MORE TROLLS THAN A MID-LEVEL DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS CAMPAIGN
Recently, a person tried to bait me into an argument, or get a rise out of me by insulting my latest book release, A Single Link, without reading it. When that didn’t work, they said they were purchasing another book that released the same day as A Single Link.
Fine by me; my short story, Brood is in that book, too.
No, not rabbit…troll.
In Internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a group forum, chat room, or blog.
While trolling – the term for the discordant actions of a troll – can be accidental, it is usually done with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.
Media attention in recent years has equated trolling with online harassment and bullying. For example, mass media has used troll to describe “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.”
Of course, trolls are not limited to English-speaking countries. Every nation on Earth is plagued by the trollpocalypse.
In Taiwanese Mandarin, trolling is referred to as bái mù – literally, “white eye” – or, “eyes without pupils”. The pupil of the eye is used for vision; the white part of the eye cannot see. In regard to trolls, this means that trolling involves blindly talking nonsense over the internet, with no regard for others. The alternative term is bái làn – literally “white rot” – which describes an internet post that is completely nonsensical and full of folly made to upset others. It derives from a Taiwanese slang term for pale, white, male genitalia, considered to be the genitalia of someone who is young and foolish.
In Japanese, tsuri means “fishing” and refers to posts with the sole purpose of getting readers to react.
In Icelandic, þurs refers to trolls. The verbs þursa (to troll) or þursast (to be trolling, to troll about) are also used.
In Korean, nak-si means “fishing”, and is used to refer to Internet trolling, as well as to purposefully misleading post titles.
In Thai, the word krean – the name of a closely cropped hairstyle worn by school boys in Thailand – is used to address Internet trolls, thus equating them with school boys. The phrase tob krean, or “slapping a cropped head”, refers to the act of posting intellectual replies to refute and ridicule the messages of Internet trolls and cause them to be perceived as unintelligent.
Psychologists have discovered that trolling is a form of symbolic violence. Trolls desire to promote antipathetic emotions of disgust and outrage, which gives them a morbid sense of pleasure.
The troll is a predator who attempts to pass as a legitimate participant in a group, sharing the group’s common interests and concerns. A group’s success at detecting a troll depends on how well they – and the troll – understand identity cues.
And trolls must be identified and, upon identification, immediately banned from the group or unfriended because trolls can be costly in several ways:
A troll can disrupt a discussion, disseminate bad advice and damage the feeling of trust in the group or community. Furthermore, in a group that has become sensitized to trolling – where the rate of deception is high – many honestly naïve questions may be perceived as trolling and the questioner branded a troll.
“Why would someone in their right mind troll?” You ask?
Most are bullies. Punk-ass bullies, at that.
These e-gangsters and keyboard killers are more aggressive, rude and forthright online because they are anonymous and can act as unpleasantly as they like without immediate consequence.
In real life, though, these chumps wouldn’t clap at a concert, because pulling the same shit would, at best, incur social sanctions and at worst, incur an ass whoopin’.
“Other than moderation and censorship, what can we do to stop these damned trolls?” You ask?
Well, let’s go to the experts on trolls – Dungeons and Dragons – and see what they have to say (the emphasis, in bold, is mine).
“With its 5 hit points of regeneration per round, a troll can stand up to a lot of punishment. Moreover, it has 10 feet of reach that allows it get the drop on Player Characters with attacks of opportunity, as well as two claws and a bite attack for significant Strength-enhanced damage.
Trolls have ravenous appetites, devouring everything from grubs to bears and humanoids. They often lair near settlements and hunt the inhabitants until they devour every last one…trolls can appear thin and frail but possess surprising strength
They launch themselves into combat without hesitation, flailing wildly at the closest opponent.
Trolls are infamous for their regenerative abilities, able to recover from the most grievous of wounds or regenerate entire limbs given time. Severing a troll’s head results merely in temporary incapacitation, rather than death. After cutting off a troll’s head or other limbs, one must seal the wounds with fire or acid to prevent regeneration. Because of this, most adventurers will typically carry some sort of implement capable of creating fire.”
“…After cutting off a troll’s head or other limbs, one must seal the wounds with fire or acid to prevent regeneration.” As I stated earlier, you must identify the troll, cut them off from communication with the group, or yourself, and then permanently ban them and warn others against the troll, thus “cauterizing” the wound caused by their actions.
So, hunt down those trolls, draw your +3 keen Vorpal Sword and decapitate those predatory little bastards.
Be sure you have a torch or a vial of acid handy, though.
Can’t have that troll growing a new head and coming back.
*DISCLAIMER: I do not condone the literal decapitation of anyone, not even trolls…unless, of course, it is in self-defense, or it is an actual out-from-under-the-bridge troll.