example of trolling a user. --Chucky 19:16, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

Doesn't the disclaimer take up too much space?Edit

Why do we need the huge disclaimer in 40 languages in the beginning of the article? Wouldn't the English version be enough? --Mortense 13:49, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

This is a multilingual wiki. You should see it only in your language; if you don't, please report it on Meta talk:Language select and don't forget saying what browser you're using and if JavaScript is enabled. Thanks, Nemo 08:04, 4 November 2011 (UTC)
I use JavaScript whitelisting (Firefox and NoScript). When I allowed JavaScript from WikiMedia.org only one language version was displayed. --Mortense 09:35, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

TrollingEdit

I'm not exactly sure what trolling is either, but it may be like spamming I suppose.

96.227.214.165 00:34, 9 November 2011 (UTC)

You say "I have no idea what a cloud is, even though I am staring in the face of the definition"... this is an example of a trolling post; my post is trolling your post because your post is also a troll post.

Which is no help whatsoever, alas. --Thnidu (talk) 21:59, 22 July 2013 (UTC) (not afraid to sign my posts)

Major FlawEdit

The article explains what a troll does but not how a troll can be identified. Sohambanerjee1998 (talk) 12:36, 19 September 2013 (UTC)

The words "who is that trip-trapping on my bridge?" are a clue.
Also, if you see piles of human bones near the dwelling, that is a clue.
Fear of lightning.
Some claim they turn to stone if exposed to sunlight but that has not been empirically demonstrated except in fiction.
Garth of the Forest (talk) 18:22, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

On DailyKosEdit

I found this interesting blog defining what is a troll by an Icelander on DailyKos.com. Bearian (talk) 21:27, 26 February 2014 (UTC)

2014 studyEdit

"Data Mining Reveals How The “Down-Vote” Leads To A Vicious Circle Of Negative Feedback" (2014 study supporting validity of WP:DENY)

"So how can unwanted behaviour the stopped? 'Given that users who receive no feedback post less frequently, a potentially effective strategy could be to ignore undesired behaviour and provide no feedback at all,' say Cheng and co."

--Lexein (talk) 21:04, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the link, Lexein, very interesting study. Indeed, this confirms earlier studies, see:
We do apply very little of that on Wikipedia, or at least not intentionally :-/
  • Flagged revisions on german Wikipedia does leave edits by IPs and newbies invisible, until they are reviewed by experienced users - but those edits are visible to the newbie/IP editor himself. That is again in practice "the value of slow reverts".
  • The new revert notifications give immediate feedback to users about reverts (immediately and unprompted, without going to your watchlist) - and: the revert comments are NOT shown, only in the revert diff (click-through). That's bad. Open invitation for editwarring. We know that everybody hates being reverted without explanation.
  • The "article feedback tool version 5" was built by WMF with an (overblown and unused) upvoting/downvoting system for reader feedback. Wikipedians considered it a troll heaven and it got shut down in the end.
Other than that, we could consider the fast-but-not-too-fast "archiving of talk page drivel" without answers/ feedback as a form of WP:DENY. --Atlasowa (talk) 12:14, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Trolling doesn't just apply to wikipedia and other webpges.Edit

Trolling doesn't apply to just a Wikipedia article, or other webpages. It also applies to video games. In Minecraft, there are online servers. Any type of trying to disrupt or attack the server is called trolling. Chat spamming, hacking, and modding on servers where that is not allowed is known as trolling. That is why most servers have administrators, or chat restrictions. I don't know if this version of trolling fits into the "definition" but I know that trolling is a commonly used term in other things besides Wikipedia.

Agreed. See section 5 above, and also this edit. Trolling is not unique to Wikipedia or even webpages.--FeralOink (talk) 06:03, 13 November 2016 (UTC)

Creative trolling! A new suggestion: ransom editingEdit

Here's a suggestion for another type of trolling category to write about in this article:

Removing large portions of an article if demands to rewrite it in accordance to a personal political viewpoint aren't met (after user angrily states a dislike for the entire article), followed by threats to remove additional material if large numbers of detailed accusations of Wikipedia guideline violations aren't answered. Uses legitimate issues with article as justification for mass deletion of content. Impressed by skill level displayed by troll, as this technique requires knowledge of Wikipedia guidelines to use against other editors and leverages legitimate issues to justify behavior; this technique creatively involves demands for time-intensive replies while ransoming article content with removal.

Happy troll-bridging! Sturgeontransformer

Terrorism?Edit

Does it promote terrorism like it happened to IS/ISIS/ISIL? If so, spread awareness. 112.201.14.188 22:49, 18 April 2019 (UTC)

Return to "What is a troll?" page.