Have you ever been "Trolled"?

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     Have you ever run into someone on the internet who manages to make you frothing mad with what they are posting in groups, forums or in chat groups? You are left red faced, pounding your keyboard and wanting to tear the person a new one.  But have no ability to outwit and argue our way to satisfaction and the perpetrator sits safe at home in front if their keyboard delighted at their ability to make you mad.  Well you are not alone, there are thousands of people who do nothing with their spare time but wander in internet looking for ways to make people mad. They are commonly known as trolls and if you have run into you then you have been trolled; and it’s not a very nice feeling. So here are some techniques used by trolls and some strategies in dealing with them; so you walk away OK with the world and not frothing mad. You might save some money on broken keyboards.

Trolling Techniques

  • Great Lengths: Trolls will go to great lengths to make you mad. They will look up things specifically about your demographic group and then use that information to make you mad. For example they will post something like “God hates homosexuals” if they are interacting with a gay person. Alternatively if they know that you are religious in any way they will expound the benefits of gay marriage, knowing that you are going to disagree and try to argue. 
  • They use research: They will use the internet to research any topic while you are chatting or posting on the net to find out what will make you mad. Even going to the lengths of using translation programs so they can troll people in different languages.
  • Use programs: There is an ISP scrambling program favored by the troll called “Tor” which changes their ISP address randomly, so they cannot be blocked from web chat rooms based on their ISP address.  There are many other programs like it and it makes it particularly difficult for webmasters to block the trolls.
  • They are professionals: Are you getting the idea now that these people might be professional trolls? Well you would be right if you did; I have known trolls that spend more than eight hours a day trolling and researching to troll people on the internet. Squealing with delight when someone gets upset and starts swearing at them or freaking out in other ways. They love it like a gambler likes to win at a horse race or card game!

Strategies for coping                                                                        

  • Guard your information: For a troll to be able to get under your skin, they must know something very personal about you; something that is close to your heart. So be careful when you are chatting in a group or posting in a forum as to how much information you give out about yourself. In time you can get to know people who prove themselves trustworthy and the troll will move on gleaning no way to troll you from the information you have not given out.
  • Know your enemy: Watch for this kind of behavior from people on the net so you can spot them before they even get started. Look for them to say inflammatory things right away in the conversation or even have user names that are so nasty they are trolls in themselves.  If you know they are a troll they are less likely to be able to upset you because you can see them for what they are.
  • Don’t bite: Don’t let yourself fall for what they are doing. Learn to recognize the behavior right away so that you can ignore them or, if necessary, block them from contacting you or the chat completely.  If they are using an ISP scrambler then you are going to have to be patient and block them over and over again from the chat room or forum until they get tired and moved on. If they can’t get the big rush they feel from upsetting you, they will look for another, easier, target.
  • Don’t argue: Never ever argue with a troll, they will out class you by far. Remember these people spend oodles of time figuring out how to make people mad. There is no way that you can compete with this; they know every phrase and argument that is going to make you upset and they usually can type very fast, so you find yourself not getting a word in edgewise anyway. Just take a deep breath and block them, chuckle at them or if you’re feeling bold; play with them. Make them really work to get you mad but don’t give them what they want. This is in effect, trolling them so be careful; you may find it so satisfactory that you become a troll yourself by trolling the trolls.

     I know a lot about trolls because I have person experience with them. In fact I lived with one for a while and he got our ISP address banned from every support group, chat group and forum that I was a member of. I would hear him squeal with delight, laugh and even shake his leg in excitement when he was really making someone mad on the internet. I could hear him from out in the back yard and it was part of the reason why I left him. Trolls like to troll you in real life as well. So be careful how much information you give out about yourself, know who you are looking out for, don’t fall for their tricks and never argue with them. Just block them and be done with it. You have much better things to do with your day.

Most Despicable Troll Ever

This guy whipped out his dong at a feminist pride walk. (SFW)

This guy whipped out his dong at a feminist pride walk. (SFW)
Credit: http://imgur.com/gallery/lkNiK
The Savvy Cyber Kids at Home: The Defeat of the Cyber Bully
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