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26 June 2006 @ 11:22 am
Name-calling is a dealbreaker  
I like to debate issues with people on Livejournal and other online forums, and I will sometimes even play the Devil's advocate - voicing an unpopular opinion, just to force the person to mount an argument for their stated opinion.

The funny thing is, that is just what many you would call a "troll" do, and it can be hard to tell the difference - at first. What makes a troll a troll, is their intention in doing that. I like to debate issues, it's a good way to get yourself and others to really think about things - a troll simply delights in pissing people off, and the classic troll may start out with something resembling a debate, but will soon degenerate into name-calling.

And that, for me, signals end of discussion. It can be hard to resist, as I often have more to say, more reasoned arguments and refutations, but once the word 'moron' hits my screen you are officially no longer worthy or capable of participating in the discussion.
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finfin on June 26th, 2006 02:31 am (UTC)
I would personally define a troll as somebody who would pursue a particular line of argument, not for the argument's sake, but instead to provoke a particular irrational and/or emotional response from a specific other person who is involved in the discussion.

Therefore, playing devil's advocate for the sake of testing a theory is not something that I'd consider as "trolling". However, arguing an unpopular idea for the sake of upsetting people and disrupting a community would be considered trolling.
finfin on June 26th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
I'm not sure what my point was supposed to be. I think I just re-iterated your point. Stupid mondayitis.
Jacobyak_boy on June 26th, 2006 05:22 am (UTC)
You did, but that's okay.
Robet Éivaayvah on June 26th, 2006 03:42 am (UTC)
Yhe concept of the troll lies in justifying your own rationality and superiority by inciting a lesser person into an emotional frenzy.

But it can be hard to tell trolls from honestly concerned people. And actually, a lot of the people who run around accusing people of trolling are the trolls. When someone replies playing devil's advocate, shouting "troll" only makes the situation more irrational. Classifying people as trolls is generally pointless, because it's based on motivation rather than action, and the former is much harder to tell than the latter.

In the end people just need to accept a good point, whatever its source.

However...
Jacobyak_boy on June 26th, 2006 05:18 am (UTC)
Well, that was kind of my point. You can't say someone is a troll just because they argue an unpopular point - you need to watch how the argument unfolds. If they use it as an excuse to start name-calling they are a troll: they were simply looking for a fight.

The discussion that prompted this entry was actually with someone I happen to know has a long history of trolling - but their initial point was a lucid argument, so I engaged - was promptly called a girl and then a moron. So, I simply stopped responding. The best way to kill a troll thread is to stop feeding it.
carlowecarlowe on June 26th, 2006 07:26 am (UTC)
The best way to kill a troll thread is to stop feeding it.

I've been trying to point this out lately to a few people I know, to little avail. I think some people like the excitement and angst; each to their own. Delete the offending comment + ban them + no anonymous posting = problem solved.
Jacobyak_boy on June 26th, 2006 07:28 am (UTC)
Not on my journal, so I can't delete or ban, but I don't really care for deleting comments anyway. It's enough to simply not engage.

If others want to take the bait, they can feel free.
Outlier Manlukeii on June 26th, 2006 02:32 am (UTC)
Piss-off you moronic wanker, go back to Nazi Germany with your pal Hitler, where you can police the internet all you want.
Robet Éivaayvah on June 26th, 2006 03:29 am (UTC)
I know you are, but what is he?
sjlsjl on June 26th, 2006 03:34 am (UTC)
Hah! Hitler and his Nazis were a bunch of Kansas city faggots! Now, Mussolini, there was a real man!
Robet Éivaayvah on June 26th, 2006 03:46 am (UTC)
Joseph Kony pwnz their arses. And uses them to hold his defecations.
sjlsjl on June 26th, 2006 03:51 am (UTC)
I see your Kony, and raise you a Ghengis Khan.
(Deleted comment)