Johnny Dangerous wrote:
Trolling simply means being in the conversation for the sole purpose of shit-stirring and provocation, and not trying to actually further the conversation.
BY that definition, it's really common behavior on forums period.
Disagree, in fact I think it's very uncommon for a person to post solely for the purpose of provoking others. Such a person would need to be pretty shallow, and consequently they'd be rather transparent. Discussion often get heated, but there are many reasons for that.
Actual Trolls are usually pretty obvious, but if anyone posts definitive statements about something in order to stir the pot, then refuses to talk about it, or simply switches the debate to a new (usually more inflammatory) topic or statement, it's reasonable to call it trolling I suppose.
Making definitive statements does not constitute trolling. Not responding or changing the topic doesn't constitute trolling. Provocation itself does not constitute trolling. All of these behaviors combined does not constitute trolling.
The thing with good ones though, is they are usually very good at skirting a line so that they avoid moderation, participating with just enough validity here and there that they don't get in trouble.
So I don't agree that they don't need to be worried about, typically good forums actually actively curtail their activities or remove them.
This part is interesting. Someone can participate without breaking any forum rules, yet "good forums" remove them. By this definition DW is not a good forum.
I actually agree with you. Some people simply do not know how to relate to people who are a certain degree of different than themselves and jump to the conclusion that person must be trolling (what an offensive accusation, really; it's like saying "you can't be this stupid, you MUST be trolling"). I find it strange how often people jump to the conclusion someone is trolling. I've been accused of trolling so frequently on various forums since probably 2000 that at some point on particularly stupid forums which are just full of trolls (really), I actually did start trolling for fun! It would have never occurred to me otherwise, because I find trolling is only a sensible thing to do in an environment where it is expected, accepted and found to be humorous
. When I troll these places (which is actually rare) it is always with the knowledge someone will eventually say "aw, ya got me" and then I will be sort congratulated about my "good troll."
Anywhere else? I think trolling makes no sense whatsoever and I do not think it is that popular of a pastime, to be frank. There is no satisfaction in trolling unless you get to unveil you were "just trolling" and the other guy fell for it (haha, you dumbass!). The idea that someone wants to stir shit for enjoyment seems rather silly; I don't think it's that common. In fact, I think the accusers have more issues than the people they are so quick to accuse... It's like the original "satan" idea: satan is "the accuser" or one who obstructs someone's path. Funny how the satan idea got so twisted with different cultures accusing other cultures of being "evil" and their gods of being "satan" when the accuser itself (you) is the "satan" as you accuse them and obstruct their path as well as your own. The unwillingness to accept someone's differences and see their point of view is what the obstruction is
in the accuser's life. Sometimes, people accused of being trolls probably get annoyed and exaggerate their original point of view simply to irritate the person who jumped all over them and accused him of being a "troll." That's the general pattern of how wars start and the whole idea of satan as an instigator type of character, so yeah, I'd say it's part of the whole troll / flame war thing, too.